Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hover by Melissa West

Image via Goodreads
Title: Hover (The Taking #2)
Author: Melissa West

Release Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Romance, Sci-fi


On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut. Because Zeus will do anything to save the Ancients from their dying planet, and he has a plan. 

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth's atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them. But on Loge, nothing is as it seems...and no one can be trusted.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Oh no! Oh no, oh no..." Those were the words I kept muttering under my breath as I reached the end of Hover(Book 2 of The Taking Series by Melissa West). The ending of Hover left me in a state of shock. I had more questions left unanswered than before I started reading it. What happened to Lawrence? What's going on in Sydia? Will the Ancients and half-Ancients be alright? Where is Jackson??

       I really enjoy reading Hover; however, I love Gravity (Book 1 of The Taking Series) MORE.
I'm not sure if it's just me but I felt that for the first half of Hover, the story progresses rather slowly and lacks action, mostly dealing with the struggle Ari faces in finding herself and also adapting to life on Loge. I also got a glimpse of Jackson as Jackson Castello. In Gravity, I got the impression that Jackson is very collected and in control even when a curve ball is thrown in his way. In Hover, Jackson Castello has had a hard time dealing with life around his grandfather, Zeus and has hit his breaking point. To tell the truth, I like Jackson Locke better than Jackson Castello. I guess, to me, Jackson Locke seems so perfect that it was hard for me to let go of that image created in my mind to accept Jackson as Jackson Castello, who, like everyone else, like Ari, is scared and lost. But I'm slowly getting there...

       I felt that the real action of the story starts in the second half of the book. That is also the part when Ari slowly accepts Jackson as he is and opens up to him.

       Before reading Hover, I'd envisioned Zeus as a kind soul, one who yearns for peace to prevail and also one who would possibly use Ari as a mediator between the 2 species-Ancients and humans, to put an end to the war. However, Melissa West took a completely different turn. Now, Zeus is the bad guy who might be crazy.

       I cannot wait for the final book of The Taking Series- Collide to hit the markets. I am curious to know how Melissa West will end this series.

To read my review on Gravity, click here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A visit to the Caves

I went on a little road trip today around Bau, Sarawak with my family. To tell the truth, I kinda hoped that I'd get to hang around the beach so I got my sandals ready. But visiting the caves is nonetheless awesome though I'm not properly dressed to explore them in my sandals.

First Stop:  Fairy Cave
This is actually my first time visiting Fairy Cave... well, I guess it's better late than sorry :P

To get to the entrance of the Fairy Cave, I need to climb up these stairs. 

The entrance of Fairy Cave

Once I've reached the entrance, I realized that there's still a flight of VERY steep stairs left. The only part that I do not enjoy is climbing up and down the steep stairs inside the cave with little to no daylights to be seen... (not to mention that some parts of the stairs are slippery wet.) My legs became wobbly once I got inside.

Isn't it amazing? I took it from the inside of the cave... maybe the climb is worth it...

Next stop: Wind Cave

I didn't go inside the Wind Cave as my legs are still  quite wobbly so I just went to the small stream flowing outside it to rest my feet..

That's me checking out the waters underneath.

The water is cool and the stream is shallow enough from where I'm standing.

Ain't it pretty? I love the silhouette of the leaves~

I had great fun today and I think I have finally acknowledged the fact that I'm a LITTLE afraid of heights.. have to thank the steep stairs for that..

If you interested in the caves, you can come to Sarawak anytime... The caves, not to mention the stairs (to Fairy Cave) will be there, waiting to be explored.... 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not-so-perfect world

Growing up, I lead a sheltered life. I used to think of the world as Disney perfect (I love all the classic Disney movies and thus, in my imagination, I like to pretend I'm in some Disney movie setting). Well, maybe not perfect, but fair and just and nice. As I mature into a young adult, I realize that this world is anything but perfect.

     Maybe it's just how my personality is but I don't like talking about my emotions openly. I hate it when I let people see me breaking down at my moment of weakness. I suppose I did a pretty good job concealing my feelings until someone asks me to talk about it.

     I've never felt that I've been prejudiced in my social circle. that is until I reached my teens. There was one inter-school debate competition I took part in few years ago and I have never felt so humiliated. There were some kids from a high school, who believe that their school has a better reputation than my school, felt that my team is not good enough and that we just don't deserve to win anything. I was mad that they had to go all the way and made their opinion of us known to the rest of the participants. It turns out the world is not such a perfect place after all...

     What would you do or maybe, what should you do when you can't voice out your opinion regarding a matter close to the heart? What if some person with influence got a fact so messed up that it angered you so, so much but you couldn't make that person see the light since that person is adamant that whatever is said is totally a fact? If you voice out your opinion to refute his, you might start a fight and may face some consequences. But if you don't, you may blame yourself for not sticking up for what you believe in. What would you do? I mean, since some people can be manipulative, will they even listen to your point of view without being biased with their own opinion?


Thursday, August 8, 2013

'My Sister Dilly' by Maureen Lang

Image via Goodreads
Title: My Sister Dilly
Author: Maureen Lang
Release Date: September 24th, 2008

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Source: Bought
Genre: Christian fiction, Contemporary


Hannah Williams couldn't get out of her small hometown fast enough, preferring the faster pace, trendy lifestyle and beauty of California's Pacific Ocean coast. Only when her younger sister, Dilly, makes a desperate choice and commits the unthinkable does Hannah realize she never should have left her behind in rural Illinois. Hannah returns home to make up for letting Dilly down, leaving the one man she's ever loved in California. But Dilly is a changed woman, and when Hannah's plans don't go as expected, the bonds of sisterhood are tested like never before.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first glance at the summary on the back cover of this book, I thought that I will be devastated at the end of the story like how I've always felt when finishing other novels that have a similar theme to 'My Sister Dilly'. Surprisingly, this time, I'm not devastated. In fact, I'm somewhat pleased with myself that I picked up this book and managed to finish reading it within 2 days. I couldn't have asked for a better ending for this story.

I love the flow of the story. The story progresses very smoothly, not too fast, not too slow; unlike some novels (with a similar theme) I have read before. In my opinion, Maureen Lang had described each of the characters and also the settings in detail that I could easily envision them in my mind.

I admire the character-Dilly for her strength in taking care of a handicapped child and also her sister-Hannah, for standing by Dilly even after she had committed a crime. Being a hopeless romantic, I find myself more drawn towards the relationship between Mac and Hannah.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

To change...

I was at the barber shop today when the song 'Landslide' came into my mind... It was so weird that of all the things that I could think of, the verse ' I've been afraid of changing, 'cause I built my life around you' is all I could think of. I tried to resemble watching my hair being cut to watching a landslide (so not working out!)

       I often wonder how some people take changes in their life so easily as if they are not at all bothered by it. Secretly, I admire them for having this attitude towards changes in life and kind of wish that I have such attitude when dealing with changes.
      Truth be told, I'm not a fan of changes.. It took me ages to get used to the fact that I'm no longer a high school student. Also, it took me nearly 2 months just to get used to my life in National Service (that only lasted for 3 months).
     Sometimes, I try to pretend that changes can be prevented, that there's no such thing as 'change'. I know, I know, it's silly as it's just impossible. That is why I have to find the courage to face changes and also to change.