Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: The Survival Kit by Francesca Freitas

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, October 23, 2014 0 comments
Title: The Survival Kit
Author: Donna Freitas
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Published October 11th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format Read: Hardcover, 351 pages
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository

Description from Goodreads
When Rose’s mom dies, she leaves behind a brown paper bag labeled Rose’s Survival Kit. Inside the bag, Rose finds an iPod, with a to-be-determined playlist; a picture of peonies, for growing; a crystal heart, for loving; a paper star, for making a wish; and a paper kite, for letting go.

As Rose ponders the meaning of each item, she finds herself returning again and again to an unexpected source of comfort. Will is her family’s gardener, the school hockey star, and the only person who really understands what she’s going through. Can loss lead to love?

My Review:

I'm not sure why I'm so interested in reading books about death and loss. Maybe it's because I've never experienced the loss a loved one, and so I want to know and understand what it's like. However, I don't think I fully understand it yet, and I don't know how I'll react if something that horrible ever happens to me. But I've read and loved a couple of novels that portray honest emotional responses to loss, and I've just added The Survival Kit to that list of wonderful books, because this novel is simply beautiful. It's sweet and I really, really enjoyed reading it.

I liked that Rose's mom leaved her a 'survival kit' to help her go through her loss and grief. I liked that each item in the survival kit eventually helped Rose during hard moments, and that Rose knew exactly when she had to use them.

The beginning of the book was really slow, the first chapters were like an introduction to either the objects in Rose's survival kit or the characters, but thankfully around 60 pages or so a few interesting stuff began to happen. Although I usually don't like reading slow-paced books, I liked how The Survival Kit took its time to talk about Rose and what was going on with her. I got to know her really well which is why I ended up deeply caring for her; I believe I wouldn't have loved this book as much as I did if it just gave me a glimpse of her life.

After her mom's death, Rose finally acknowledged Will, and the two just clicked. They realized that they understood each other really well, so they became good friends and then more than friends. But since things were going so smoothly between the two of them, I already knew that there would be a little bit of drama towards the end.

Will is an okay love interest. Well, maybe he's more than okay. I really like that he's mature and responsible, and I totally get why Rose is so into him. He's an amazing hockey player and he's got the looks and all. But when he did this huge mistake I was like:
How can you not care Will???

I really enjoyed the book though. The ending was so beautiful, and I love how the author listed all the songs on Rose's playlist at the end of the book.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Trailer + Giveaway! UNSTRUNG by Kendra C. Highley

Posted by Wajiha Q at Thursday, October 16, 2014 0 comments
UnstrungUNSTRUNG by Kendra C. Highley
Lexa Pate, seventeen-year-old thief extraordinaire, has burned a bridge or two in her life. You don’t make a career out of stealing other people’s property without making enemies. When a risky job goes from bad to worse, Lexa and her adopted family find themselves on Precipice Corporation’s hit list because they’ve accidentally stolen the wrong thing—plans for a new model of genetically engineered super humans. Now, every bounty hunter, cop on the take, and snitch in the city is after them. Lexa’s world crumbles around her as she fights to keep her family safe even as someone strolls out of her forgotten past. Quinn claims to know who Lexa really is, but can she trust a stranger she met while robbing his boss? More importantly, does she really want to know what Quinn has to tell her? 

Based on the fairy tale Pinocchio, UNSTRUNG takes you into a near future world where the lines between fake and real are blurred, all that’s pristine isn’t always innocent, and being a criminal isn’t always wrong.
 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Release Day Review: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin (repost)

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, October 07, 2014 0 comments
Title: Queen of Someday
Author: Sherry D. Ficklin
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (more like 3.5)
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication: October 7th 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository

Description from Goodreads
ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

My Review:

CONS:
- The book focused on what was happening inside the palace, but I was a bit curious to know what was going on outside of it. Sophie constantly said that there would be a war if she didn't marry Peter and become the queen of Russia, but I didn't feel that the stakes were that high. And this is why I believe that the alliances among the European countries should have been explained in detail, because I didn't fully understand how fragile they were.
- When is the story set? I know that it takes place in the past, but I don't know the exact year. I've never been good at history, so I don't know much about Queen Catherine.

PROS:
- I liked Sophie's transformation during her time in the palace. It was interesting to see how this innocent and brave girl became the strong queen of Russia. I was rooting for her from the very beginning, especially since everyone wanted to get rid of her. During her stay in the palace she learned about love, loss and betrayal, but I liked that she didn't let these things faze her; she accepted her fate, and learned to make the best of life.
- I love the historicalness of this book; I was a big fan of the balls, banquets, maze like halls and rich gowns.
- The story wasn't predictable. Whenever I thought I knew where the story was going, something unexpected always happened. I was more than half way through this book and still didn't know how it would end.
- The side characters are very interesting. Obviously, I liked all those who are on Sophie's side, especially Sergei - he was kind and understanding from the very beginning.

All in all, this is not your typical happy ending book. It's happy/sad, but I love the way the book ended. The main character is great and doesn't whine about how unfair her life is. Although I had a few issues with the setting, I truly enjoyed reading Queen of Someday. If you like a lot of drama and intrigue then this book is for you.

Beyond the Gloaming Book Blast + Giveaway!

Posted by Wajiha Q at Tuesday, October 07, 2014 0 comments
Beyond the GloamingSebastian and the Hibernauts: Beyond the Gloaming

It is Easter, 1973 and twelve year old Sebastian Duffy has some serious self-esteem issues. He is beaten by his parents, bullied at school, steals from his friends and still mourning the death of his brother. To cap it all, strange things have begun happening around him and he is finding it hard to distinguish dreams from reality. After a nightmarish assault, he wakes in the Gloaming, a shadow world inhabited by ghosts. There to greet him is Porrig, a creature from Hibercadia, a magical realm crafted from Celtic dreams. Inhabited by Fir Bolg, Tuath and Milesians, it has been overthrown by brother gods from another dreamworld. One brother, Phobitor, is a tyrant and even the Tuath, who took to their underground sidhe millennia ago, are concerned. Sebastian discovers that he alone can save Hibercadia by finding an enchanted spear. Teaming up with the Hibernauts—a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet—he embarks on a fantastical quest, but can he succeed when he is yet to find his magical potential or even his courage, and half the realm is bent on his destruction?  
add to goodreads

Praise for Beyond the Gloaming

I cannot say just how much I have enjoyed this book; you are a very accomplished writer with a wonderfully rich imagination. Your use of the English language is amazing and your ability to create the many different speaking styles in the book and to maintain them is remarkable. You have an incredibly inventive mind and readers will come to love the many wonderful creations in this novel, it is jam-packed with the most wonderful and inventive characters; new, exciting and beautifully realised. ~ The Oxford Editors

An imaginative epic...an intricate and fully realised fantasy world with a big cast of likeable characters that are charming, well drawn and endearing, with wonderfully apt names. The depth and breadth of your high-voltage imagination, and the richness of the world you create is very impressive. ~ Sam Mills, author of Blackout, The Boys Who Saved the World, and The Quiddity of Will Self

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review + Giveaway! Unrequited | Girl Meets Boy Band by Emma Gray

Posted by Wajiha Q at Wednesday, October 01, 2014 0 comments
 Full tour schedule here.
Hi, there! I haven't been very active this week, but I promise I'll reply to all your comments and visit your blogs.
I have a blog tour scheduled for today. Read my review below and enter the giveaway!
Unrequited
by Emma Grey
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (more like 3.5)
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Music, Romance
Release Date:  May 26th 2014
Format Read: Ebook, YA Bound Books BT

Description from Goodreads

Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth's twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn't get it—and where is her best friend?

When did life get so crazy? Kat's just an ordinary schoolgirl.

Isn't she?
My Thoughts:

I had so much fun reading this book! I've read novels about celebrities and actors, but I haven't read any book about a boy band before! Needless to say that I enjoyed this book very much. It does have its negative points, but we'll get to that later.

First let's talk about how cool this book is! OMG. The coincidences that occur in Unrequited are so improbable to happen in real life; there are stuff that would happen only in some crazy fangirls' dreams, and that's why I think this book is so fun to read. (Warning: Don't expect the story to be realistic, because you'll only be disappointed.) I can't help but compare Unrequited to a shoujo manga, because it's full of those cliches that are very common in shoujo. And I believe that this book would be an AMAZING shoujo manga, if it were ever made into one.

While I was reading this book, I spent most of the time fangirling. I enjoyed reading it also because I kept my sister updated with what was happening with Kat, Angus, Joel and Sarah. And obviously we both fangirled together. (Yep. That's what sisters are for. =D)

Although it seems like I overly enjoyed reading this novel, there are things I want to complain about. Firstly I think that the book started off really, really well, but towards the end it lost its spark. At first it was very addicting with lots of moments that made me grin like an idiot, but then the story became predictable, and I knew exactly how it would end which was a little bit boring. Also, the lyrics of the songs in this book aren't that good, and I didn't like any of them except for Somehow. Nevertheless, I still had so much fun reading this book. However, I believe I would have enjoyed Unrequited a lot more, if the author managed to keep the spark till the very end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves 1D or any other boy band, especially to those who love to fangirl!

Read the first three chapters at: www.unrequited.com.au

About the Author
Emma Grey has two teenage girls, a three-year-old boy, a couple of businesses and another teen novel in the pipeline. Her first book, 'Wits' End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum' was published in 2005.


Author Links:

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