Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cross My Heart

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Book Details

Author: Katie Klein
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 415 KB

Book Summary

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love. 

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype. 

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie. 


Book Review

Cross My Heart, from the cover I thought it was another paranormal stuff, but it is not. It is another one of those cliché love stories in which a good girl falls in love with the bad guy. Regardless of being one of the ‘usual plot’, the book is really, really nice.

Jaden, the heroine of the story is the type of girl you will hate in high school. She’s smart, too good to be true, wanting to save the world and is off to one of the best school in the country. She’s predictable and according to her brothers, a control-freak. I like her from the start of the story, in between and especially at the end when she really start to live life.

If our Jaden is popular, Parker isn’t. He’s somehow new, quite yet when he does talk to Jaden, it always has sense, good-looking and smart. I like their verbal intercourse, it was intellectually stimulating, I love how the literature is inserted and how their story somehow relates to it. Towards the end of the story, an unforeseen plot twist occurs that made way for an external conflict and it comes with a shocking discovery that I didn’t saw coming.

Cross My Heart, just like the characters in the book, I haven’t said that in quite a long time (probably since grade school), but Cross My Heart, this book is worth the read. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one sitting! 



Favorite Quotes

“I marvel at how even the wrong choices can keep us on the right path. How the worst mistake can wind up being the best thing that ever happened to us.”

“That's stupid. Everyone lies."
"Yeah, well, it's a waste of time. The more lies you tell the more stories you have to remember. Believe me: it's easier to just be honest.”

“I think you fall in love with someone when you least expect to. When it’s the last thing you want. That’s what’s so great about it.” 

Reviewed by

Thursday, October 27, 2011

His Mistress by Christmas

His Mistress by Christmas (Sinful Family Secrets, #1)His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Victoria Alexander is truly one of the most enchanting historical romance author to date. I love His Mistress by Christmas, its fun, tearful and definitely entertaining. The characters are great as well, i just wished she also made a happy ending for Veronica's aunt.



View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Past Perfect


Book Details

Author: Leila Sales
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 4, 2011)
Language: English

Book Summary

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

Book Review

Past Perfect is my first Leila Sales’ novel and although the cover wasn’t that interesting – the rest of the book was. I so love every bit of it. Primarily, the setting! I haven’t read a book which featured a reenactment village, it is quite unique. Especially when they have to stay in characters and how they would take their jobs seriously. The struggle between the two opposing village of different time periods for bragging rights is insanely hilarious. Especially when it is just the teens who are fighting the ‘war’ and their parents have no idea about it.

The characters are amazing, starting with Chelsea, our narrator. She’s witty, funny and interesting as well as she could be pensive with her thoughts – these characteristics made her more real to me. I love the way she grew throughout the book as well as the development of her relationships with the rest of the characters in the story.

Past Perfect is a sweet, romantic and definitely entertaining. This book is a breath of fresh air after several dark YA novels that deals with issues of today. It’s not that I don’t like those types of YA novels, but it is nice to read something light and fun-filled book for a change. Past perfect is a lesson in history, friendship, romance, sprinkled with fun. 

@ Cha þ
Favorite Quotes

  • What really happened doesn't matter. What matters is how we agree to remember it
  • 'If there's one common thread throughout all of history, it's that people have always fallen for the wrong people.'
  • 'I think love without heartbreak is a myth. A pretty myth, but the kind of myth that ultimately makes us feel worse about ourselves because we're somehow not able to make it come true.'
  • When you die, you just die. No ghost, no reincarnation, no heaven. People want to believe that their souls live on or whatever, but that's only because they can't handle the idea of the world going on without them. 
  • I have a theory that the first person you fall for creates a model for how you approach relationships going forward. 
  • But you can have love without heartbreak. Why didn't I get to have that kind?
Reviewed by

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest


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Book Details

Author: Stieg Larsson
Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: Vintage Crime
Language: English
Purchased Online

Book Summary

Salander is plotting her revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and against the government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. But it is not going to be a straightforward campaign. After taking a bullet to the head, Salander is under close supervision in Intensive Care, and is set to face trial for three murders and one attempted murder on her eventual release. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist and his researchers at Millennium magazine, Salander must not only prove her innocence, but identify and denounce the corrupt politicians that have allowed the vulnerable to become victims of abuse and violence. Once a victim herself, Salander is now ready to fight back.

Book Review

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest is the final installment of the Millennium Trilogy that continues Lisbeth Salander’s journey from the second book. She finally came face to face with her own past. The third part of this book is a real page-turner and impossible to put down.

Larsson’s pacing, information (especially about the Amazons), the trial and the revenge was flawlessly plotted and laid out – I cherished every single moment of it. The characters were just amazing as the previous two books, and new characters were introduced. Annika played a very important role in this book and I loved her just as much as I loved Lisbeth. The sense of vindication was fulfilling – FINALLY, they all got what they deserve.

Lisbeth Salander’s search for justice and truth was an inspiration for the young and abused women who seemed to have lost hope.

To sum things up, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest is exhilarating. The twists were amazing, the humor wasn't out of place and sprouts at the right time. Lisbeth Salander is truly one of the best heroines in fiction history. I so love her. I couldn't put down this book - I didn't want to. It's an amazing read! (And, you need to read the second book first…)



Favorite Quotes

His job was to save his patient's life, irrespective of whether she was a triple murderer or a Nobel Prize winner or both

Reviewed by


Monday, October 24, 2011

The OC's Lists of Almost Anything: 10 movies I'd love to watch over and over again

I am not a movie person, although there are movies I'd love to watch over and over again such as these films. 

1. Lake House
I love this movie because of the plot, it is something different from the usual romantic flicks I watched. It is out of the ordinary and a nice ending. 


2. Harry Potter 1 & 7 Part 2
We all have seen Radcliffe and the rest of the gang grew up on the big screen. The first movie, although deviated from the book is nice, I love the old Dumbledore. 


The effects of the last movie were as magical as I could have ever dreamed. I like this maybe because I knew this was the last movie I could ever watch the HP gang: Harry, Ron and Hermione. 

3. Transformers (Dark Side of the Moon)
I'm glad Fox was out of the picture. I just didn't like her. Couldn't imagine until now how Even Steven grow up to be a hunk.

4. Time Traveler's Wife
I watched the movie prior to reading the book, so I appreciated it quite well. I like the time-travelling thingie and the genetic disorder explanation - although I don't think it exists - it's more interesting than a time machine

5. He's Just Not That Into You
It's a wake up call for everyone who is blinded by love. 

6. X-Men
Hugh Jackman is hot! Of course, its all about the special effects and all those mutant superpowers I secretly wish to have. 

7. Angels & Demons
The places I wanted to see! Robert Langdon is so smart I wanted to have his brain for a minute or two. I love the chase and suspense. Although I hate what they did to the screenplay, I guess the effects were worth it. 

8. Shark's Tale
It's a funny and heartwarming animation. I adore a vegetarian shark.

9. Iron Man
Tony Sparks is my man! He's sarcastic, funny, intelligent and rich. 


10. Pirates of the Caribbean
Depp entertains me as Sparrow. The movie is not just fun to watch, but it is action pack that will leave you off your seat. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Girl Who Played With Fire

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Book Details
Author: Stieg Larrson
Paperback: 630 pages
Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (March 23, 2010)
Language: English
Purchased Online
Book Summary

Part blistering espionage thriller, part riveting police procedural, and part piercing exposeé on social injustice, The Girl Who Played with Fireis a masterful, endlessly satisfying novel. Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander's innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

Book Review

The Girl Who Played With Fire exceeds my expectations. It is way better than The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Salander grew and became more mature. After the last incident where she saw Mikael with Berger, she traveled, changed her appearance but still monitored her guardian Bjurman.

The book drives into her past, allows the reader to understand the nature behind Salander’s behavior. There are new characters introduced, mostly from the police force. The old characters are still there.

The book embarked on several topics such as media, police corruption, authority abuse, conspiracy but concentrated more on sex trade. Even though it’s quite longer than what I expected, every page keeps the fire going and you’d want to know how it will end. Unlike the first book which merely introduced the main characters and could suffice as stand-alone, you do not need to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo first to understand this one.

The Girl Who Played With Fire gripping novel filled with exciting twists, turns and revelations. Lisbeth is one of a kind, she’s a real survivor – thanks to the cigar case on this book. Couldn’t wait to read the last of the trilogy. Larsson is an amazing author, I wished he could’ve lived longer to write more exciting novels.



Favorite Quotes

“There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.”

“Men could be as big as a house and made of granite, but they all had balls in the same place.” 

Reviewed by


The Day Before

Friday, October 21, 2011

Before I Die


Book Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books; Reprint edition (May 26, 2009)
Language: English
Purchased Online

Book Summary

Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of “normal” life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.
Tessa’s feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa’s time finally runs out.


Book Review

Before I Die is an amazingly crafted novel that will astound you. It is written filled with real and uninhibited emotion that will allow you to join the main character in her final days. Tessa Scott, our heroine, is dying of leukemia. Instead of spending her remaining days stuck in her bed, she decided to make most of life by making a bucket list and sets about to accomplish everything.

What I love most about this heartbreaking novel are the characters, Tessa is a great and brave teen. Although she had her mood swings, to the point that you just want to snap her out of it, in the end you will have to admire her tenacity. The male character outshined the female characters on this book. First is the father, he is a wonderful man and any child, with or without illness would be lucky to have him. I couldn’t fault him for being in denial at first. I think there isn’t any parent who wanted or ever imagine his or her child die ahead of him/her. Cal, Tessa’s brother, is a sweet thing. I love the way he adores his sister, and not wanting to let her go. Lastly, Adam, who took the risk to love her and be with her till the end.

The best part of this book is the end, when she finally accepted to herself that death is near. Her death was beautifully written that you could really feel you are with the family saying goodbye to Tessa.  

Before I Die is not a book that will leave you in depression, instead it encourages its reader to grasp and celebrate life. This is not a story about death and dying, but of love and life, of taking risks and making the best of what the world offers. 



Favorite Quotes

I love you. I love you. I send this message through my fingers and into his, up his arm and into his heart.  Hear me. I love you. And I'm sorry to leave you.

We made love twenty seven times and we shared a bed for sixty two nights and that's a lot of love.

I've been told that there are five stages of grief, and if that's true, then he's stuck with stage one: Denial

Being Positive strengthens the immune system

Keep breathing. Just keep doing it, It's easy. In and Out.

I don't want to be dead. I haven't been loved this way for long enough.

"It's all right, Tessa, you can go. We love you. You can go now."
"Why are you saying that?
"She might need permission to die Cal"
"I don't want her to. She doesn't have  my permission."

Nurses never tell you what they know. They’re hired for their cheeriness and the thickness of their hair. They need to look alive and healthy, to give the patients something to aim for.

Lots of people are unhappy. But they never run away. 


Don't pretend to care. I don't need you as an anesthetic. 

Reviewed by

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a peek inside a book maniac’s brain: series or stand-alone?



Every reader has his or her preference with what kind of books he or she reads as well as the author. One thing to choose from is whether or not you’d go for a series or stand-alone novel?

A little background first...

What is Stand Alone? Stand-Alone novels are stories/novels which is capable of operating independently. Basically, it starts and ends on one book.

What are Series? There are various types of series:

Serialized Series, the reader needs to read the books in order for them to understand the whole story. A perfect example for this is the HARRY POTTER.

Formula Series, presents a new story that follows a structure the readers grow to recognize and expects. It doesn’t matter if you don’t read it in order.

Linked Series are also my favorites because they are mostly stand-alone novels that have some sort of tenuous connection or link, more by design and format rather than content. Good examples of this are those from the Historical Romance genre.

It all comes down to my choice?

Admittedly, I am a series girl. I love to collect books, especially series.

What is to love about Series?
  • Continuity
  • Save you time to choose a new title to read (I still have a lot of books to chose from, I always end up with series first because I don’t have to think what book I’d read next)
  • Comfortable familiarity with the characters and settings  
  • I love the links!!! Yes, that is why I love to read the historical romance. I wanted to know more about the character the author mentioned, if he/she has his/her own happy ending.


What I hate about Series?
  • Cliffhangers! (Especially when the next book is set to come out in a million years), I am not that patient. It’s a good thing that I have waited the whole Percy Jackson Series and Hunger Games to end before starting reading it.
  • Second-Book Syndrome (Yes, the first book was a blast and the second one sucks)
  • If I could not get a copy of the entire series, collecting is hard especially when everyone is dying to have them on their shelves as well.

BUT…

I also like stand alone after reading a series. Just to desensitize myself with the series characters, after, I’m ready to jump back into another series. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Silence


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Book Details
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (October 4, 2011)
Language: English
Purchased from Fully Booked BGC

Book Summary

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for - and their love - forever.

Book Review

If you love the first two books of the Hush Hush Series, you are going to love this third installment, Silence. This book hits off when Nora, our heroine wakes up from her kidnapping at the end of Crescendo. She had amnesia and could not remember the last five months of her life.

All of my favorite characters are still here, including Marcie, Vee, Patch, Dabria and guess who’s back again? Scott! However, I think Nora didn’t really grow up in this installment, she was still the impulsive girl who gets to do what she wants and then gets caught. She needed someone to save her, I just wish that she can also be ‘heroic’ and can save herself rather than relying on Scott or Patch. In this book, Nora is forced to face certain decisions that weren’t easy about who she is and who she will be.

What I also love in this book is the romance! Romance is in the air once more, the amnesia allows you to fall in love with all over again with Patch. The dialogues were just sweet and a little bit cheesy – actually cute.

Silence is quite different from the first two books because of a refreshing plot that was laid. The story line was better and Becca Fitzpatrick did not disappoint me. Another page-turner added to my series collection. I enjoy the suspense, action, twists and not but not the least, romance.

I don’t know whether I’d be excited when I reached the end to know that there is another installment to this series because I was hoping this would be the last. A cliffhanger ended the story – but it would make you look forward for the last book (in 2012!!). I am crossing my fingers that the final book will be worth the wait. 


Favorite Quotes

"I would lay down everything I possess, even my soul, for you. If that isn't love, it's the best I have."

"This is uncharted territory for me, but I need to know that at the end of the night, I have you to come home to."

"I love you.” His voice was straightforward, affectionate. “You make me remember who I used to be. You make me want to be that man again. Right now, holding you, I feel like we have a shot at beating all odds and making it together. I’m yours, if you’ll have me."

"I couldn't look at you and breath at the same time." 

Reviewed by

The OC’s list of almost anything: 10 of my favorite series



Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling)
I started when I was in high school, after I watched the first Harry Potter movie. After seeing such a different and magical world, I decided I should get my hands on these series. Completed my books, loved each one of them, but I never liked the movies. It never gave justice to the books.
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997)
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
I didn’t read the book first because of the cover, a friend of mine recommended this when I didn’t have anything to read and I was totally hooked. It is an urban fantasy – one of the firsts I have ever read. I fell in love with Peeta. I was just glad that the three books were already published before I started reading.
1. The Hunger Games (2008)
2. Catching Fire (2009)
3. Mockingjay (2010)
It's a boxed set, and still inside the box. I just couldn't open it.
Millennium Trilogy (Stieg Larsson)
I haven’t finished the trilogy. YET. But I have loved the first book and looking forward to read the rest. I’m crossing my fingers they’re worth it.
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2008)
2. The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)
3. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest (2009)


Bridgerton Series (Julia Quinn)
Julia Quinn is one of my favorites Historical Romance author. I love the Bridgerton series because it has plots I have never encountered in other historical romances before. I love the way she writes and depicts her characters. You see someone different from everyone every time you open a book. Eight Bridgerton Siblings, the first letters of their names starts with the first eight letters of the alphabet.
1. The Duke and I (2000) – MY FAVORITE!
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me (2000)
3. An Offer from a Gentleman (2001)
4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (2002)
5. To Sir Philip,with Love (2003)
6. When He Was Wicked (2004)
7. It's in His Kiss (2005)
8. On the Way to the Wedding (2006)

Percy Jackson Series (Rick Riordan)
I like the plot: Greek Mythology in the 21st century. I love this series because it was fun to read and go with Percy in their adventures. It refreshed my Greek Mythology lessons when I was in high school. It didn’t stop on the first book, the rest were also great reads!
1. The Lightning Thief (2005)
2. The Sea of Monsters (2006)
3. The Titan's Curse (2007)
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth (2008)
5. The Last Olympian (2009)
Some of these were gifts during my birthday.
Malory Series (Johanna Lindsey)
This is one of the most long-standing series I have ever read, started when my mother decided I can read this stuffs, I was in high school. Johanna Lindsey writes the best Historical Romance, poignant tales that can make or break your heart.
1. Love Only Once (1985)
2. Tender Rebel (1988)
3. Gentle Rogue (1990)
4. The Magic of You (1993)
5. Say You Love Me (1996)
6. The Present (1998)
7. A Loving Scoundrel (2004)
8. Captive of My Desires (2006)
9. No Choice But Seduction (2008)
10. That Perfect Someone (2010)

Courtship Wars Series (Nicole Jordan)
If you want to read hot, sensual mixed with great fiction – try reading Nicole Jordan.
1. To Pleasure a Lady (2008)
2. To Bed a Beauty (2008)
3. To Seduce a Bride (2008)
4. To Romance a Charming Rogue (2009)
5. To Tame a Dangerous Lord (2009)
6. To Desire a Wicked Duke (2010)

Hush Hush Series – Becca Fitzpatrick
I’m really not into Paranormal Romances – but when I bought this Series during a sale, and started reading it, I just couldn’t stop. Only problem is, I was left with a cliffhanger and the last book won’t be released until 2012.
1. Hush, Hush (2009)
2. Crescendo (2010)
3. Silence (2011) 

Westmoreland Series – Judith Mcnaught
I love Judith Mcnaught, most especially this series. She four different stories, each filled with raw passion and emotion.
1. A Kingdom of Dreams (1989)
2. Whitney, My Love (1984)
3. Until You (1986)
4. Miracles (1995) (in A Holiday of Love)


Calhaun Series – Nicholas Sparks
Too bad they killed Noah on the first movie, the Wedding is his best novel (in my opinion). If you want to read an emotional novel, the ones that can make you cry – try these titles.
1. The Notebook (1996)
2. The Wedding (2003)