[Review] The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal

Publisher: EgmontUSA

Pages: 319 (Hardcover)

Summary
Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia’s led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it’s revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she’s ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.


Review

Let me tell you what makes The False Princess great. 

Number one, it’s the concept – a mixture of both fairy tale and historical fiction. The book is about Nalia who is told that she is actually not a princess. She’s a decoy to protect the real princess. Nalia’s original name is revealed to be Sinda. She’s kicked out of the castle on the same day the real princess comes back, goes to live with her bitter, scornful, newfound aunt and lives a simple life full of hard work. On the bright side, there she discovers that she has magic. Then she goes to Vivaskari – I think it’s a big city near the castle. I don’t really understand – to train her magic and BOOM. More dark secrets are revealed. Journey awaits her. You can say that Sinda’s is the kingdom last hope against evil.

As for number two is the plot. It’s fast-paced, full of mysteries and secrets secrets secrets. Number three, the romance is nicely done. I thought there was a love triangle between Sinda, Kiernan and Tyr, but I was wrong. I loved how Sinda reacts after she knows the truth behind Tyr’s kindness.

There are also things that I didn’t like in The False Princess. The main character, though mostly likeable, she could be annoying too. Sometimes she is too selfish and self-centered that she doesn’t care for the other’s safety. She actually has a point for doing that but I just didn’t think it’s the right action. While for Kiernan, I liked the way he becomes Sinda’s pillar of support even though they occasionally fights. And while reading this, somehow I got confused and had to re-read a few pages just to get a better grasp of the story.

Lately, I’ve been reading more English books and I usually don’t mind reading translation books. Probably the reason behind my confusion is because I read the book in Indonesian translation. Well, maybe I already got accustomed to reading English. Since I read the translation, there’s no way I could comment the author’s writing properly.

Overall, The False Princess is a good read with fairy-tale-ish and historical-fiction-ish elements. If you’re a fan of YA historical fiction, then maybe you’ll like it better than I did.


Rating:
3 Chocolate Cakes!

Liebster Blog Award

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)


4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.


***

Thank you so much to Laetitia Nguyen @ Flurried Thoughts called Book Reviews for nominating me. I really appreciate it and I literally couldn’t say anything at first xD.

***

Questions from My Nominator

1. What is your favorite book of all time and why?

I have a lot of favorite books and I admit it’s a pretty tough choice. But if I have to pick one… then I’ll choose Divergent by Veronica Roth because it’s basically the only book that left me all giggling and grinning and hysterical after I read the last sentence.

2. Would you go to your favorite place in the world alone or stay at home with your best friends?
I think staying at home with my best friends. Being at your favorite place alone is not fun at all. Sure you can do lots of things you like by yourself, but I would rather spend time at home or malls with my friends because it’s more fun.

3. What books can you see getting made into movies?
Probably Sweetly by Jackson Pearce. Or 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody. I honestly don’t like movie adaptations, cause it usually ruins the awesomeness in the book ._. But maybe I will watch if it’s one of my favorite books.

4. Who are your top three book boyfriends?
Ugh… It’s a hard question, considering that I have a crush on fictional characters almost at every book I read >_< 
*In no particular order*
1. Leo Valdez from Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. (I was about to wrote Percy, but then he already has Annabeth and I love Leo as much as I love him so I decided to write Leo.)
2. Uriah from Divergent series by Veronica Roth. (I know this is crazy that I like him more than Tobias xD. But don’t get me wrong, I love Tobias but I fell in love with Uriah instantly when he first appears.)
3. Thane from Medusa Girls series by Tera Lynn Childs. (Who can’t resist mysterious boys? :P)

5. If you were to write a book what would be your main characters’ names?
Grace. I always like that name 🙂 As for the male… I don’t know. Maybe Ethan.


6. Print or eBook?
Print. Holding the real physical copies feels more awesome to me.

7. What’s your favorite pass-time apart from reading and reviewing?
I like surfing the internet, listening to music, watching movies or playing my DS.

8. Samsung Galaxy or Iphone 5?
I have no idea how to answer this because I’ve never used them. (I only have Blackberry.) Maybe I’ll like iPhone better, though. It fits my pocket.

9. What got you into blogging?
I just got into reading books in 2012 so I haven’t read much books, so I thought it was a great idea to share my reading progress and thoughts about books.

10. What book character can you relate to?
I could relate to Annie Nutter from Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire the most. I know how it feels to regret something that had happened, wishing things had never happened in my entire life, and I felt all of those emotions when I was reading it.

11. Oreos in milk: To dip or not to dip?
Not to dip. I’m not used to dipping oreo in milk. I usually dip biscuits in warm tea.

11 Random Facts About Me
1. I don’t have any siblings.
2. I have never read Harry Potter series and Twilight series. I’ve never watched their movies too.
3. Got stuck in a lift for more than half an hour in other country once.
4. When I was a kid I was obsessed with the color orange, I like drinking orange juice, but I don’t like eating the fruit orange.
5. I loved High School Musical 1 to 3 when I was in elementary school. Now, not so much, I guess. But I still like the songs. 
6. I love playing Pokemon and I have played Pokemon Diamond, HeartGold and White. I always stick to Fire-type starters.
7. I like dogs and basically all cute things.
8. I used to love Bleach (manga) so much but last year I stopped reading it because it got impossibly nonsense. (What IS Ichigo???) Now I read Fairy Tail but I don’t like the random power-ups.
9. I always end up liking the parings in books or mangas which will never ever happen ._.
10. Accidentally left my cellphone in a rest room in other country once. Luckily, I found my cellphone back 😛
11. I’ve always wanted to play guitar or violin.

My Nominees
Reena @ Starlight
Michelle and Marissa @ FanGirl Hostess
11 Questions For My Nominees
1. What was the first book you ever read? What did you think of it?
2. YA movie adaptations – Like it or hate it? Why?
3. Which one do you prefer, Hardcover or Paperback?
4. Who is your favorite fictional character? Why?
5. What is the most beautiful book cover you have ever seen?
6. Fanfiction – Love it or hate it? Why?
7. What’s your childhood dream? Have you achieved it or do you intend to make it come true?
8. What are three countries you want to visit? Why do you want to go there?
9. If you were a Disney character, who would be? Why?
10. How many hours in a day do you spend reading or blogging?
11. What do you think is the most depressing fictional character’s death and why?





Top Ten Tuesday #1: 2013 Debuts I’m Dying to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

It’s my  very first Top Ten Tuesday!! 😀 Without further ado, here’s my list 🙂 
*In no particular order*


1. Taken by Erin Bowman
2. The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett


3. Red by Alison Cherry


5. Ink by Amanda Sun
6. Splintered by A.G. Howard

7. PODs by Michelle K. Pickett
8. Starglass by Phoebe North

9. Poison by Bridget Zinn
10. Broken by A.E. Rought 

[Review] Belles by Jen Calonita

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 356 (Hardcover)

Summary
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she’s ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn’t go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn’t thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates’ Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls’ lives forever.





Review
Oh. My. Gosh. Belles was awesome! Awesome! Honestly I prefer first-person-POV, but once I had adapted to third-person-POV, this book became so engrossing. The book switches POV between Izzie and Mira, which let us get to know both girls. The sentences just flow and I enjoyed the writing very much. I think the author has chosen the words well and I actually shed tears at heartbreaking moments.

I could relate with the characters easily, especially with Izzie. Her character felt real and I was rooting for her for the entire book through the happy and sad moments. Mira took a while for me – she’s too submissive when it comes to her friends, but gradually I began to understand her more and at the end I liked her too. I was glad that eventually, she learns to trust and accept Izzie in her life – even stands up for Izzie. Hayden is a kind brother and he always tries to encourage Izzie when she feels bad about herself. I loved these characters. They are not perfect, but they seem real and every breakdown they have only makes them even more realistic.

Let’s not forget about the romance. Yes. Well, I think it’s too predictable that Brayden is Izzie’s love interest. But that didn’t stop me from being curious about how their relationship would turn out.

The plot is in fact very common among YA books but it managed to keep me wondering what would happen next. School’s Queen Bee torturing the lower classes with a sprinkle of family issue, full of drama and not to forget well-concluded ending. The author practically closes Belles perfectly, but with a little hint of the next book. Recommended.


Quote:

“I want someone who builds people up, not tears them down. I need someone who makes me laugh and isn’t afraid to rib me when I’m being a royal jerk.” She smiled a little. “You’re that girl. I want to be with you, and I want everyone to know it.”

Rating:

5 mouth-watering cakes!


[Review] Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 328 (Hardcover)

Summary

Gretchen may have known she was a descendant of Medusa long before her sisters–after all, she’s spent her life fighting the monsters that escape the abyss–but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to teach the other girls the ropes. Can she rely on Grace and Greer, or even trust herself to keep them safe? Greer has pressing social commitments on her plate and precious little time to train in her newfound powers. But that wretched second sight won’t leave her alone, and her fabled heritage seems to be creeping into her fashionable life.

Grace has worries closer to home–like why her brother, Thane, has disappeared. He’s hiding something. Could it possibly be related to the secret heritage the triplets share?

With the warring factions among the gods of Olympus coming for them, the creatures of the abyss pushing into their world, and the boys in their lives keeping secrets at every turn, the three girls must figure out where their fate will take them and how to embrace the shadows of their legacy.




Review

Sweet Shadows takes off directly after Sweet Venom. Unlike Sweet Venom, I actually enjoyed reading this from the beginning. Everything is more intense here than the first book. I still like the monster-fighting scenes, btw. As expected, the book is written in Grace, Greer and Gretchen POVs. Their voices are clear and different – I could easily recognize them. And Nick, who I thought was very annoying and too persistent in the first book, grew on me and I started to like him. Though the fact that he plays important role in this series is predictable since the first book. 

There’s more romance in this book. I’m fine with Gretchen and Nick pairing. I’m slightly okay with Grace and Milo pairing. Though I have to admit that I felt Grace is trying to be not herself, pretending to act cool and so on when she’s with Milo since the first book.

And there’s Thane. I fell in love with his character instantly when he first appears in Sweet Venom. I mean, who doesn’t love mysterious boys? I really want to know more about him! He doesn’t get much scenes in this book, but I’m sure he will get a lot more in the third book.


Overall, Sweet Shadows is full of action, mysteries to unravel and if you like Percy Jackson series or Tera Lynn Childs’s Oh.My.Gods series, then maybe this is the right book for you! 

Rating:

4 Chocolate Cakes

Why four cakes?

Well, I love this book very much but why I give this book 4 rating instead of 5? The reason is because I felt that something is missing in this book. But I’m not sure what. I just felt it bugging me after I finished reading this book.