Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: A Lady Never Surrenders



Book Details

Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1190 KB
Publisher: Pocket Books (January 24, 2012)

Book Summary

When the youngest Sharpe sister hatches a plan to gain marriage offers, the straight-laced Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter knows he'll do whatever it takes to ruin her scheme... 

With two months left to find a husband to fulfill her grandmother’s ultimatum, Lady Celia Sharpe sets her sights on three eligible bachelors. Becoming betrothed to one of these wealthy, high-ranking men will surely prove her capable of getting married, so hopefully the wedding itself won’t be necessary for Celia and her siblings to receive their inheritance. Step two of her audacious plan is hiring the dangerously compelling Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter to investigate the three men she’s chosen. But with Lady Celia bedeviling Jackson’s days and nights, the last thing he wants is to help her find a husband. And when she recalls shadowed memories that lead his investigation into her parents’ mysterious deaths in a new direction—putting her in danger—Jackson realizes the only man he wants Celia to marry is himself!

Book Review

Rating: 5/5

I love Sabrina Jeffries’ Hellions of Halstead Hall Series, and although A Lady Never Surrenders, is not my ultimate favorite among the other five, I still gave it a five starts because I think the novel deserves it. Finally, the last book – I am so glad the mystery is going to be solved and the last among the Sharpe will be getting her very own love story.

Primarily, being the last book in the series, I would advise readers to read the rest of the previous novels first before jumping into this one. Not only because they would be surprise about the mystery that surrounds the whole novel but I think the newcomers to the series may feel that Jackson and Celia fell fast in the book. But, for the old-timers, they will immediately recognize that their odd courtship, bordering the edges of attraction and hostility has already been present since the first novel, and I was rooting for the both of them in the end. I’m so glad Sabrina Jeffries doesn’t disappoint. Not to mention the mystery that surrounds their parents’ murder (the one that I have waited to know) came into a conclusion. I couldn’t say who, but there were clues leading to it. Although there was a surprising twists that I haven’t seen coming.

As a whole, I love A Lady Never Surrenders. Celia and Jackson are perfect for each other since their personality complements. It was amazing how they finally came together despite all the differences and hurdles they encounter. A Lady Never Surrenders is a wonderful finally to the Hellions in Halstead Hall. This is indeed one of the best Regency Series I have ever read. 

Favorite Quotes

Love is taking chances when every rational part of you screams, ‘Don’t risk it.’ Because it’s only when your heart has been ripped open that you get a chance to find the one person capable of making it whole.

ChuCha

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Review: Hana (A Book in the Delirium Trilogy)



Book Details

Author: Lauren Oliver
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 5 KB
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 28, 2012)

Book Summary
Lauren Oliver’s riveting, original digital story set in the world of her New York Times bestseller Delirium.

The summer before they’re supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.

But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will come to understand scenes from Delirium through Hana’s perspective. Hana is a touching and revealing look at a life-changing and tumultuous summer.

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Hana is a short fantastic novella about Lena’s best friend and her adventure all through the Delirium timeframe. This book is not really that incredible, however, it somehow served as teaser for his fans who are waiting for the release of Pandemonium. After reading Hana, it made me crave more for the upcoming book and wishing it would be February soon.

Lauren Oliver has always written exceptionally. I have loved the books since Before I Fall and I expect a lot from the second book of the Delirium Series. Anyway, Hana is a remarkable character since in the first book in the series, Lena is always talking about her beauty and confidence. But, when Hana speaks, you will notice how uncertain she is. She’s not really sure of what to do and doesn’t let herself to succumb to the ‘disease’ the way that Lena does. This book made me love Lena’s POV in the main novels more.

This book may not be that mind-blowing and to-swoon over but I will recommend this for anyone who loves Delirium and waiting for its sequel Pandemonium.

ChuCha

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades Trilogy)



Book Details

Author: E.L. James
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1543 KB
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House (January 17, 2012)

Book Summary

When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed. 

Now, together, they have more – love, passion, intimacy, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present. 

Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, misfortune, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. Alone and desperate, she must face down the poisoned legacy of Christian’s past. 

Seductive, shocking, sad and funny, Fifty Shades Freed is the compelling final volume in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

Book Review

Rating: 5/5

My long wait is over - reading the final installment of the Christian-Anna love affair, Fifty Shades Freed, is an amazing experience - from the first book to the last one - you can't simply put it down until you are off to the last page.

I miss fifty shades, and well, I still hate Anna, I know she means well, but if Christian is controlling, Anna can't help doing something stupid to get her into trouble. Although I must admit, she can take care of herself, but must she risk her life to play hero? argh!!

I'm glad all issues are resolved with this trilogy, although I will miss Christian, having another book might ruin the story. The trilogy is excellent - complex plot and amazing characters that will forever be remembered. 

You rock EL James! - looking forward to your other novels :)

Favorite Quotes

“Christian, you are the state lottery, the cure for cancer, and the three wishes from Aladdin's lamp all rolled into one” 
ChuCha

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Book Review: Love & Leftovers



Book Details

Author: Sarah Tregay
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 540 KB
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (January 3, 2012)

Book Summary

My Wish 
is to fall 
cranium over Converse 
in dizzy daydream-worthy love.

(If only it were that easy.)

Marcie has been dragged away from home for the summer--from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She's left behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father.
By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "summer vacation" has become permanent. She has to start at a new school, and there she leaves behind her Leftover status when a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you've lost it?

Love & Leftovers
 is a beautifully written story of one girl's journey navigating family, friends, and love, and a compelling and sexy read that teens will gobble up whole.

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Love & Leftovers already had me hooked and wanting the first time I had it on my recommended book at Goodreads. But the book took me by surprise when I saw it was in verse. Okay. I had my share of verses before and I’m not really sure if I like it. But Sarah Tregay made sure that Love & Leftovers is one un-put-downable books that will leave her readers yearning for more of her works.

I love it. I love the story being told bit by bit in verses – very simple words yet it makes up a complex plot that completely had me captivated. The story is in verses (yeah, like poems) – straight from Marcie’s journal. A journal where she’d write every detail of her emotions, her pains with the separation of her parents, her sudden cross-country move that breaks her up with her emo-boyfriend and a whole lot of her friends, trying to fit in into her new home, a sorta-new relationship with a cool boy and then back in reverse. It records her bewilderment with her parents, her mother’s depression, her father’s sexuality, her own needs of belongingness and a whole lot more.
I like Marcie – yes, she made some bad decisions in her life but she feels bad about it and really willing to make up for it. She doesn’t hide anything and hated that she will keep any secret or lie about something.

Love & Leftovers is an amazing read not only for teens but those people who would love to read something new. Important themes such as teen sexuality, confusion, relationship, family dysfunction, karma and friendship are blended well into a fabulous storyline. 

Favorite Quotes

If ever I ran away, I’d do it with a certain emo-sensitive rocker boy and not my mother.

Little too gay?
goodlooking|well-dressed|perfect

But a baby blanket
tucked in my
dresser drawer back home
is a lot less expensive
than
psychotherapy

I waited fifteen years
for some guy to call me his girlfriend.
And he probably has a crush on the quarterback.

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy daydream-worth
love.

Sex, like alcohol and drugs, can have life-altering consequences. Unlike beer and meth, it can be wonderful and special.

People talk when they think no one is listening.

“You know that feeling ---
the one that says, ‘I want
sex’?
passion is more than
that.
love, conversation,
understanding,
and the physical stuff –
all stirred together.”

“The male ego bruises easier than a overripe apricot.”

My mom says
women
are not property
how come I want
to belong
to someone?

“Because I told you that falling in love
feels like that jolt right before you fall asleep.”

“But Linus says it’s like springtime on the moon.
All sunshine and cherry blossoms but no gravity.”
ChuCha

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer

Book Details

Author: Sarah Ockler
Format: Paperback Edition
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)

Book Summary

"Don't worry, Anna. I'll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it."
"Okay."
"Promise me? Promise you won't say anything?"
"Don't worry." I laughed. "It's our secret, right?"

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in ZanzibarBay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there's a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there's something she hasn't told Frankie---she's already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie's older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Twenty Boy Summer is a story about two friends: Anna and Frankie who tries to make this summer their ABSE (Absolute Best Summer Ever). To people who doesn’t know them, it seems ordinary: Frankie’s family is going to a vacation in the beaches of California and they’re taking Anna with them, Frankie plans to meet twenty different guys so that she and Anna can have the perfect summer romance. But in reality, both girls are still suffering silently from the loss of their best friend and Frankie’s brother, Matt. Another secret lurks on the shore, threatening to goes to bay – Anna already had her summer romance – with Matt.

I like the characters, even the small ones because Sarah Ockler did an excellent job at characterizing each person in her novel. The grief and emotion is very raw and you can almost see it happening to just anyone around you. After the loss, Anna was still writing to Matt in her journal, Frankie is uncontrollable and her mom went into depression. However, these things served as the driving force of the novel as it causes conflicts and allow each of the characters to grow and finally deal with the loss. I like Anna – I would love her to be my best friend because she can honestly keep a secret! Like keep it for a very, very long time.

Twenty Boy Summer is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read about grief and moving on. It’s about how a single loss can affect and change the lives of everyone around. From the cover of beautiful sea glasses, the story will touch your heart and makes you see that somehow there is still hope and life after a dreadful loss. 

Favorite Quotes

“Nothing ever really goes away--it just changes into something else. Something beautiful.” 

“Every story is part of a whole, entire life, you know? Happy and sad and tragic and whatever, but an entire life. And books let you know them.” 

“Sometimes you gotta just take things for what they are and appreciate them, not try to label it or explain it. Explanations take the mystery out of it, you know?” 

“When someone you love dies, people ask you how you're doing, but they don't really want to know. They seek affirmation that you're okay, that you appreciate their concern, that life goes on and so can they. Secretly they wonder when the statute of limitations on asking expires (its three months, by the way. Written or unwritten, that's about all the time it takes for people to forget the one thing that you never will).” 

“Sometimes I think we all feel guilty for being happy, and as soon as we catch ourselves acting like everything is okay, someone remembers it's not.” 

“When you’re in the middle of being in love with someone, you just don’t stop to ask.” 

“It's really bad when dads cry.” 

ChuCha

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: You Don't Have To Say You Love Me



Book Details

Author: Sarra Manning
Format: Paperback Edition
Paperback: 560 pages
Publisher: Transworld Publishers (February 2011)

Book Summary

Sweet, bookish Neve Slater always plays by the rules. And the number one rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don't get guys like gorgeous, handsome William, heir to Neve's heart since university. But William's been in LA for three years, and Neve's been slimming down and re-inventing herself so that when he returns, he'll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her. So she's not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she'd better get some, well, experience. What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia's colleague Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And since he's such a man-slut, and so not Neve's type, she certainly won't fall for him. Because William is the man for her...right? Somewhere between losing weight and losing her inhibitions, Neve's lost her heart - but to who?

Book Review

Rating: 5/5

I had a bloody grand time reading You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning, I keep on humming the song with the same title. It is funny, sweet, heartwarming and simply amazing.

Neve, is now one of my favorite heroines – she’s funny and intelligent. But her self esteem must be buried somewhere 50 feet below the ground because she could never see herself as beautiful. She used to be fat and a size 32 but through hard work (no fad or crash diet) she’s down to size 14. She works in an archive – it’s not a library – it’s really an archive. This book is her journey in her struggle to be more comfortable with herself and her body.

And Max – the ultimate sex-god-slash-man-whore. Okay, he’s charming and could disarm all your defenses with a smile. He’s a bit of a jerk. But of course, deep inside, he also has issues which he kept to himself and his therapist. You will just adore him – how he takes care of Neve and how he tries to behave with her.

Yes, both the characters of this story are somewhat f*cked up – but that’s because they’re real and they deal with issues that are present and alarming in today’s world. Health issues, obesity, fad diets, sex addiction sprinkled with a toe-curling romance.  But despite the fact they have crazy issues – they are just perfect for each other. Neve needs a man who sees beauty in her, no matter what her size is and Max needs someone who would really care for him. Neve and Max together is just magic and you can see sparks floating in the air. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me is very entertaining from the first page down to the last. I am sure you will not put it down until you reached the final page.

Favorite Quotes

But really it says everything that’s wrong about the publishing industry, that a quarter of a million people bought and read a sex and shopping novel that wasn’t even written by one of those footballer girlfriends, and yet most of the shortlisted titles on the Orange Prize, which is an award for women writers, don’t even sell ten thousand copies. It’s just not right.

“That was the worst thing about having a relationship with someone, even a pretend relationship. You opened up, let someone in, and when it was over, they had all the ammunition they needed to completely destroy you.” 

“The thing about love was that it caught you unawares, turned up in the most unexpected places, even when you weren't looking for it.” 

“If Madonna loves me, then you will too.”

“Having a relationship and not even a sexual one is so straight, it's practically perverted”

“But Neve, you can’t start a book and leave it halfway through,’ he’d said implacably. ‘It’s almost as bad as turning down the corner of the page, instead of using a bookmark.” 

“I guess they're called moments because they don't last very long.” 

“Then what he said and how he said it won't be important any more. What will be important are all the things you never got to say.”

“I suppose the things that you always take for granted, that you don't even notice, are what you miss the most.” 

“You took out a book on blow-job technique from the British Library? They shouldn't have books like that in there!” 
ChuCha

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review: Catching Jordan



Book Details

Author: Miranda Kenneally
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1460 KB
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (December 1, 2011)

Book Summary

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

Book Review

Rating: 5/5

I don’t like football, I don’t even considering learning anything about it, but it didn’t stop me from loving Catching Jordan and all the silly football jokes this book has.

I like Jordan – she’s one heck of a girl. At the beginning of the book, I wasn’t sure if she was a girl or a boy because the narrator is really, really tough. Imagine a female quarterback of a high school football team which is dominated by hard-ass alpha males. She is the type of girl you can really say that she is one of the boys. It is just too bad that she needed to kiss a frog before she found out that the prince she was waiting for is right beside her all this time. I love her passion for football and how she cares about her friends, most especially Henry. To gain and keep the respect of her team mates – she doesn’t cry, or hooked up with her teammates. But everything turns topsy-turvy when Ty glides into her field. He’s every girl’s dream and she was surprised when Ty liked her too. Now the big dilemma comes: will she lose the respect of the football team, be the topic of the locker rooms if she gives in to her girly fantasies?

Henry – he’s swoon-worthy! He’s really a great friend to Jordan and I love their relationship because he is every dependable and is always ready to catch her. What more could a girl ask for? Well, only that he can be a bit stubborn and afraid to take risks. It is frustrating!

I like Jordan’s family. Her mom is pretty cool – allowing Henry to still sleep over with certain conditions and being always present during her games supporting her all the way. Mike, her brother is also pretty amazing. He plays for a college team but still comes to her game when he has the time. The only problem is her father – the great NFL player Donovan Woods who seemed to support everyone but her. But I understand where this is coming from – fatherly concern. I love how he redeemed himself in the near-end of the story. The scene was very touching and Miranda Kenneally did a fantastic job – it was heartwarming and my favorite scene in the whole book.

Okay, sex. It wasn’t discussed or elaborated. It was just basically slumped into the story just to add – probably spice? I would love to romanticize about it. Especially between two people who seemed to be in love with each other. But it doesn’t matter that much because you’ll overcome the frustration as you continue on reading. This book is an epic and Simone Elkeles is right to say this is a must-read book!

Catching Jordan is not just about the ultimate girl power. It is about being okay to show vulnerability and emotions without losing yourself. You can be friends with people you never expected, that you can find love that you always wanted is sometimes staring you right in the face, and sometimes the thing that you wanted most may not be the best for you.

Favorite Quotes

“I didn't know crushing on a guy would require me to up my calorie intake.” 

“One thing I learned a long time ago is that even if you think you're meant to be with someone, that doesn't necessarily mean you get to be with them.” 

“When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special.” 

“Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do. To get something better, you know?” 

“Sometimes friendship is just that, just being with someone.” 

“But what happens when you don't find that right person? Do you just spend the rest of your life in a relationship where the conversation isn't great, everything isn't perfect, but it is nice and sweet?” 

“You know, there's no more dangerous creature on Earth than the teenage girl.” 

“How can you be in love with someone for forever and not be willing to take a chance when it finally hits you in the face like a linebacker?” 

“Suddenly I have the first knee problems of my life: they turn to rubber.”
ChuCha