The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Of Infinite moments and Burnt kettles

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Stephen Chbosky weaves a beautifully poignant story that keeps the reader (me) hooked on till the very last page, line, sentence, full stop. I was so engrossed that I completely forgot leaving the water to boil and by the time I realised this and ran to the kitchen, the kettle was officially black. Mom kind of had a fit (kind of being an understatement).

Having heard so much about this book left me wondering just what everyone found so compelling that they couldn’t sleep for days and I wanted to experience every emotion that they felt too. But as always fate intervened and somehow I only got to read the book 3 days ago. Why did I wait this long?!

This story is absolutely undoubtedly the most beautiful story I have ever read. The book is laced with messages and facts of life that anyone finishing school would find immensely helpful. Scratch that. People still living high school would find very helpful.

Charlie had this raw, innocent voice that you heard in your head every time you read his letters. And every scene played out perfectly. But the best thing is, everything fit in place. You know, how sometimes you feel like a scene was forced in order to get to the climax well, there was nothing of this sort in the book. In fact everything flowed smoothly.

Guess what, you immediately fall in love with Charlie. Not in the ‘OMG I have a crush on him!’ But more in the I want to hug him and tell him that he’s the best friend I’ve always wanted. And that he’s special. Much like Sam and Bill did.

“I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

The book had a voice that the reader could instantly recognize as their own. Every insecurity, happy and sad moment that Charlie went through seemed almost like a chapter from my own book. Those moments of ‘infinite’ that he described were all the things I could relate to. When you seem to forget about the world around you and the problems in your life because for that moment everything seems okay. Everything is infinite.

“Enjoy it. Because it’s happening.”

I won’t really dwell on what exactly the story is about because at this moment everyone more or less knows it, probably from the movie or word of mouth. But it is definitely coming-of-age.

This book was like a good cup of tea. When you take the first sip and realise that everything is just about right and you sigh knowing that it had to be the best cup of tea you had in a really long time. And the taste just sort of stays with you. Yeah, that’s what this book was for me.

I wish I knew Charlie in high school.

This is by far my favorite quote:

“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and then make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.”

5 Reviews: The Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer (Mini reviews)

Elemental (Elemental #0.5)

Elemental (Elemental, #0.5)

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they are more than you dream.
As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy. Dangerous. And completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.

They want him dead.

My Review:

I thought it best to start from the very beginning. And even though this novella came after the first book, i still found myself starting from this.

Elemental gives us a background idea of what the book is going to be about. Hell, what the series is going to be about. Michael is the older brother of the Merrick clan and we come to understand the hardships he faces because of his powers. The book ends by just giving us an idea of what more can possibly come. And sort of come to accept Michael’s character.

I wanted to read more about him. Honestly, i was quite smitten.

Book #5 is Michael’s book!

Storm (Elemental #1)

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. 

Storm (Elemental, #1)
Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

My Review:

LOVED it! I really do think that the Elemental series is a great fun read. Just to relax and lounge around. It gets your mind of life and diverted onto the Merrick brothers. Chris was no exception.

The story switched between Becca and Chris, giving us differing points of view and sometimes i really did feel like smacking Becca on the head for some stupid decisions she was making coughHuntercough. But the way Chris was overprotective of Becca and his dialogue was just amazing. *sigh*

Fearless (Elemental #1.5)

Fearless (Elemental, #1.5)

Being a force of nature doesn’ t keep you safe.Hunter Garrity is used to watching his back. The kids at school sense something different about him. And they re right.

Hunter has powers that have nothing to do with how hard he can throw a punch.

Maybe that s what Clare Kasten is picking up. She s shy, quiet, and intense, but she s sought him out. There s no telling what she wants from him.

But Hunter knows enough to sense a secret when it s close. And getting close to Clare is a danger he s ready to face.

My Review:

I don’t like Hunter. There, I said it. I didn’t like him from the very first appearance that he made in Storm. Something was off about him from the very beginning. Not to mention he was interfering with Becca and Chris. Seriously, that was when i started to really dislike him.

So, i must admit, as i read this book…i was a bit biased. Sorry. And quickly finished through this novella. BUT i do want to know just why he does what he does. I mean, we sort of know but still. A little more insight would be nice. Plus, wherever he is so are the Merrick boys. So, why wouldn’t i want to read more about them?

Spirit (Elemental #3) is Hunter’s book! Who knows, maybe i start liking him?

Spark (Elemental #2)

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Gabriel has always had his 

Spark (Elemental, #2)

brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own…

My Review:

Woah! Gabriel was just as hot as his element. And his love interest was just perfect for him. He was fiery and just a pleasure to read. I had so much fun with this book and Kemmerer did an amazing job with it.

I found myself reading it into the wee hours of the night and couldn’t bring myself to sleep until i was completely finished with it.

Gabriel really cares about his family, so don’t let his hard exterior fool you. Hunter, however on the other hand, i still didn’t understand his motives in this one. He just seemed too pushy for some reason.

Breathless (Elemental #2.5)

Breathless (Elemental, #2.5)

Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

My Review:

Honestly, that was quite a shocker!

Having finished Spark, i wanted to immediately read Breathless and when i found it on Netgalley i immediately requested it. What i didn’t imagine was that Nick would turn out to be gay. I was actually hoping for some insight into the difficult relationship he might be having with Quinn. Hahaha i just didn’t see that one coming. Kemmerer really gave us quite a surprise or maybe just me because i clearly didn’t read the signs. Were there any signs? But, whatever rocks your boat Nick. :) Now what i want to see is what happens when his brothers find out.

Siege (Elemental #4) is officially Nick’s book!

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; young adult
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating X infinity

Synopsis (goodreads):

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Review:

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

Okay.

I got to The Fault in Our Stars after a long time. Mainly because it was sold out for the longest time and then once i bought it, i got side tracked with everything else. Before even starting this book i had heard the most amazing things about it and read loads of rave reviews which sort of made up my mind to not read it, because i was afraid it would not live up to the standards set. But then i read it. Half of it. I couldn’t find myself to continue because i had already guessed the ending and well i was so emotionally attached to the characters that i just didn’t want my suspicions to be proven right. 2 weeks later when i prepared myself to finish it…it was over in a day. Because i could not put the book down.

Readers beware. Those of you who haven’t read the book have no idea what you’re missing. BUT when you do get down to reading it keep a box of tissues with you. The water works just don’t stop. My mother found me crying when i was reading and she asked me what was wrong. I told her and she just rolled her eyes and left the room. I plan to make sure she too reads the book. I just couldn’t stop crying. Everything brought me to tears and no book has been able to that to me. EVER.

“That’s the thing about pain…it demands to be felt.”

Green couldn’t have summed it up better even if he tried. “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Hazel and Augustus had this chemistry that i can’t quite seem to describe. Green did an amazing job portraying it! It was so real. Both characters just  fit together perfectly, that you were rooting for them from the very beginning. It came so easily to them, almost like breathing. And while the ending was sad and tragic. It was just the right amount of breathtaking and heartbreaking all wrapped in a box, tied up with a string. ‘The one legged virgin’ totally stole my heart.

I wish i could meet John Green and tell him what a masterpiece he has written. Just amazing!

Review: A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Title: A Song for Julia

A Song for Julia

Publisher:  Cincinnatus Press
Source: ebook – tour
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; new adult

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father’s career and dominating her family’s life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she’s haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy. 

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

My Review:

My second ‘new adult’ book and i have to say my run with this genre is going good!

There are certain books that you read and when they finish you can’t stop thinking about them for a good few weeks. Well, this is one of them. Emotional gripping, heart warming and just outright amazing!

I love how all new adult books have an underlying issue that make the premise for the book and the show true character development. Charles Sheehan-Miles really did an awesome job with this book. I literally couldn’t stop reading this book even though i had an insane amount of tests to give the next day. I was very much reading well into the night. His writing was so poetic and engrossing. It had this raw emotional feel to it that just gripped at your heart strings, tugged and screamed, “I will never let you go!”

Characters ranged from all aspects and they were such a joy to read. And all of them developed and grew which is very hard to find in most books. The love story was beautiful. So simple but not cliched at all. I mean you didn’t feel like, “Okay, i’ve read this before somewhere.”

And then it got me thinking – how do these things happen in the first place?

A MUST READ!

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis
Publisher:  Razorbill
Source: paperback – bought
Genre(s): romance; young adult; science fiction; dystopian

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

 

My Review:

Before the book was going to come out, the first thing, i must confess, that caught my eye was the cover. And then the synopsis. Although, i didn’t get to the book till much later into the year.

Having read nothing but rave reviews of the book by other bloggers i went against my apprehension about it being a sci-fi book even though i very much knew that it was not my cup of tea when it came to reading. The fact that it was a dystopian may have also played a part. So, i went and bought the book.

Across the Universe is told from the point of view of both Amy and Elder. I like the dual aspect. Nothing wrong in that. The story opens with Amy being frozen along with her parents, only to be woken well into the future. After that i started to lose focus.

While the book was very well written from what i can tell, i lost all interest in it. Perhaps i got confused. Scratch that, i was very much confused which led me to be frustrated. We get to feel what Amy goes through the first few chapters while she’s frozen and i have to sya i felt pretty claustrophobic while reading that. Suffocated almost and that is something that i really liked. I mean, Revis made me feel what Amy was possibly feeling and i just think much praise should be given to authors who can evoke feelings in the readers like that. Elder on the other hand i was sort of short-tempered-ish with. Somehow i didn’t like him very much. While Amy was someone i could relate to, for instance i would probably react the same way she did all throughout the book, Elder was just someone’s whose chapters i literally flicked through. And i hate doing that when i read a book.

I also think there was too much detail. But perhaps that’s what makes a sci-fi book. Somehow i just felt overwhelmed because it was just going over my head and i couldn’t make sense of it.

Review: Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

Title: RiptideRiptide

Author: Lindsey Scheibe
 
Publisher: Flux
 
Source: Netgalley
 
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; young adult; sports
 

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough.

For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations.

When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered?

My Review:

Surf to your heart’s content. Chase your dreams.

Grace Parker needs to prove to herself, her family and the coach at UC San Diego that she’s good enough. 

Lindsey Scheibe weaves a tale about Grace’s hardships in terms of her family and how she comes to understand her feelings for her best friend Ford, who has wanted no one but her ever since he met her.

Every chapter starts off with a quote or a meaning of a surf term, which helped me a lot. Because, truth be told you sort of get confused with all the surfing if you have no idea before hand. Also it’s told from the point of view of both Ford and Grace.

This debut novel focuses on family ideals and coming out strong in terms of believing in yourself and your dreams. Bonus: it focused on domestic violence and I think that gave a real edge to the story.

I had fun reading the book! Summer read? YUP! Literally. But, you could read it any other time.

Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

What Happened To GoodbyeTitle: What Happened to Goodbye

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: Paperback – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents’ bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean’s become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends—in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean’s ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?

My Review:

Whenever Sarah Dessen releases a new book my heart sores and i make it a goal in my life to get my hands on it and devour it.

‘Read her once and fall in love.’

How honest is that line up there? It’s true to every word and letter. I know for a fact that of the six books that I’ve read by Sarah Dessen, I am yet to be disappointed. She just weaves the story is such an intricate pattern that it looks flawless, beautiful and the presence of a loose thread doesn’t exist. The story stays sewn together, without the fear of coming undone.

What Happened to Goodbye is about McLean. Her parents just went through a messy divorce. Her only escape, recreating herself, which is fairly easy considering how often she and her father move from place to place due to his job. But, this time, she finds it hard to hide herself, all the while searching for whom the ‘old McLean’ was and how she got to where she is.

Sarah Dessen adds just the right amount of elements in her books, almost like the perfect cake. Add family, friendship, love, path to forgiveness and finding oneself, and put in the oven to bake. Then spread the romance and sprinkle letting-go, and you have a perfect, delicious cake that melts in your mouth with every bite.

If you haven’t already read this book, then I strongly suggest going to buy yourself one, NOW! Seriously, how could you resist? And I’m just going to sit here patiently awaiting the news of Sarah Dessen’s new novel. *fingers crossed* There has to be another novel in the horizon…THERE JUST HAS TO BE!

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)Title:  The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; fantasy; science fiction; dystopian
Source: Paperback – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Review:

I finally get to say that I have read and loved this book!

I broke my own rule. Never watch a movie if you haven’t read the book. But somehow i just found myself sitting in the cinema watching The Hunger Games and loving every second of it. Then obviously when i went to buy the books, the bookstores were out of stock because the hype was in the air.

I don’t know why i waited this long to read it. Really have no idea and no excuse. But now that i have read it, i can say that the book has grabbed me, shook me and left me speechless. I’m going to be thinking about it for sometime now before i either start Catching Fire which is very much in my midst or any other book for that matter.

Katniss Everdeen is that strong character that everyone secretly wants to be. I’m not talking about being thrown into a ‘game’ where there can only be one victor and to survive one has to kill. I’m talking about the hunting rabbits, eating squirrels, bow and arrow girl. The Girl on Fire. Someone who very well who leaves a lasting impression on someone. Who willingly volunteers to take part in the games so that her younger sister doesn’t have to go through with it.

While i was reading the book, the movie was playing in my head alongside. And as much as i would have loved the element of surprise to be there in my case, i just had to live with. But that didn’t make the book any less remarkable than it was.

Peeta Mellark. In my opinion we didn’t see much of his character. Other than the fact that he love Katniss – cares deeply for her – is of a kind-heart and quite self-sacrificing. But there were times when i had to think, are you good at anything? And then i’d laugh because Peeta portrayed a bit of all of us. I guess, i would be just as useless. :P

I can proudly say that after reading some amazing dystopian novels that i have fallen in love with the genre.
Suzanne Collins weaved this incredible tale of love for one’s family, sacrifice, powerlessness, friendship and betrayal. I am still amazed at how this fantastic story was born.

 

Review: Fall For You by Cecilia Gray

Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #1: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice)

Title: Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #1)

Author: Cecilia Gray

Publisher: The Alpha Division, LLC
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction; re-telling
Source: e-Book – tour purpose

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Jane Austen meets Pretty Little Liars in this fresh, new young-adult series!

* * *

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. Please. They need to stay focused on something that lasts much longer: an acceptance letter from an Ivy.

But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy–and the lives of its students–totally upside down…
* * *

To say Lizzie and Dante are polar opposites is the understatement of the century. He’s a snooty Exeter transfer with more money than Google. She’s a driven study-a-holic barely keeping up with tuition. It’s obvious that Dante thinks he’s way too good for Lizzie. And Lizzie knows Dante is a snob with a gift for pushing her buttons.

But things are changing fast this year at the Academy. And when Lizzie’s quest to stop those changes blows up in her face, taking her oldest friendship with it, she has nowhere else to turn but to Dante, with his killer blue eyes, his crazy-sexy smile, and his secrets… Secrets Lizzie can’t seem to leave alone, no matter how hard she tries…

My Review:

Very short read and just the right amount of pleasure. I had fun reading this light re-telling of Pride and Prejudice.

The story follows the Jane Austen Academy and its many students. Since this is a series, its going to explore different characters. In the first book (this one) we read about Lizzie. Just like in the novel, and many other adaptations, she is strong-headed, true to the heart and firmly believes in the right. While, in the book Lizzie has sisters, i have a feeling we will see the characters of her sisters in the form of her friends. For instance, Anne who has a secondary role in the book resembles Jane, due to many characteristics.

Now, Lizzie and Anne team up to rid the school of its tyrant Headmistress who plans on changing the school for good and rid it of its past qualities that make it the Jane Austen Academy. We just saw a part of the action in this book, the rest comes with the other books that follow quickly after.

This book was short and sweet. I think it really re-told the story well. Nothing, out of the ordinary, but an interesting and entertaining read. Do get your hands on this book, for those staying-at-home-reading days. And i might have enjoyed the book a bit more because i’ve been in the Pride and Prejudice mode since summers started.

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Title: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; dystopian
Source: Paperback – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

My Review:

I’ve read rave reviews about this book. And for some time now i’ve wanted to see for myself what made this book such a phenomenon. So, i went and bought said book. Also because i DID want to read it. I too, have fallen prey to the ‘chronic dystopian addiction disorder’.

When i say, ‘ i could not put this book down’, i do mean it. Divergent lived up to everything i imagined it to be and had heard about. You know how you go read a book because it was recommended to you and you’re a bit afraid because you don’t want to be let down. In all honesty, i did feel like that…a teensy bit. But so far, this year has given me fantastic books to read and Divergent gladly comes on my top 10 books that i have read and LOVED.

Tris was bad-ass. You HAD to like her. You couldn’t not like her. It was interesting reading from her point of you. Her fears, while manipulated to the situation she was in, felt relate able…as relate able as having knives thrown at is :P
But nonetheless i had fun reading about what she was going through and how she stood strong even when i know if something like this was happening to me…i would probably have cried.

Four. I have to say that when Tris started having feelings for Four and we didn’t know who he was…i didn’t like him. I had nothing against his character just that maybe i was a bit confused about his age and found Tris and Four together…something i didn’t want to see. In my mind, when Marcus’s son was first mentioned, i wanted Tris to end up with him. And behold…Veronica Roth was thinking the same thing. Then Four transformed into Tobias (not literally) and i fell in love with him. A bit hypocritical? No. I liked and disliked the same guy. :P

Once Divergent finished…it left this empty feeling in me and i wanted to jump right into Insurgent. GRAB DIVERGENT IF YOU STILL HAVEN’T! IT’s SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
Also after the book finished i wanted to know which Faction i belonged to. So, i took the test and…i belong to AMITY!

Review: Heaven by Christoph Marzi

HeavenTitle: Heaven

Author: Christoph Marzi
Publisher: Orchard Books
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; fantasy
Source: Paperback – finished copy (for review)

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood…

David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London’s brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she’s still alive…

And so begins David and Heaven’s wild, exciting and mysterious adventure—to find Heaven’s heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins. 

Part thriller, part love story and part fairy tale, this brilliantly original novel from a bestselling German author will take your breath away…

 

My Review:

*sigh*
Heaven was like a breath of fresh air. There was something simply breathtaking about it. It was like finding water in a desert and not being able to get enough of it.

Heaven has her heart cut out of her body in the dark night, rendering her dead, or so she should be. But when she gets up and runs it leaves her attackers puzzled and perplexed. She bumps into David, who has no idea what he’s getting into. But neither does Heaven.

Originally written in German this book was…phenomenal. The lush details and description left me gasping for air. Everything unfolded in front of my eyes and i felt myself right there with the characters. The narrative voice just spoke out. I have always loved a good narrative that manages to pull me into the story. And i have to say that throughout the novel i was very much in the story.

There really is that raw feel to the story but at the same time it speaks volumes and manages to get the idea out. I’ve never been to England but i actually felt like i was there. The places just took form before me and i saw myself there. What’s more is that this book really didn’t let you put it down. I had completely lost all power to take a break from the book.

The book was fast paced because of the situations that the characters found themselves in. I would actually love to see this book become a movie!

I kid not when i say that you’ve read nothing quite like this!

Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding OnTitle: Keep Holding On

Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: ARC

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

A romantic and empowering book about bullying

Noelle’s life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn’t know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle’s kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she’s terrified. Surely it’s safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it’s time to stand up for herself–and for the love that keeps her holding on.

 

My Review:

I think its safe to say that i’ve had quite the lucky streak when it comes to reading good books. So far, a book has yet to disappoint me.

I’d obviously read rave reviews about Colasanti’s Keep Holding On and not being a stranger to her books i knew this was a sure good one. I don’t know how to explain it, but its this feeling that you get and you instantly know that you will love this book.

This is the first time i’ve read a book about bullying and i feel that everyone out there should get their hands on this book. Why? Personally, it gave me an insight into the world of the one being bullied and what they go through daily. Thankfully, i haven’t been bullied in the way Noelle was but i did scraped. But i guess i had the strength to speak out against it. Many people do have the strength to fight it, they just don’t know that they do.

I cried. I literally cried while reading this book. It was everything i felt, even today. It was almost like Susane looked into my heart and wrote down everything that she saw. I cried for those who go through this everyday. I cried for those who feel alone and scared. I cried for those who felt that dying was the best option. I won’t deny i haven’t thought about it myself, but this book has this feel-good thing about it. It gives you strength and gives you hope. The power to change is in your hands.

The book was short, and i wished for it to continue on. I read it within hours because i literally could not put it down. It helped me the see the light, that while bullying does not happen here to the extent it happens in the US, things are pretty bad. And i want to help change it.

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)Title: Anna Dressed in Blood

Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; paranormal fiction
Source: ARC

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

My Review:

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story. And when you throw in a smart-ass male protagonist and his feelings for a certain ghost girl, yeah well you have that perfectly-hooked-onto-till-the-very-end-story.

I absolutely loved the story from Cas’s POV because it helped me realise that i just enjoyed reading a story from a guy’s POV. Initially, i have to be honest, i thought there might be something going on between Carmel and Cas but that quickly left my head when i saw the chemistry between Cas and Anna.
The story line really reminded me of the TV show Supernatural which made me love the book even more, if that was even possible.

This book was gruesome, creepy, violent and romantic all rolled in one. I’ve always wanted to read a horror story but i always found that the scare you get from the story rolling off of someone’s tongue never quite matches when you read. But, when i read Anna Dressed in Blood…WOW! I was hooked from the start. There were parts in the novel that were certified freaky and they gave me quite a scare. Not the kind where i refused to leave my room deep into the night. It just gave me the chills when i actually saw the whole story play before my eyes.

The way Kendare Blake weaved the whole story was fantastic. There are times when i’m reading that i know the whole story before it even finishes. Yeah, she had me sitting at the edge of my seat just wondering what the hell was going to happen next. The description was breathtaking, to say the least. It was like a well- played out movie just unfolding before my eyes.

After having finished the book, just literally, i know now what many other reviewers were gushing about. This book really does not disappoint. I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel!

Review: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Graffiti MoonTitle: Graffiti Moon

Author: Cath Crowley
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: ARC

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Senior year is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight, she’s going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. He’s out there somewhere—spraying color, spraying birds and blue sky on the night—and Lucy knows a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for. Really fall for. Instead, Lucy’s stuck at a party with Ed, the guy she’s managed to avoid since the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells her he knows where to find Shadow, they’re suddenly on an all-night search around the city. And what Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

My Review:

Fans of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist will rejoice!

This book had the perfect amount of adventure, hope, art and romance. In my opinion the book just about spoke to me. Everyone hopes to find that really cool way of finding that ‘one’ person who’ll stay with them forever.

Lucy fantisizes about Shadow, the notorious graffiti artist whose paintings speak to her very soul. And at the end of her year 12 she hopes to find him. So, she and her friends set out in the night to find Shadow and his friend Poet who scribbles words from the heart. But, just like always, you need to stop looking to actually find. :)

I fell in love with the way Cath Crowley described each character’s emotion. The book was divided into 3 POVs, Shadow, Poet and Lucy. We find out very early in the book who Shadow and Poet are, no mystery there, but the whole journey till the very end makes a great read. It screams adventure and taking risks (just going with the flow).

The way both Shadow (Ed) and Lucy talk about art, it makes me fall in love with it too. I see the pictures drawn on the walls by Shadow, the glass blown by Lucy. The poems were interesting. Each character finds exactly what they’ve been looking for by the end of the night. I guess, it could be a coming of age story as well.

I fell in love with the chemistry between Ed and Lucy. Truly amazing!

Do get your copy of Graffiti Moon. Its that perfect summer read!

Review: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Title: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
Publisher: Ember
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: Bought – paperback

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Timesbestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

My Review:

I couldn’t stop reading this book, literally. Finished in a day!

Excuse me while i take it all in. Okay. Let’s begin.
This book has been on my wish-list since the day i heard about it and when i was scouring the book store yesterday, without it even being in my head i saw it. Grabbed it. Didn’t let go. It was mine and mine alone.

While some might not like this book because it screams love story, my only advice to them: don’t bother turning the pages if you’re only going to criticise it. It’s stories like these that make me feel all tingly inside. This collaboration is a work of art. Of genius!

This book is simply for those who admire the cute and nerdy within us. Lily was cute and fluffy, while Dash was always in sarcastic mode. And reading the story from both their point of views made it an interesting and entertaining read.
The concept of finding that one perfect person (perfect for you) through an act of chance makes this story the best thing i’ve read in a while. This is the story that i was waiting to read and when i finally got my hands on the copy (not fairing so well in The Hunger Games department) i was more that happy. I knew it was going to be a surefire fantastic read!

Read it! You don’t want to miss it, you hopeless romantics, you!

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: McElderry
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; fantasy
Source: Bought – paperback

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

The first in a trilogy, this gritty, fast-paced fantasy is rife with the unexpected. Cassel comes from a shady, magical family of con artists and grifters. He doesn’t fit in at home or at school, so he’s used to feeling like an outsider. He’s also used to feeling guilty–he killed his best friend, Lila, years ago.

But when Cassel begins to have strange dreams about a white cat, and people around him are losing their memories, he starts to wonder what really happened to Lila. In his search for answers, he discovers a wicked plot for power that seems certain to succeed. But Cassel has other ideas– and a plan to con the conmen.

My Review:

Honestly, addictive. Holly Black certainly conned me through the book.

I was reading in my bed. I was reading in my car. I was reading instead of studying. That is the effect of the world Holly Black has created.
I had heard so much about this book and when i found it (by chance) i knew i could never let it go. I had made up my mind that i wasn’t going to leave the bookstore without White Cat.

Cassel (who i took an instant liking to) is the youngest member of a family full of workers. For years he has been led to believe that he was the black sheep of the family (the only non-worker) but when he sees through the cracks in the foundation of the facade that his family lives, he realises that most of his life was a lie.
He is the misunderstood, wanting his chance in the spotlight guy. Who has for his whole life lived in the shadow of his brothers. Pampered by a doting mother in jail and lied to by everyone else.

This book i thoroughly enjoyed. Black has this incredible way of keeping the reader engrossed to the point where the book is traveling everywhere with you till the last page is turned. You need to read it to know what you’re missing. It was a fresh change from a female perspective. Instead here we had a male protagonist that literally hooked me to the book.

I suggest you grab your own copy and delve into Black’s world. Can’t wait to get my hands on Red Glove.

 

Review: First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

First Comes Love

Title: First Comes Love
Author: Katie Kacvinsky
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; contemporary fiction
Source: ARC sent by publisher
Expected publication: May 8th 2012

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what’s next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract. What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other. But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you’re sorry.

My Review:

What got me interested? The cover. Some say that as readers we should not let a simple bias such as judging a book by its cover govern our action to read the book. I usually do believe in this, but when it came to First Comes Love, i may be a bit hypocritical. What attracted me to the book was the intoxicating cover that just wowed me instantly. So much so, that i put aside ever other book that i was reading and delved into this one. And i have to say, i wasn’t disappointed. The story within the cover is just as breath-taking.

The story follows the lives of Dylan and Gray, from both their point of views. Dylan is the eccentric girl who simply lives in the moment, facing life a day at a time. Gray is lost in a family tragedy that forces him to stay put and not move forward. When both of them meet, it’s not love at first sight. It’s love after multiple sights. They grow around each other, helping one another face reality that they can’t seem to run away from.

Kacvinsky has this way with words. It’s poetry penned down as prose. She spins this marvelous story of two lost souls, each lost in their own way, who in the end find love in one another. It’s not just a love story but a story of finding yourself. Finding friendship and life at the same time. She incorporates description very well, enough to leave you speechless.

First Comes Love, is a heartfelt, tender and uplifting.  Dylan says quite a few things in the novel that will strike the reader as odd at first, but make complete sense at the end of the novel. The events were fast-paced and fun, the ending was perfect, and the characters will draw the reader into the novel.The characters are so vibrant and realistic. The only complain i have is that the book was far too short (only 198 pages). But when i think of how the story played out, i think it ended perfectly. This book is recommended to young adult readers.

Review: Gone (Dream Catcher #3) by Lisa McMann

Gone  (Dream Catcher, #3)

Title: Gone (Dream Catcher #3)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; paranormal
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she’d made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her.

She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He’s amazing. And she’s a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear. And it’s going to kill them both.

Then a stranger enters her life — and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she’d ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out. . . 

My Review:

The Dream Catcher trilogy has been an amazing series. I loved it! When McMann writes, she incorporates all these vivid images and emotions that are just so raw and real, if not a little too raw.

I bought Gone the same time i bought Fade, but i didn’t start reading it immediately after i finished Fade because the premise of the books were depressing and i wanted to create a gap between that. So i read two other books and then jumped into the water again.

Gone, the title is symbolic to many things. The fact that Janie loses the father she never knew, but at the same time knew better than anyone. Gone is the choice that Janie thought she had. Gone is that happy ending she was looking for, there isn’t one in her book and Gone is (eventually) the things she knew she was going to lose.

The scary/creepy part about Gone was the dreams that haunt Janie. They were vivid and the way McMann wrote the whole dream sequence it really scared me. It was almost like i was having the dream. And unlike the last two books, the problems were internal rather than external. It was Janie’s decision, one that she would have to live with for the rest of her life. The fight was very much internal.

Overall, this is a great series and i recommend it as a whole!

Review: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten Rule

Title: The Unwritten Rule
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; teens; friendship
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

He’s looking at me like—well, like he wants to look at me.Like he likes what he sees, and he’s smiling and his eyes are so blue, even in the faint flow of the porch light they shine, and I nod dumbly, blindly, and then grope for the door handle, telling myself to look away and yet not able to do it.

“Sara,” he says, softly, almost hesitantly, and my heart slam-bangs, beating hard, and this is what it’s like to want someone you can’t have. To want someone you shouldn’t even be looking at.
Sarah and Brianna have always been friends, and it’s always gone like this: guys talk to Sarah in order to get closer to Brianna. So even though Sarah met Ryan first, she’s not surprised that he ends up with Brianna (even though Sarah has a massive crush on him).

The three of them hang out, and Sarah and Ryan’s friendship grows until one night an innocent exchange between them leads to a moment that makes Sarah realize that Ryan might be interested in her after all. But if there’s one unwritten rule, it’s this: you don’t mess around with a friend’s boyfriend.

So Sarah tries to resist temptation. But with the three of them thrown together more and more, tension builds between Sarah and Ryan, and when they find themselves alone together at one point, they realize they just can’t fight how they feel anymore….

 

My Review:

I. Am. Torn. There is no doubt in my mind that i loved this book, because i did. I do. Want to know what i was torn about? Sarah and Brianna. I didn’t know who to like. It goes without to say that you end up falling in love with the lead character either way but in this book i actually sat there and considered the options. So, i did think.

Sarah is torn. Torn between loving the guy who is off limits and torn being the best friend. At the end of the book there is a quote that fits so well:

All the things I’ve thought about love are true. It’s beautiful and terrible and it doesn’t make things perfect. It ends things, and it brings beginnings.

This is mine.

That is literally how the book ends. Anyway, when the book started i loved Sarah’s character but like every girl, i too knew the rule. You do not date your friend’s boyfriends. And Sarah couldn’t help but be in love with him. Minus points there, or lack thereof. But then Brianna unfolded. You saw everything about her and you didn’t hate Sarah anymore.

This book was pure beauty. I loved it! Ryan has got to be the most amazing guy out there, even if some of the choices he made in the book weren’t all that great.

Don’t let yourself be driven away from the book just because its about a friend who falls for her friend’s boyfriend. There is more to it.

 

Review: Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

Take Me There

Title: Take Me There
Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Genre(s): young-adult; romance; teens; friendship
Source: paperback – bought

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

In one short week . . . three lives change.

Rhiannon is devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend and wants him back. Nicole’s ex is still in the picture, but she can’t help having a new crush. James and Rhiannon are just friends, though he may try to take it to the next level. Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?

Set during one life-altering week and told in three realistic perspectives, this engaging, witty novel by the author of When It Happens shows the ups and downs of love, friendship, and karma.

 

My Review:

My first Susane Colasanti novel. Liked it so much that i read the very next novel in line right after.

After years and years of having her books on my wishlist – they are still there – i got my chance to read her novel. I hate the wait when it comes to books but when i tackle the book after the wait, i am actually happy that i waited. Even if the wait was not in my hands.

While reading Take Me There, i put it under middle grade because it was that simple and seemed for that age group. But as i continued reading i saw elements that would clearly be defined as young adult.

I loved the way Colasanti changed from one point of view to another to another, just to show the events of the day from all three characters eyes. It made the book an interesting read and gave me an understanding of what all three characters were going through. Also the way the three friends were so different in their personalities, but still the same.
I have to admit it did frustrate me a bit but i didn’t stop reading because i was enjoying it at the same time.

Have you ever noticed that an authors first book is never as good as their recent? Colasanti has matured as a writer from book to book and that is clearly visible as you climb her book ladder.
Entertaining read.