Monday, June 30, 2014

Thoughts

I was in my PJs, my hair was a mess and I was sitting in front of the tele, watching reruns of the TV series- Star-Crossed, which unfortunately did not get renewed for a new season. Just when I thought that Roman was going to kiss Emery, my phone rang.
 
The caller turns out to be one of my former classmates. Imagine my surprise and panic when she told me that she was on her way to pick me up for a quick hang out with some friends and that she would reach my house in 5 minutes or so. 
 
That night turned out to be okay. As I sat  at the table, waiting for our food to arrive, I can't help but feel nostalgic about my years in secondary school and even primary school. Looking at the three faces as they chatted animatedly about recent events going on in their lives, I remembered the moments that we share when we were still in secondary school. And how everything just feels different somehow.
 
I think that I've never really appreciated those moments I share with my friends until I've graduated and finally the truth started sinking in- I may not get more of those moments, not with that particular group of friends anyway. Sure, I'll be making new memories with new people. But I don't think they'll be the same.
 
Right after that hang out, I just couldn't kick that sense of nostalgia out of my system. Okay, this may sound weird but since that impromptu hang out, I have started reading The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot. What does that have to do with me being nostalgic? Well, the thing is, when I was 14, I picked out the first book of that series from my school library and wrote a book review about it. I remember how my friends and I  would try to reach the school library first and snatch the newly stocked books off from the shelves. Well, I always lost since most of my book lovers friends were volunteering as librarians and they had access to those books before I even had the chance to even look at the cover of the books. I missed that about school.
 
So, I went through some of my old school stuff and found the booklet in which I wrote all my book reviews (FYI, all students are required to hand in that booklet to the teacher-in-charge at the end of each month). I read my review for Shadowland (that's book #1 in The Mediator series) and I laughed. Yes, I laughed at the younger me. How silly I had been (and probably still am though I hope that I'm much more mature now) that I even dared to put " since he was so hot and all, Suze feels uncomfortable to..." in my review which my teacher would read. Thank goodness I didn't mention my fictional crush on Jesse in that review but I guess anyone would have guessed about it after reading that sentence I wrote.
 
I enjoyed reading The Mediator Series then and I still do now even after all these years. However, for some reason I'd forgotten, I did not finish reading the series. Well, I take it as a perfect timing for me to relive part of my past through reading this series now.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The One by Kiera Cass


Image via Goodreads
Title: The One (The Selection #3)
Author: 
Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Romance

Blurb:

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown--or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose--and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.



My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The One by Kiera Cass is the third and last instalment in The Selection series.
I smiled, I laughed, I gasped aloud (at one point). Overall, it was a fun read for me.

I started this book hoping that the main character- America Singer would end up with her first love-Aspen Leger. Like America, I found myself going back and forth with who I wish she would end up with - Prince Maxon or Aspen. But after how things went down in Book 2- The Elite, I was rooting for Aspen. I was.

However, Maxon just won me over in The One. The little gestures of his love and affection for America are just so sweet. They obviously care about each other so much but both Maxon and America are just insecure. Due to their insecurities over love, neither of them are willing to let the other know just how much they love each other. Sure, they use actions to express their love but that just wasn't enough for them. The middle section of the novel focuses more on that aspect.

I've heard from other readers that they find America Singer's character really frustrating. The reason being that she is so indecisive about the choices that she makes. I personally am not bothered by that. That's probably because I'm just as indecisive as America is when it comes to making decisions. However, there are a few times when I feel like shaking America myself. Just tell Maxon you love him already!!

Other than the romance, readers get to see how all the finalists of The Selection come together and become closer than ever. Even Celeste, who was the mean diva in previous books of the series, became friends with America. I seriously will miss Celeste. (I won't give out too much spoiler here.)

I  wish that we get to read more on all the action that went down in the final rebel attack at the castle. Readers get to read about the rebel attack, that is until America was taken to a safe room. When she was locked in that room, I just thought- Wait, does this mean I won't know what's going on with the rebel attack?  Although I wish I get to read more on that, I am satisfied with how the story turns out. I guess it's just that Kiera Cass got me hooked on the action of the rebel attack and I wanted more.

I enjoy this final instalment to The Selection Series. It's been a fun ride. I just can't believe The Selection series is over. I'm not ready to let go just yet.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han


Image via Goodreads
Title: To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han

Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I really enjoy reading this book. In fact, after I read it, I found myself grinning as I thought about some of the scenes in the story. This book just makes me happy.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before is about a girl named Lara Jean and how her life got out of control when all her love letters were mailed by someone (accidentally on purpose). The love letters, which were meant for her own eyes only, were addressed to all the five boys she has loved in the past. They include her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh.

In the beginning, I thought that the story would be highly predictable, that is I thought that Lara Jean would eventually end up with Josh since she has got a crush on him for the longest time (though it would be weird with Josh being the ex-boyfriend of her sister). As the story progresses, I realised that it's not as predictable as I thought it would be. Peter Kavinsky- one of the boys who received the love letter- and Lara Jean decided to be in a fake relationship for their own personal reasons- Peter to get his ex-girlfriend jealous and Lara Jean to get things between her and Josh back to normal. I knew that they would fall for each other for real. I mean, I don't believe in platonic relationships, especially when you are fake dating the other person!

At first, I didn't like Peter Kavinsky's character as I thought that he was arrogant (which he kinda was); but then, he turned out to really sweet. I love the relationship he shares with Lara Jean in the story. There were some laugh-out-loud moments for me as I read through the scenes involving Peter and Lara Jean. Throughout the story, I kept wondering who Lara Jean would end up with- Josh or Peter.

I am dissatisfied with the ending as there is no definite conclusion. How can the story end with a "Dear Peter..."??? But then I found out there will be a sequel to this book which is scheduled to be published in... 2015.

Now, I just have to wait for a year to see how Lara Jean's love life progresses.



Saturday, June 7, 2014

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


Image via Goodreads
Title: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)
Author: Rick Yancey
Release Date: May 7th, 2013         
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Genre: YA, Dystopia

Blurb:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I find the first hundred pages of the book boring and confusing (the exception to this is the prologue. The prologue is really interesting). I found myself rereading previous paragraphs, trying to make sense of the story. With that said, I feel that the story is not organised well. When I reached the 100 mark, I seriously felt that picking up this book was a mistake.

Thankfully, the story starts to pick up pace and I started to get where the story is going after that. Before I even realised it, I am sucked right into the story. The 5th Wave includes multiple point of views but the one that I enjoy reading the most is that of the Silencer (though there's only one segment of the novel told from his point of view).

I've read several books on alien invasion before this book. Comparing those books and Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave, I have to say that The 5th Wave would have to be the most action-packed regardless of the confusing and somewhat boring part in the beginning of the story.

One of the things I like about this book is the suspense of the story. I would make theories as I read, but then few pages after that I would change my theories. The suspense make it more fun for me as a reader.

When Cassie met Evan Walker (Finally!), I theorised that Evan is the Silencer, that Evan might not be Evan and that he might just be another alien infested in a human body. But then, I would doubt it and thought that maybe he's not; he's just a human like Cassie. I have to say, I enjoy reading the middle section of the story (that's when their lives crossed) the MOST! I love the interaction between Evan and Cassie. Evan is just so sweet.

This book involves some military stuff which does not interest me much (mostly found in the POV of Ben Parish- Cassie's crush who doesn't even know she existed). What interests me is the relationship Ben shares with 5-year-old Sammy (Cassie's little brother). Ben took Sammy under his wing and cared for him when Sammy didn't have Cassie by his side.

When I finished the entire book, only one thought came to mind- Evan Walker, you better be alive!

Yes, I have developed a crush on yet another fictional character.

So, will I read the second book in this trilogy? Yes, I think I will.

Even with a weak start to the story, Rick Yancey did not disappoint.