Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Selection

The Selection
by Kiera Cass

Summary (from GoodReads):

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


I just knew this book would be on my favourite list! I just think this book is stellar! I love the cover. It is so eye catching. I just knew I have got to have this book. I was so excited when it was released. From the cover I knew that it would be something revolving around prince and princesses.  I am such a sucker for these kinds of stories.

The book has such a simple plot. It seems like a game show where you display 35 girls in a line and you get to fall in love and pick one. Ofcourse from there the author needs to get creative on how she will twist the story. Generally I felt like this book was published to get the feel of the setting, the caste system, the royal family, the kingdom, and what troubles the kingdom faces.

I did love America's character. She is a simple girl that clamours for romance and true love with a good sense of responsibility. She is a breeze to get to know. 

Although, I did notice a few things about this book. While I was reading it, I really thought that it looked to me that it is somewhat similar to The Hunger Games. there are some sort of similarities you will not miss if you've read the book. Such as the use of media. Although the media here does not take a big role in the book unlike in the Hunger Games, you will still get the feel that it was somehow influenced (just a little bit). There is also an issue on the caste system where it is represented by a number (1 being the highest and 8 being the lowest). They are allowed to have specific jobs depending on the number.

I also found the love triangle kind off a bore. Aspen's character is a little weird. One minute he is the perfect BF, the other he is like a prideful male. How confusing can you get? While on the other hand, Prince Maxon is such a dream boat. Too much of a gentleman. too much of a prince. It almost feel like he does not have a character at all. He is just too good to be true.

Overall, I cannot wait for the next book! I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars! I definitely have high hopes for this series. As I said, I feel like this book is more of an overview where direction the author wants to go.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vampire Empire Book One: The GreyFriar

Vampire Empire
Book One: The GreyFriar
By Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

Summary (from GoodReads):

Vampire predators run wild in this exciting steampunk adventure, the first in an alternate history trilogy that is already attracting attention. In 1870, monsters rise up and conquer the northern lands, As great cities are swallowed up by carnage and disease, landowners and other elite flee south to escape their blood-thirsty wrath. 

One hundred fifty years later, the great divide still exists; fangs on one side of the border, worried defenders on the other. This fragile equilibrium is threatened, then crumbles after a single young princess becomes almost hopelessly lost in the hostile territory. At first, she has only one defender—a mysterious Greyfriar who roams freely in dangerous vampire regions.


I have been itching to write a review for this book while reading it.

There are quite a few things that I must comment. At first, it was hard for me to follow the flow of the story. I am not acquainted with aristocracy details such as positions within the government. I also had a hard time with the detailed descriptions of the whole setting especially about the airships. For me, it was a little information overload. But everything was necessary to build up the setting and the story which blossomed something beautiful.

Descriptions of the settings as well as the action are quite cinematic. I have no doubt that it would make an awesome movie to see it come to life.

I love the intricate details in the story (even if I had a hard time understanding them). I think the flow of the story is nicely done - very consistent as well as unpredictable.  For the plot, I think, is finely laid out. You can feel that the plot of the story slowly untangles itself as you read it.

It is hard for me to describe the characters in the book without spoiling some of the story but I will try and will keep it brief. For the characters, in general, they were constructed to evolve through the events happening within the book.  

--- Spoiler alert ---

I stumbled upon this book because I was looking for steampunk romance novels, which, surprised me, why this book is in the steampunk genre. Well, yes it used steamed airships, in the Victorian era and wielded advance technology but the technology is not very advanced like nanobots and that stuff like The Iron Duke series. True, I have not yet explored in depth steampunk novel and I am dying to do so. I would not say I am an expert to not categorize it in steampunk genre.

I would also say that it is not the typical YA novel. Unlike what I am used to, thank God, at least the main character (Adele) is not compelled to love Grayfriar because of a gut feeling. The love between them was developed through spending time with each other as well as saving each other’s lives which I will point out is flat-out romantic. It is not cheesy giddy romantic but enough to make you coo. The authors also gave an idea that Adele might consider caring for her Intended. It is good to keep the main character’s options open.  

The juxtapose characters of Gareth and Greyfriar is genius. It is like Prince turned to Robin Hood and vice versa. The idea is simple but it made the hero a whole more dramatic.


I love books where I am left second guessing myself and keep me on the edge. I give it 5 dancing stars! This series is definitely going to my favorites list

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Becoming (Daughters of Saraquel, book one)
by Raine Thomas

Summary (From Raine Thomas' website) :

Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.
As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.
To top it all off, she’ll finally find out why she’s having the power surges: she isn’t entirely human.
Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she’s ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.
Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.


What can I say? This book is just amazing. It got me smiling the moment I read the 1st few chapters. I am such a sucker for cheesy love stories, for the love that leaps through a parallel world and for a  love that is bounded by trust.

This book focuses on the eldest daughter of Saraquel, Amber. Then the next books would be for the succeeding daughters. But in  this book, the other 2 were also introduced. Which brings me to the narrative mode that the author used is the third-person view. Honestly, it is a little confusing jumping from describing one from the other. May be I'm just not used to the 3rd person POV.

------- spoiler alert ---------
The best scene for me was when Amber and Gabriel exchanged promise rings! GOSH! When I was reading this book I was in total high! I kept giggling on all of the sweet scenes between Amber and Gabriel. I do not know about other girls, but I think it would be amazing to have someone special that you can have a connection with like they have.

The Estilorian:
Well, the author made a whole new civilization with different classifications. These classes have different jobs and can be distinguished by the color of their wings and eyes. I will not discuss the different classifications and their jobs. There is a whole page for them explained by the author herself in her website that can be found here if you are interested. The people living there or should I say Estilorians description are more on angelic like. They have wings, they fly, they have different powers and they look young even if they tend to live forever.

Another thing I liked in the story is how beings that are living in Estilorian do not have strong emotions. Who are the most fit to teach them but the 3 young girls that are half-Estilorian and half-human? I have watched and read too many anime and manga that this kind-off story line is not new for me. But it still grabs my attention from time to time that half-something and half-human are always significant.


I noticed that in GoodReads there aren't many ratings regarding this book. It is such a nice book. I highly recommend you to read it. I am looking forward in reading the next two books which would be my goal for the weekend and will try to write a review about them. I am giving this a 4 out of 5 stars that I will most likely read it again in the future.

Quite interesting is that this author is publishing independently. I give my salute!


by Josephine Angelini

I usually start with a neat summary copied from GoodReads but sometimes I think the summary is not good enough to paste here. Let me be a little unconventional and give my review/summary all together.

This all started with ordinary Helen Hamilton living in a small island called Nantucket who does not like attention and has this kick-ass best friend. As this would normally start with YA plots. Nothing special really. Until, well, news spreads that there is a new family moving in their island. Then she gets all angsty and the story begins.

------------ Spoiler Alert -------------

Honestly, I felt that the story did not begin while there were 3 furies infuriating Helen and Lucas because they were in a different House.  I would say the story really began after they were able to banish the Furies by saving each other. Well that would it was 200 pages worth of boringness while the author describes how angry Helen is with Lucas each and every time. Although I did appreciate at the end why the author described the hate with other houses only at the near end of the book. Which, I told myself, makes sense. I just did not appreciate it in the beginning because I got so lost. I did not understand why the events were happening. Why Helen was so angry with Lucas over and over again. Or why Lucas' family were hostile/semi-hostile to Helen.

And then we go to the good parts! The good parts started when Helen and Lucas stated to develop feelings for each other. Not only that, it was also the time when the author started to explain what is really happening in between. Why certain events turned out this way and that. Like what are the Furies' role, the inhuman strengths, flying, etc. This is where really the ball starts rolling and the part where you say "AHHH THAT'S WHY." And one of my favourite parts is how the author mix and matches Greek mythology and recent civilization.

Since my friend introduced me with Percy Jackson & the Olympians, I got supper obsessive with similar plot lines. So I find it interesting how an author will connect the dots and mash them together to form a coherent story line and mix it with our contemporary setting. Truth be told, I have not read many books in this genre. I have read more angel related fantasy novels than Greek mythology. I love Rick Riordan's works that is why I am saving Heroes of Olympus and Kane Chronicles until they have a few more books 'coz I like to read them all at the same time.

Well, anyway, what I found interesting about the Greek myth stuff is that the author connected it with the Trojan war. I am not a Greek myth geek but from what I read there is not much gods involvement. So far, they are more like sperm donors and left their children to go forth and procreate then they leave you alone with unnatural god-like powers. Which is definitely an ok thing for me. A breath of fresh air. Something different. I am just not sure how the story will progress for the next books.

I would have given this book a 2 out of 5 stars because of how it started. But, I really liked how the plot twisted at the end. It was very interesting. Which means, I will be looking forward to the next book coming out this year. Cheers! 3 out of 5 stars.

I am looking for more books in this kind of genre. Greek myth-romance-adventure kind-of-ish. I you have a good book to suggest do not hesitate to comment. Thanks in advance!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


by Caludia Gray


A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever. 

The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets. 

When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn. 

Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over… 


My take:

I was looking for a nice book that depicts social standing difference with romance. I stumbled upon this book from links and links. I forgot where. I read that it was nice and I gave it a shot.

I would say the book is ok. I am not really a fan of warewolves love stories so I deviate from them. It also felt like the warewolf part is too forced. I was expecting more social conflict or more tension in the main characters' relationship. It just went too smoothly too fast.

What I liked in the book is Tess' character. She is strong, has dreams and thinks for herself. I relate more to characters like these. I like these kinds of characters who are bad-assed. She knows when to fight and she knows when to back down. I enjoyed how she interacts with other minor characters in the book and how her character was developed.

I was able to finish this book (skimmed and scanned a few parts). It is just an ok book for me. May be I just don't appreciate warewolf romance stuff. I am giving this 2 out of 5 stars.