17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

17&gone17 & Gone 
Author: Nova Ren Suma
Publication: March 21st, 2014 by Dutton Juvenile
Page count: 353 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Lauren is having visions of girls who have gone missing. And all these girls have just one thing in common—they are 17 and gone without a trace. As Lauren struggles to shake these waking nightmares, impossible questions demand urgent answers: Why are the girls speaking to Lauren? How can she help them? And… is she next? As Lauren searches for clues, everything begins to unravel, and when a brush with death lands her in the hospital, a shocking truth emerges, changing everything.

With complexity and richness, Nova Ren Suma serves up a beautiful, visual, fresh interpretation of what it means to be lost.

Continue reading 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

[Review] To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Publication: April 15th, 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page count: 355 (International Paperback)
Genre: YA – Contemporary
Goodreads


Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.

They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

  

Wow. I really REALLY LOVED this book! Believe me, it’s been a while since I last sacrificed my sleep to finish a book and NOT an anime series.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before has been on my TBR for a while. Other than its soft yet attention-grabbing cover, its premise which promises a sweet romance drew me in as I thought I needed something to refresh my mind. It came out as a surprise when I read it, as I found out that this book focused more on sibling relationship instead of fluffy romance I imagined it would be. Not that it was a bad thing, but from the synopsis I sort of expected that the letters would immediately get out and we got to know how the protagonist deals with that. As a result, I was quite impatient in the beginning, wondering why it took so slow to get there and if I had been fooled by the synopsis again.

So our protagonist, Lara Jean. (Honestly, I don’t like her name or names – why two? Why can’t we just call her Lara or Jean? But anyway, I guess her name isn’t so bad compared to the more ridiculous ones in other books LOL. Ignore me.) I really liked her voice! There’s something about the simplicity that made me want to get to know her better and push me to keep flipping the book even though it was past midnight. Her story was ordinary but the way it was told made it extraordinary. Extraordinarily engrossing and entertaining and touching and a lot of things at once I’m probably not making any sense right now.

The writing definitely played a part. To be utterly honest, I didn’t quite enjoy Jenny Han’s other series Burn for Burn, which led me to believe that her writing was dull… But To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before changed my mind because as I’ve mentioned before, I couldn’t stop reading at all. I was completely invested in the characters and the events that I couldn’t care less about sleeping. The writing was extremely readable and it made it easy to digest the story and finish the book. Not the mention the chapters were short as well. I think I like shorter chapters better.

It wasn’t long until I started shipping people together… I highly enjoyed the romance, even though it doesn’t seem to be the main focus in this book. They were so sweet with each other!! Totally a swoon-worthy romance!! But there’s another relationship that goes beyond that – the sisters. I liked how Lara Jean’s bond with Margot evolves throughout the book and how they eventually manage to overcome their issues. The spotlight on sister relationship definitely was a bit unexpected considering the synopsis doesn’t even mention it. It was undeniable a good kind of unexpected though.

However, I felt like the ending doesn’t tie everything up. It could have been more conclusive so personally, I want more. Imagine how happy I was when I discover that there will be a sequel!! Oh yeah!! <3 

I admit that this book isn’t totally perfect. I was quite conflicted about the rating — my indecisiveness made me go back and forth between 4 and 5…  However, there were things that I should take into account.  I laughed. I teared up. I cried. I smiled. It’s been a while since I last experienced a reading journey like this. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before made me feel a lot of emotions. Without a doubt, it came highly recommended from me, especially if you’re dying for a light yet feels-inducing contemporary. 

[Review] Pivot Point by Kasie West

Pivot Point
(Pivot Point #1)
Author: Kasie West
Publication: February 12th, 2013 by HarperTeen
Page count: 343 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Contemporary, Paranormal
Goodreads

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Review

Seriously, Pivot Point was almost flawless. It lived up to the hype and I’m so disappointed with myself why I read it SO LATE but then I’m also super glad that I gave it a chance anyway. To be honest, I have no idea how to write this review because I know that it will never do the book any justice, but let’s see my attempt, shall we?

“One little choice can make all the difference.”

Our main character Addie can see the future by living the outcomes of both choices and then she picks the better one. When her parents announce their divorce, Addie is left feeling conflicted about with whom she’s going to stay – with her mother in the “secret society” where she’s always lived, or move with her dad to the outside world – so she does a Search six weeks into the future. Hence, Pivot Point switches between two alternating outcomes. It may sound perplexing but trust me, it wasn’t at all. The only thing that left me slightly confused was the Compound part but anyway, it didn’t take my enjoyment much.

Addie is a fantastic character that I would really love to be friends with. I mean, she’s bookish and cool and I found her narration to be extremely enjoyable. The relationship between Addie and Laila is also worth noting. I liked that their affection toward each other really shows from their interaction despite their mistakes.

From the first time I read the synopsis, I was already drawn in by the fresh premise and fortunately, it was perfectly executed. I loved the way the things are related and seeing things play out differently in both outcomes. And to spice things up a bit, there is a romance in both outcomes. Though I admit, I favored one of them more than the other. It’s just way sweeter and more build-up and definitely something worth investing on and so asdfghjgfdgh;

Having finished Pivot Point and coming out completely loving it, I am SO determined to read the rest of Kasie West’s books. Pivot Point is a promising start of a duology and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on Split Second. Hopefully the paperback version will come out quickly so that I’ll have a matching set of the series. HA HA. Or we can just wait till I get too impatient and order the hardcover instead *shrugs* That’s it. I’ve lost my patience. I’m ordering this on my next online purchase.

My review might only be a tiny drop in a sea of 4 and 5 stars reviews, but if you have not started it yet, I will gladly push you to read it. Because people, this thing is jewel. Enough said.

 

[Review] Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

 

Siege and Storm
(The Grisha #2)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Fantasy

Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

I was very excited to read it – not only because of the reviews but I loooved the first book so much I was willing to buy this in hardcover. (Mind you, I rarely buy hardcovers.) Not a bad decision though, because that cover is sooo strokable and the book itself was as amazing as the cover! *HUGS SIEGE AND STORM*

I adored Leigh Bardugo’s writing in Shadow and Bone. However, reading Siege and Storm only solidified my love for her. I can’t do justice for her writing though – basically, it is absolutely remarkable and made me wanna slow down in order to savor her words. I didn’t want the book to end but at the same time I REALLY want to know the ending. Can anybody understand my dilemma?? >w<

The worldbuilding is as magnificent and as gorgeous as ever. Has anybody invented a plane or portal that can take us to fictional worlds yet? Cause I would really love to live here and be a Grisha. Things in Siege and Storm become even more complicated with a few shocking discoveries and OH MY GOD the introduction of  *cue drumrolls* a hot and swoon-worthy guy new interesting character!!

As for the main character, Alina undergoes some changes after, uhm, the event in Shadow and Bone. She gains darker sides, she doubts herself, she starts to fear what she might become and that only makes her perfectly flawed, more . . . human. Character development is definitely there. Some characters from the previous book return – such as Baghra, Genya and David – and it’s great to know how the events in Shadow and Bone affect not only the protagonist but also the side characters.

Speaking of the love interests, I didn’t really like Mal in this book. He becomes so insecure and I just realized how dull he is. Whenever he appears I would just start mentally screaming at him to go away already -_- I’m hoping he will be more likable in the last book. On the other hand, the Darkling could still charm me despite his lack of appearances. I swear this guy radiates a chilly aura even from the pages!!

Mal crossed his arms and considered the privateer. “I can’t decide if you’re crazy or stupid.”
“I have so many good qualities,” *insert the new character’s name* said. “It can be hard to choose.”

But for me, the man that steals the show is obviously our favorite privateer!! <3 Cause who on earth can hate an attractively fascinating guy that’s always able to lighten up the situation with his humors and sarcasms without being a complete jerk? None. NONE I TELL YA. This is my man, people.

The pacing is a bit slow compared to the first book. Nevertheless, I was fully captivated by everything in Siege and Stormthe characters (no, not Mal though), the impressive writing and fabulous worldbuilding. Siege and Storm was a solid sequel and I cannot wait for Ruin and Rising. There’s a benefit of reading this late cause that means the wait won’t be too painfully long *evil smirk* Hopefully we’ll get more of Alina’s badassery and TONS of the Darkling and of course, *insert the new guy’s name here* ^^ LEIGH BARDUGO IF YOU’RE READING THIS PLEASE DO NOT KILL HIM. I’M BEGGING YOU WITH ALL MY HEART. Uhm, I think the draft is obviously done but a girl can dream right?

By the way, Ruin and Rising cover was reveal on Valentine’s Day and OH MY GOD WHAT A PERFECTION IT IS:

THE FIREBIRD THE RED THE PRETTY CURSIVE FONT I CAN’T WAIT ANYMORE <33

[Review] Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince 
(The Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: May 1st, 2012
Pages: 496 (UK Paperback)
Genre: YA – Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, while her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will — the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers to who she is and what she was born to do? As their search for the truth leads the three friends into peril, Tessa’s heart is increasingly torn, especially when one of their own betrays them…

Review

I didn’t know where to begin when I first started writing this review… My thoughts were all over the place and I thought I temporarily lost my ability to form coherent paragraphs so I was about to write this review in bullet points instead. Luckily, I already recover from THAT ending and thank God I already have a copy of Clockwork Princess. *phew*

After my incident with Linked, I admit Clare’s ability to add the right amount of description at the right time without being too distracting and unnecessary is great. I mean, a well-written book doesn’t mean it has flowery descriptions and needless words or sentences. I think Clare knows when to elaborate and when not to.

As expected, this book is told from third person POV. The first book primarily focuses on Tessa with a few switches to other characters. In Clockwork Prince, however, the POV switches more — to Tessa, Will, Magnus, Sophie and Charlotte. While the switches seem random occasionally, they do give us more understanding of what happens to the other characters.

Although the pacing isn’t as slow as the first book, I still got bored a few times when I reached middle of the book. The pace does pick up later and I found the second half much more interesting and unputdownable. I stayed up till midnight to finish this book, mind you!!

And as usual, secrets are revealed one by one, bits by bits. The plot intensifies with betrayal(s), family issues, new discoveries, and we are introduced to a few new characters. The mystery isn’t unraveled in this book yet, but we are starting to see the direction it will go in the third book. There are new clues and shocking discoveries, but I’m sure Clare will piece them together in the third book with an epic (and possibly painful as I was told) conclusion.

Okay now let’s talk about the characters, shall we? Finally we get to know Will’s past, making him a more understandable character. It was so sad and oh my gosh when he finds out the truth it was even more painful. His relationship with Magnus develops and his brotherly affection toward Jem is still as sweet as ever. I know most ladies will easily fall for bad boys with tragic past and sarcastic humors (in this case Will). Wait, don’t get me wrong – I liked his character and Jem’s too!

Now speaking of Jem Jem Jem JEM JEEEEMMMM (oh I’m sorry for losing control xD) we always knew him as a patient and considerate and kind character despite his weaknesses. But in this installment, Clare adds another layer to his angelic personality, something un-Jem-like.

Oh my gosh and the romance. Tessa finds herself drawn to Jem even more and things start to go swoony and steamy and then there’s her relationship with Will whom she can’t avoid any longer and oh my gosh oh god asdfghjkl I can’t even. I’m rooting for Jem but I felt really REALLY sad for Will too… Holy crap, and when Will finds out the truth… it was so so SAD! 🙁

On a side note,  I found it hilarious and somewhat ironic that there’s a werewolf named Woolsey Scott. Yes, a werewolf named Woolsey Scott. (Wool=sheep; just ignore my unusual sense of humor xD)

Overall, Clockwork Prince was a fantastic sequel, it was slightly better than its predecessor. The only good thing about my tardiness of starting this series is I could dive into Clockwork Princess immediately!

Rating

4.5 Cakes!