[Review] Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 345 (Hardcover)

Summary

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.



Review

The beginning seems very slow. I couldn’t concentrate with it, well, mainly cause my mom set the TV volume really loud that I got kind of distracted. The pacing doesn’t get any faster until a quarter of the book. Other than that, the story was enjoyable for me and I was literally eating my late-breakfast while reading it. (That’s why I finished my breakfast so slow!)

Sweet Venom is narrated by the Gorgons-descendant-triplets Gretchen, Grace and Greer. I could distinguish their voice easily and the author has written their POVs well. Greer doesn’t appear until half of the book though. At first I didn’t like Grace, but gradually she grew on me because she has the spirit and doesn’t give up easily even though the other sisters decide to be alone instead of hunting monsters together.

I like the concept. (Well, I’m a Greek mythology fan!) I mean, usually Medusa and her sisters are described as evil, snake-haired girls, whose eyes can turn people to stone. Instead, here they’re the guardians, protecting human from monsters and harmless eyes that can hypnotize for a short period of time. Sweet Venom is all about the reunion between long-lost sisters who eventually decide to stick together. By the way, I love the monster-fighting scenes and I think the author portrays them well.

Besides the triplets, I also love the secondary characters like Milo, Grace’s mom and especially Thane! His quite and mysterious attitude makes me wanna know more about him and I hope we get to know what happens to him in the next book.

The next book? Of course I’m going to read it! Overall, Sweet Venom is a great first book of a series. I recommend it for all Greek mythology lover.


Rating:

4 Chocolate Cakes!


[Review] Don’t You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

Summary
When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad’s whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she’s Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she’s the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she’s got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she’s ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she’s offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn’t as simple as you think.





Review
Don’t You Wish easily becomes one of my favorite contemporary books that I will never forget. I like it when a book exceeds my expectations. Seriously, I didn’t think that possible. I thought that this was gonna be another common contemporary that maybe I could like, but certainly wouldn’t make it to my favorite list. Well, I was wrong. TOTALLY WRONG. 

I love everything about this book. The story somehow reminds me of Before I Fall, except I definitely wasn’t bored. The writing is simple, but it managed to hook me and make me interested in it from the beginning. I love the way Annie brings change to Ayla’s life. Surely popularity and perfection have their prices ― the message that Roxanne St. Claire tries to deliver is clear and it got me right in the heart.

Despite the fact that she’s stuck in Ayla’s life (which she has been craving for), Annie stays true to herself. I found myself relating to her easily – regretting my decisions, wishing something hadn’t happened. But when she has the chance to live a luxurious life full of popularity and money yet also fake friends and wrecked family, she realizes that “this life” is not as perfect as it seems. I adore her and what I learned from her is: be grateful for anything in your life even though it’s not flawless, because you never know that it’s perfect until you lose it.

And there’s this sweet, sweet guy named Charlie who helps Annie to realize that the inside is always more important that the outside. I really love this guy. He’s an outcast and used to be homeless, but he cares a lot about his family, especially his wheel-chaired sister. 

Don’t You Wish is an amazing read and well-written, with valuable messages and perfect ending. Remember, be careful what you wish for…

Rating:

5 Chocolate Cakes


2009-2012 Releases to Read in 2013

It’s new year already and there are tons of books I’ve been wanting to read. I hope I could read them this year :’)

1. Crux by Julie Reece

I love strong heroines and I can see that in Crux. Besides, the cover looks beautiful!

2.  Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1) by Moira Young

This book seems to receive so much positive reviews and the heroine sounds strong and independent.

3. Bad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable #1) by Carrie Harris

I’ve never read a book about zombies seriously, *shame* but from the blurb this book sounds fun!


4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

One of contemporary books I’m dying to read! And I’ve been getting even more curious since it won GoodReads Choice Awards 2012.


5. Speechless by Hannah Harrington


I love reading about a person change and I’ve heard  this book is amazing so it’s definitely on my list.

6. Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

I’ve read two of Lauren Oliver books and though they kinda disappointed me, I found the writing beautiful so I can’t wait to read this.

7. The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa


I haven’t read this book despite its popularity and I LOVE mythical creatures so I think I’ll give it a shot.


8. Exiled (Immortal Essence #1) by RaShelle Workman

The cover is gorgeous and the story sounds amazing. I haven’t read much of science-fiction books and this one is interesting.


9.  Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1) by Tera Lynn Childs

Tera Lynn Childs’s previous series – 0h.my.gods – is one of my favorites. And I love Greek mythology. I want to read this so bad.


10.Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)


Werewolves are common in paranormal books and I like them better than vampires. But I can’t believe I’ve missed this book for years!



What do you think of my list? 🙂 Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! (^3^)/

[Review] The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 256 (Hardcover)

Summary

When Liza’s brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.

She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.

To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and over-excitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers’ nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests–or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.


From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.

Review
Middle-Grades are not my cup of tea, but because this book has adventure element, I thought I would give it a shot.

The main character – Liza – is annoying and whiny but surprisingly smart. Obviously, she encountered a lot of magical creatures and landscapes as she explored Below. But it felt like the author’s attempts to make Liza courageous and brave just failed. Liza’s character felt not real.

And the plot. I almost didn’t feel anything, even when Liza was facing dangers. It’s absolutely predictable that she would defeat the monsters easily. There were no fright and creepiness created, thus I felt like reading an almost-lifeless paragraphs. I wish there had been more twists in the story. Also, I think there are too many unnecessary exclamation marks.

Despite all the negative things, the book is beautifully written. I found the descriptive writing style enjoyable and that was basically what drove me to read it until the very last page. Lauren Oliver is truly talented and I think I shouldn’t give up on her just because of two books which I found boring (Before I Fall and The Spindlers). I really love her writing!

And the ending, after Liza returned to her home, I finally felt something after 200 pages of emotionless. It nearly made me cry. Here’s the quote:

“These are seeds of hope. They may not look like much, but they grow everywhere, in even the hardest places, where nothing else grows” – page 239

Another good thing about this book is the cover! It’s absolutely gorgeous <3 And every beginning of a chapter there is an illustration about how the characters look like. It’s really helpful and I guess children will love them. (Well, this is a middle-grade book anyway.) Praise the illustrator!

To sum it up, the negative things overweigh the positives so this book is a no-no for me. If you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, then maybe this is the right book for you.

Rating:

2 Cakes


[Review] 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Pages: 340 (Hardcover)

Summary
Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.




Review
There are plenty of parts that I love in this book. Funny, awkward, touching and heartfelt moments that make me sympathize to Lexi. I know at the beginning she sounds like an ungrateful-spoiled-daughter who does nothing but drinking and partying and shopping. However, she gradually starts to learn a lot of important life lessons as she goes through weeks of doing low-wages jobs which her super busy father had
set.

I pretty much enjoyed the book, laughing at some funny scenes and tearing up a bit on heartfelt moments. But what I like the most is Lexi’s close relationship with her human best friends and canine best friend.

Holly is a Papillion dog she rescued some time ago and since then they have been growing closer and closer. The way Holly cares about Lexi is just cute and I can’t help but smile.

I myself like dogs and I also have a few at home. And Holly reminds me of them. Sometimes my dogs will wait for me in front of my bathroom door. Every time I get home (and every single member of my family), they will greet us enthusiastically and wag their tails so hard that it might hurt a bit when it slaps my leg. And I also believe dogs have a high sense of loyalty and understanding that even exceeds human occasionally. (I’m sure you all have heard about Hachiko, a Japanese dog that waited for his owner for more than 10 years)

In “52 Reasons to Hate Your Father”, we get to watch Lexi changes into a mature 18-year-old girl. The book may doesn’t focus on Lexi’s love life, but it centers around her relationship with her dad and ends with an unexpected realizations. That love is not a mere business negotiation. That she has the potential to be a greater person. And more importantly, her dad isn’t as badl as she always thought.

Here are a couple of quotes I love the most from the book:

“People can be so annoying sometimes. With all their stupid opinions and hidden agendas. But dogs? Dogs don’t have any agendas. They’re as honest and open and devoted as you can get. And that’s why they’ll always cheer you up. They’ll always love you. No matter how badly you screw up.”

“Because apart we might be different as night and day, black and white, right and wrong, but together we create two sides of a whole. Together we balance.”


Rating:

5 Chocolate Cakes!