Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: We Were Liars by E Lockhart

5 stars for We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

Utterly brilliant and a page turner, We Were Liars tells of a tragic family drama, the roots of which go back generations.

When Lockhart’s mysterious, haunting novel opens, readers learn that Cady, during this summer, has been involved in an accident, in which she sustained a blow to the head, and now suffers from debilitating migraines and memory loss. She does not return to Beechwood until summer 17, when she recovers snippets of memory, secrets and lies -- as well as issues of guilt, blame, love and truth -- all come into play.

Reading this book invokes alot of mixed feelings. Narrated from Cady's first person point of view, I feel as if I am one with her; experiencing her joys and happiness one moment, and going through bouts of grief and desolation next.

The world building is fantastic with well established background history and characters weaved beautifully into a tale. I love it that the ending is totally not what I have expected.

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: 13 May 2014


A beautiful and distinguished family.

A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends - the Liars - whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.

This deeply charged psychological thriller by National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart captures the complexities of inter-generational family relationships, the intensity of romantic love, and the heartbreak that both can inflict.

Read it. And if anyone ask you how it ends, LIE.

*Blurb from FantasticFiction*

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: Vampire Next Door by Angela Snyder

2.5 stars for Vampire Next Door by Angela Snyder.

Vampire Next Door starts out mysteriously great and promising; and compels me to read beyond the sample chapters.

Sadly, it fails to generate sufficient curiosity to sustain the level of interest required for me to continue reading conscientiously. At 50% mark, I am thoroughly bored by the overflowing mundane details, and keep waiting to get to know the main characters beyond a skin-deep level but it continues to disappoint.

Though the story is smooth flowing with a fast moving plot, the lack of depth in character building coupled with some loose ends leave me feeling dissatisfied upon completion of the book.

Publisher: Angela Snyder
Publication date: 26 Nov 2013


After being left for dead in the woods, a woman wakes up from a coma. With no memory of her past, she is given the name Jane Doe. While trying to adjust to her new life, tragedy strikes again. However, this time a mysterious and handsome next-door neighbor is there to help her pick up the pieces. But is he really a stranger, or does he hold the key to unlocking her past and finding out who wants her dead?

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

5 stars for Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes.

The fact that I'd been on a dolphin and whale watch cruise years ago in New Zealand Kaikoura, makes me feel nostalgic and passionately closer to the beautifully crafted story characters in their attempts to save Silver Bay and keep their secrets hidden.

Compelling and utterly sentimental, this whale of a tale is told through the eyes of various individuals ranging from 10 to 76 years of age, with their own hopes, fears and secrets.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Publication date: 1 Jan 2007


Liza McCullen will never escape her past. But the unspoilt beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves – if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah.

Until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel, and the peace of Silver Bay is shattered. The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and disturbing eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbours her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love – never deserve to love – again.

*Blurb from author's website*

Publisher: Hodder Paperback
Publication date: 24 Jan 2008

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

4 stars for Salvage by Alexandra Duncan.

Salvage is a Young Adult Sci-Fic fantasy story with a feminist twist that explores the themes of oppression, rebellion, choice and family ties.

Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Not only is Ava illiterate, she lives in a shadow of a life and her future is not her own to fashion. Worst of all, her blood family is a tangle of secrets in which Ava is determined to unravel.

I enjoy reading this smooth flowing debut novel with riveting characters. Impressive pragmatic ending too.

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: 1 Apr 2014


Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean.

This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can't read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change?

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Broken Wings by Erika Ashby

4 stars for Broken Wings by Erika Ashby.

Broken Wings is a story about pilots and their loved ones; of the occupational risk of flying, of tragedy striking unexpectedly, of picking up the broken pieces and learning to soar up high again.

The first 30% is slow moving as the author lays the necessary groundwork of character building and story development. After the foundation is laid, there comes the flood which breaks the dam. I am not able to put the book down. My eyes go teary, my heart breaks.

Publisher: Erika Ashby
Publication date: 9 Mar 2014


Lynsie Fox has what she considers to be a perfect life. Married to Lincoln, a military pilot, she's living the Army life she's always loved. Being a sucker for great love stories, Lynsie makes it her mission to find Lincoln's best friend and co-pilot, Dax Adams, a good woman.

Losing the one woman he's ever loved, Dax attempts to be a good sport by playing along in Lynsie's match-making scheme. However, Dax is certain he will never get the woman of his dreams.

But life doesn't always fly smoothly. When turbulence strikes, Lynsie watches her world crash and burn around her, leaving her empty with broken wings. Despite her grief, can she mend the pieces back together and learn to fly again?

*Blurb from author's website*

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review: My Everything (Beaumont #1.5) by Heidi McLaughlin

4 stars for My Everything (Beaumont book 1.5) by Heidi McLaughlin.

I am glad that the author dedicates a short novella on Nick after the conclusion of book 1 Forever My Girl.

Nick is an attractive side character with very pleasing personality in book 1 of the Beaumont series. He certainly deserves his story to be told with a happily ever after.

Publisher: MadBear Publishing
Publication date: 2 Jan 2014


When Nick Ashford lost his friend, Mason, he didn’t realize he was going to lose his family as well, but that’s exactly what happened. Alone and in a foreign country, Nick is working on rebuilding his life one patient at a time, that is, until a striking volunteer makes her presence known.

Can Nick finish his year in Africa without risking his heart being broken again, or is he willing to start a new chapter in his life before his return to Beaumont?

*Blurb from author's website*

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Review: Forever My Girl (Beaumont #1) by Heidi McLaughlin

4.5 stars for Forever My Girl (Beaumont Book 1) by Heidi McLaughlin.

Forever My Girl is a captivating second chance happy-sad love story with a realistically lifelike plot.

I relish the superb writing style whereby the author presents readers the opportunity to look beyond the superficial facades that the characters wrapped themselves in by sharing their life story from first person point of view.

With occasional flashback to the past, each chapter alternates between Liam and Josie's perspective and is kept short and concise, making reading very manageable.

Overall, an impressive debut novel.

Publisher: Bandit Publishing
Publication date: 2 Jan 2014


I was never supposed to be a rock star. I had my life all planned out for me. Play football in college. Go to the NFL. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after.I broke both our hearts that day when I told her I was leaving. I was young. I made the right decision for me, but the wrong decision for us. I’ve poured my soul into my music, but I’ve never forgotten her. Her smell, her smile.And now I’m going back.

After ten years.

I hope I can explain that after all this time.

I still want her to be my forever girl.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Against All Odds (Against #1) by Angie McKeon

1 star for Against All Odds (Against book 1) by Angie McKeon.

I happen to chance upon Against All Odds months before the book is published and am deeply drawn by the wistful and melancholy synopsis. Like a moth attracted to light, I added this book to my to-be-read list immediately and waited patiently for its release.

Some books are worth the world waiting for. Regrettably and disappointingly, Against All Odds is not one of them. The story starts off ok but becomes sluggish and lackluster after the second chapter.

It becomes almost too painful and tedious to continue reading at some point in time as there are too many tiresome repetitive scenes with the characters trapped in a vicious circle of the same recurring issues for unfounded, irrational reasons. Likewise, some of these issues are not properly addressed and leave the reader downright dissatisfied after reading.

This book is definitely one whereby I would have love to slap the characters all the way to Sunday and back.

Against All Odds could have been better developed if the author has spent more time on background story, added age and maturity to the characters and of course, cut the repetition.

Publisher: Angie McKeon
Publication date: 1 Apr 2014


Our lives shattered... Our hearts broken... Our souls torn to pieces...

He was my world, my whole life. My reason for breathing. I had a perfect marriage, a baby on the way, and I felt fulfilled—almost invincible.

Until the day life hit, leaving me broken, vulnerable, and alone.

She was my life. My ray of hope on the cloudiest day. With her, I thought I had the ultimate safety. A love that would never hurt or betray me. I gave her my heart, my body, and my soul.

Until she broke me, destroying every dream and illusion I had about life, love, and marriage.

In our grief, we made a mistake. A mistake I'm not sure we can come back from.

*Blurb from author's website*

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: Grave Peril (The Dresden Files #3) by Jim Butcher

4 stars for Grave Peril (The Dresden Files book 3) by Jim Butcher.

Chicago wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden features yet again in this book 3 of The Dresden Files, a spooky, bizarre novel that begins almost as innocently as any other normal day in daily life.

In Grave Peril, Harry confronts his latest and most dangerous challenge in the person of a ghost of a supernatural being who possesses the power to invade people's nightmares and uses other ghosts to wreak havoc on the living.

The story is well paced and engaging with mysterious, peculiar new characters introduced. We also see new development in Harry's almost non-existent love life of which the ending hinted at further romance progression to come in the next instalment.

Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition
Publication date: 4 Nov 2008


Harry Dresden’s faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago area phone book.

But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: the spirit world’s gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble — and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone — or something — is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc.

But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself….

*Blurb from author's website*

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Honeymoon in Paris (The Girl You Left Behind Novella) by Jojo Moyes 

4.5 stars for Honeymoon in Paris (The Girl You Left Behind Novella) by Jojo Moyes.

Honeymoon in Paris is the enthralling prequel novella to The Girl You Left Behind. This book is a must read for fans who have already fallen in love with the heartbreaking romance stories -- that of Sophie and Edouard Lefevre in France during the First World War, and, nearly a century later, Liv Halston and her husband David.

A mesmerising story of love, devotion, commitment and tells of strength, of faith, of determination and most of all, of belief in oneself in the most tumultuous of times.

Publisher: Penguin
Publication date: 16 Aug 2012


Honeymoon in Paris takes place several years before the events to come in The Girl You Left Behind when both couples have just married.

Sophie, a provincial girl, is swept up in the glamour of Belle Epoque Paris but discovers that loving a feted artist like Edouard brings undreamt of complications.

Following in Sophie’s footsteps a hundred years later, Liv, after a whirlwind romance, finds her Parisian honeymoon is not quite the romantic getaway she had been hoping for . . .

*Blurb from author's website*

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: Reasonable Doubt (Reasonable Doubt #1) by Whitney Gracia Williams

2 stars for Reasonable Doubt (Reasonable Doubt book 1) by Whitney Gracia Williams.

Reasonable Doubt is a short story, one which I finish reading in a sitting and spend less than 60 minutes from start to end. In the strictest sense, this does not feel like a book but just a few chapters of easy reading.

As an entertaining read to tide over the emptiness left by the aftermath of finishing my previous intensive book, this is considered a lighthearted laid-back story.

While I do adore the controlling alpha kind of male in dark romance, I do not care for the abusive kind of personality coming from the lead male character. This is where I find the storyline weak and forlorn as the male protagonist starts out ok but ends up being a total jerk; and the girl who is supposed to be strong in personality ends up being absurdly meek.

Publisher: WGW
Publication date: 31 Mar 2014


As a high profile lawyer, I don't have time to waste on relationships, so I fulfill my needs by anonymously chatting and sleeping with women I meet online.

My rules are simple: One dinner. One night. No repeats.

This is only casual sex. Nothing more. Nothing less.

At least it was , until "Alyssa"...

She was supposed to be a 27 year old lawyer, a book hoarder, and completely unattractive. She was supposed to be someone I shared law advice with late at night, someone I could trust with details of my weekly escapades.

But then she came into my firm for an interview—acollege-intern interview, and everything fucking changed...

*Blurb from Goodreads*

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