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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership. Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer—and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope—and finds love—is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake. But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?
High powered, 500 pounds/hr. Lawyer vs. Being a Domestic Helper. Seriously it's a no brainer right? But no Kinsella has to go to extremes, when Samantha fled to the country side due to a work mishap and an over due stress blow up, she fled to the countryside and turned into this curtsy-ing housekeeper, that's fine she obviously needed a break but when she finally cleared her name? I just don't get it. I thought the book will get interesting after that, the media rukus was a good scene but the situations following that was daft and stereotype. I thought she was going to do something different as a Lawter but no, nothing. The scenarios were laughable not because it's funny but because it's pathetic. Samantha's character isn't close to anything lovable either. I was disappointed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Life as we Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

It's almost the end of Miranda's sophomore year in high school, and her journal reflects the busy life of a typical teenager: conversations with friends, fights with mom, and fervent hopes for a driver's license. When Miranda first begins hearing the reports of a meteor on a collision course with the moon, it hardly seems worth a mention in her diary. But after the meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, all the things Miranda used to take for granted begin to disappear. Food and gas shortages, along with extreme weather changes, come to her small Pennsylvania town; and Miranda's voice is by turns petulant, angry, and finally resigned, as her family is forced to make tough choices while they consider their increasingly limited options. Yet even as suspicious neighbors stockpile food in anticipation of a looming winter without heat or electricity, Miranda knows that that her future is still hers to decide even if life as she knew it is over.

Reading an apocalyptic fiction while sitting on an earthquake in real life was quite ironic and scary. There was 2 earthquakes yesterday. One happened around 5-ish then another one 10-15 minutes before Grey's Anatomy. So yes I am totally freaked out. There I was reading a fictional nightmare about an end of the world theme and bam that happened.

The book was about this asteroid that nobody ever predicted that will affect us. This was such a unique theme, mostly it's a massive asteroid about to hit earth or that will hit earth, or some global warming or natural phenomena because we abuse mother nature. This was about the moon - knocked off its orbit and got closer to earth because of an asteroid. It was such a frightening image. Nobody anticipated it. All of a sudden there was tsunamis everywhere; the Liberty Island, Hawaii, Australia, and every coastline in the world has been submerged underwater, panic ensued, "earthquakes" happened, volcanoes all over the world erupted (even the dormant ones), food is luxury, gas prices were $50/gallon, black outs, drought, etc... In short humans are back from where we have started. I admire Miranda's family. Every tragedy, heartache, loss and challenges, they took it as much as they can and they were so calm (in my opinion) it was unheard of.I hate Reverend Marshall with passion, what a fake and how dare he use God's name as a tool so he can stay alive and fed. I would never look at canned veggies and meat the same way again. From now on I am treating them with respect like the fresh ones. I will not over eat. And I will definitely live my life to the fullest everyday. This may sound like a depressing read, but its not. It actually came out to be a brave book about hope and survival and how we should never ever take things/people for granted. Now one of my favorite books. Life changing, a must read.

Like the book? See what this Author has in store:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Too much spoilers. Warning:
After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.
At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…
No wonder Melissa Marr quote: "You'll be desperate for a sequel". Yeah you are if you aren't so pissed as I am. This is a book of questions. Everything was very vague, the Lyle house itself, the true nature of the main teens Chloe, especially, so she's a necromancer, what else can this book tell me that does not say that she can raise the dead or something in that background that I don't already know. The plot was confusing. I like the normal setting of a paranormal book (most especially in Series), 1st book, readers are given all these mystery then towards the end, they solve away at least one of them, in these book aside from Chloe's Aunt's betrayal and a deeper mystery concerning the Lyle house (that itself isn't even a mystery) nothing was achieved. Her characters are really cool. A shaman, A werewolf, a hal-demon who can evoke fire, a necromancer and a currently unknown, she just needs to develop them and mold them into better and far more interesting characters. The ending was the worst, that kind of style (as far as on what I've read) worked on the Morganville Vamps, and Caine made sure I buy the next book right away. That was the best cliff hanger ever, but this one, ended so lame. I wasn't to crazy in getting the 2nd book.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Remember me? by Sophie Kinsella

When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed, Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all. Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?
Every time I heard the name Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic always comes to mind, and I don't really like that book too much purchasing of stuff it's unreal and yeah ok also frustrating, how unfair that she gets to have a Birkin bag? Anyway, I've put off this book for far too long so after reading what seems like years about impossible worlds, magical systems and over the top fantasy, I decided to wing it back to chick lit. Glad I did. It's fast paced, quick read with lots quirky scenes. The metaphor behind piecing ones life together after a memory loss equivalent of 3 years sounds really awfully scary but then I saw that you can actually change the mistake that you have done in those years. Like a Time Machine. I thought this will turn out to be an overrated deal like ok, amnesia then towards the end of the story there'll be another accident that will subjecdt the protagonist in another bump in the head situation but nope it was exactly opposite. Every forgotten memory gets readers closer to Lexi. It has delicious prose on careers, ambitions and the dream life. Happy reading.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ghostland by Jory Stong

Taken from her home and family, shamaness Aisling McConaughey has no choice except to enter the “ghostlands” in order to learn the fate of a wealthy man’s mistress. But there is always a price to pay for the use of her power. To save the woman’s life she must summon the Djinn prince Zurael en Caym—and yield to his savage, sensual rage.
Zurael fears nothing except being called and bound to a human’s will. He intends to kill Aisling after she’s served as bait to find an enemy in possession of an ancient tablet. But the more he tastes of her innocent spirit, the more he’ll use his fiery touch and seductive whispers to keep her hungry for his mercy—even as they weave an erotic spell that he cannot escape…
Powerful forces threaten both their worlds, leaving Aisling and Zurael with an unbearable choice. Follow their hearts…or stay true to their honor and risk losing an eternity of pleasure.
Post-apocalyptic urban fantasy... not really my thing. But when you plot that supernaturals came out of hiding after a turmoil with war and plague then that's a different story. Welcome to United States where San Francisco is being ruled by vampires. Oakland being ruled by wealthy humans but ruled by predators at night. Where other creature of the night is a common knowledge. A world where the masses fear for their life and religious gain from temptations.
This is my first time reading Jory Strong's novel. The whole Djinn and Angels, shaman, sigils and all the waaay beyond are new to me, I have to look it up on wikipedia to have more info on it. The main protagonists Zurael and Aisling are captivating. The passion between them were so hot the description burns the pages. Strong wasn't kidding when she wrote the tag line- "seduce the forbidden". The novel is dark, grim and erotic (on different levels) and the story line was strong and intriguing and I love the book cover.
If you don't mind a fair amount blood shed, the weird-ass graphical description of kinky sex mixed with the paranormals this book's for you. Different world, different time, different fantasy system.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

BLURBS: To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight. As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost? Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments. THOUGHTS: Beautiful ending (swoon), no words can express how much I truly love this book. Yes I love it more than Twilight or any other. There's something very magical in love, hatred, integrity, mystic, battle and redemption that draws me to it. Delicious prose, engaging characters, lots of heartbreak, reference and quotes from various classic lit, runes, angels, demons, everything and anything supernatural - you couldn't go wrong with that. Roll all that into one you get the City of Glass. For the first time in a long long time, I have no complaints whatsoever, even the flaws made perfect sense. The predictability of some parts in the story did not even bothered me (which is new, very new). I am going to share a line that made me look like an idiot - when you shout YEAH!!! and jump with your fist in the air - IN. THE. breakroom. you'd look like one too, I got carried away... imagination overload, sor-rrry. This was the part when Jocelyn has finally roused from her magically self-induced coma. This was the part where she asked to speak to Clary alone after her speech about the runes she could create. She then told Clary the story of the past, the whole truth - no holds barred. "Jace is not your brother." (aaahhhh) I knew it all along, the fans all knew that of course, there were clues on the 2nd book, but there's something powerful in reading it. 4 days of reading 3 books that have more than 500 and less than 800 pages each with only 3 hours of sleep each day was totally worth it. I feel like a zombie (dear god the headache, and exhaustion but I'm still in trance). I am really heartbroken that this is the last book but their magical world does not end here (thank god). Next year Clare is going to release another trilogy but it's not going to set in modern day Manhattan but will back track 40 years set in the heart of Victorian England called the Inferal Devices. Something to look out for. Now, my conclusion: I write reviews based on what emotions I feel when I read them, I was elbow deep in the story I feel like I am a part of it. That itself seems like an understatement. This is one of those books that you just couldn't say good bye to, you'll keep reading it, the kind of feeling you get visiting an old friend. :) I couldn't imagine a better ending, this is perfect the way it is and I hope every one enjoys it as much as I do. Don't let the haters poison your imagination, it's yours, utilize it and it'll take into greater heights.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Before me things created were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
~Dante, Inferno
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?
In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
Now this {pause then grin} more I like it. More action and deeper danger, fast-paced, funnier, romantic, hints of more family secret and heritage, revelations of hidden gifts that Jace and Clary have and a killer cliff-hanger ending. Never mind that there are still plot holes, who cares about that. At least this time the book doesn't look like a first draft novel anymore, now everybody improved. I have no idea why lots of people hates Simon, I love him (sometimes I cheer more for him than for Jace), he's a great friend, loyal, trustworthy and he got turned into a vampire. Considering the disturbing circumstances around his girlfriend Clary and her brother Jace. My favorite part was when they went to meet the Queen of the Faeries in Seelie Court, (which reminds me so much of a scene in Holly Black's book - Tithe, maybe she borrowed it there) I kind of freak out a little bit, well because it was wrong but I don't think Clary and Jace are related at all. Does anyone? We'll have to see about that. I'm glad for Alec too, it looks like he found a suitable companion in Magnus Bane, now he only needs to get out of the closet and come clean. I really hated the Inquisitor with passion, she is such a bitch and totally biased. A perfect example of how the law makers, abuse power. I am really happy for Clare, she did better in writing this book, there's more depth and thought in it, now only 25% of dialogues were left out. Thank God book 3 is out, I didn't have to wait like the others.

Monday, April 6, 2009

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments Book 1 ) by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This book have adrenaline induced action scenes. I was really excited. Teenager killed in a club with bunch of other teenagers with strange tattos and out of this world weaponry, who wouldn't get excited? But as I progress through the pages, I have found plot holes (huge), inconsistent motives is #1 they're very blurry but then again this is the first book. The magic scenes lacks conviction. The love triangle has gone wrong; I shudder after realizing what just happened. I was greatly disappointed because I was looking forward on that part.
Her characters need more depth and development. Clary needs to stop acting like an idiot, because clearly she's not I wish she'd open her eyes and see how extraordinary she is, she has to start kicking ass. Jace is the typical badd ass - mysterious, protective, sure of himself, guarded (love him) and his passion on what he does best, I get it that he is not a stereotype, but he is also a wise-wise teenager so he can now stop quoting Othello, the Doors and some other classic literary genius and books, and do more of the stuff "sexy" characters are supposed to do. Alec, is probably the most complex of all Clare's characters, I could even emphatize on how hard he must be feeling considering the situation, I am of course talking about his homosexuality, I hope Clare makes him a stronger character. Love the plot, like I said it has so many potentials, Clare just needs to address this issues.
A world of fantasy that has characters like Downworlders (e.i: vamps, weres, faeries, pixies, etc... unpronounceable) Shadowhunters, Demons and were they call humans as Mundanes are interesting and an adventurous read. Weaving a fantasy world with the modern civilization is a good move, choosing New York as it's battle ground / headquarters works for me. I also like the quotes of John Milton, Virgil and William Shakespeare on the major chapters of the book.
A lot of people hated the book, I almost did too but do not let reviews discourage you, you might be surprised.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Stargazer by Claudia Gray

Events tore apart star-crossed lovers Bianca and Lucas at the end of Evernight (2008), when the inevitable conflict between Bianca's vampire family and Lucas's vampire-hunting family nearly destroyed the teens and their loved ones. Amidst surveillance and suspicion, they contrive to meet secretly, using Balthazar-an attractive vampire-as a cover. Meanwhile, Bianca's attempts to discover why humans have been admitted to vampire bastion Evernight Academy (which teen-looking vampires attend to learn how to manage in the modern world) stir up evil wraiths seemingly intent upon destroying-or maybe saving-her. Bianca's tendency to belabor every point, particularly the depth of her love for Lucas, makes for a dull narrative style, and three-dimensional characters are pretty much nonexistent. Despite the predictable romantic entanglements and the constant telling, the plot races along with a search for a crazed renegade vampire, threatening ghosts, uncovered secrets and a flaming climax with a significant body count. Fans of the first volume will be satisfied; insufficient back story means no one else will know (or care) what is going on.
I have proof that Bianca has totally gone mental. And Gray had managed to make me act like an anxious teenager once again. I love the book. I do I promise, but at the same time I can't stand it. My pet peeves - The story was slow (deja vu) and it have so many unnecessary scene and once again I got tricked, I was so eager to find out - right away, on what the heck was going on, that the suspense kills me. This is one of the books that I've been waiting for and the wait was totally worth it but my irritation towards Bianca grew more, yet I love her. Do you get me? I'm torn. Are teeangers really that irrational and stupid in making the right choices? (don't answer that, I know the answer quite well) As much as I really wanted to tell you all what's really bugging me, I can't but I can tell you that, the ending was the one which truly made me want to write this review at 2:30 in the morning. I understand that without complexity from the characters there won't be any series. But really does that part really needs to happen? My heart got broken just imagining it. Thanks to that, now the plot thickens, maybe I'm just huffy that Gray left me hanging...Anyway the parts that I like was, that Balthazar has been molded as one of the main characters in this book. The star-crossed lover's theme is still heartbreakingly romantic, people-vampire-ghost hunting each other, alot of intimate moments, discussions of literary classics, and this quote that stood out in the book...
"...they were all going to die. All of them. They would get old and be gone, and I'd be alone. It scared me, because I realized that of all the people I love in the world, there would be so few that I would ever get to keep. So I tried to think what I could keep. I there was anything that would stay with me always..."
-Bianca's fascination with stars

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Vampire Diaries: Fury and Dark Reunion by L.J Smith

Elena: transformed, the golden girl has become what she once feared and desired.
Stefan: tormented by losing Elena, he's determined to end his feud with Damon once and for all—whatever the cost. But slowly he begins to realize that his brother is not his only enemy.
Damon: at last, he possesses Elena. But will his thirst for revenge against Stefan poison his triumph? Or can they come together to face one final battle?
Collected here in one edition are the third and fourth volumes of The Vampire Diaries, a riveting conclusion to the tale of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.
Before I breakdown my likes and dislike about this 3rd and 4th take on this series. I'd like every one to know how spook I was with so many scenes in these book. So I wouldn't really recommend it for younger crowds. Something evil is at Fell's Church and Smith made sure I felt that too. My mind was catapulted into the dark realms that was described in the book. imagination overdrive, maybe, nonetheless consider yourselves warned.Also I have discovered that my 2nd fave character is Bonnie. Aside from her psychic abilities, she is also loyal, resourceful, trustworthy, and she certainly isn't self-absorbed. Elena is cool but Smith keeps saying how beautiful and popular she was even after death that it turns me off. Although I love her fighting spirit, strong will and commanding presence. I'd like to see more scenes from Matt too on the next series.
1. I like it because it was Bonnie's turn to make up a diary.
2. I told you guys, Damon is not of pure evil and it shows that little glimmer of what he is in this book.
3. The killings were absolutely what a vampire book should be.
4. Love it that the book did not really stall into anything stupid or disappointing.
5. There were interesting and new (to me) intake on supernatural fiction.
6. Page turner, action pack and an absolute thriller.
7. Bonnie's powers.
1. Stefan blaming everything on himself. He gives himself too much credit, it was somewhat exhausting.
2. The lack of lines for Damon.
3. Death of another girl. Seriously, is there a guy that is supposed to die in this series? (The death of Mr. Tanner, does not count, the feminist in me thinks it's hardly fair).
4. I had an uncanny guess on who were the villains. Not the books fault, but with that happening, the shock did not dawn on me.
5. The ending of The Dark Reunion was lame.
1. I knew that the villains were Katherine and Klaus, and no, I DID NOT poke around for clues. I just knew from the succession of events.
2. I knew that there's going to be a werewolf involve.
3. All series has it's lame ending, and I have accepted that it is inevitable.

The Truth about Diamonds by Nicole Richie

In her electrifying first novel, Nicole Richie tells the sensational story of Chloe Parker, a rock royalty princess and a card-carrying member of Hollywood's inner circle. At the age of seven, Chloe was adopted by a music superstar and his wife, transforming her life from rags to riches. What followed was a wild childhood distinguished by parties with movie stars and rock idols, run-ins with the press and the police, and a subsequent stint in rehab.
Suddenly Chloe shoots to instant fame as a spokesmodel for a national ad campaign. When her long-lost birth father appears out of nowhere and her best friend betrays her, she must struggle to keep it all together -- her sobriety, her friendships, and her integrity despite the betrayals of those around her. Ultimately, Chloe comes spectacularly into her own, achieving stardom in her own right and finding true love.
Through the eyes of the captivating Chloe and the talented voice of Nicole Richie, we are given a no-holds-barred look at Hollywood's new elite, behind the velvet ropes, inside star-studded premieres and parties. Whether they're doing the "circuit" (begin with shopping at Barneys New York, Marni, and Fred Segal, then end with the grilled vegetable salad at the Ivy), or ending up on the front page of your favorite weekly magazine, Chloe Parker and her fellow A-listers never fail to dazzle, their larger-than-life dramas more riveting than any reality show.
Who knew Nicole Richie can write a book? Obviously not a good one but at least she tried. Let's hope she won't try again.
Here are the pointers:
1. Story is the typical Hollywood celebrity scene. Do your self a favor and just buy the tabloids. The loads of crap in there is way better than what is written in this book.
2. The book is not a memoir but it definitely seems like it.
3. If you are familiar with Nicole Richie's circle of friends' you'll find out that they are characters in her book. She might as well used their real names.
4. The over the top cover is where the title had it's righteous place. Not the story. Nicole probably only use "The Truth about Diamonds" as the title so she can wear her blings. *shrugs*
5. Ok, the book did not totally sucked. It was entertaining, it's funny and if you like the infamous "Hollywood" scene and scandals, betrayal and friendship and all it's glamour this is you then. (But seriously pointer #1 - I recommend)
6. Do not expect any moral in this book. There is none. Take it as it is.
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