Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Book Summary : One girl could change four lives forever…

Mysterious Leila, who is on the road trip of a lifetime, has a habit of crashing into people’s worlds at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s Hudson, who is willing to throw away his dreams for love. And Bree, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. Elliot who believes in happy endings…until his own goes off-script. And Sonia who worries that she’s lost her ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. But Leila’s trip could help her discover something bigger — that sometimes, the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way…

My Rating : 3.5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : These days, when contemporary are all the rage after the grand success of The Fault in Our Stars, Let's Get Lost didn't deliver me the satisfaction. The writing itself was good, in not great.

The book was a union of four separate stories, every one of them has one character in common—Leila, and her impact on four other characters. While two of the stories kept me upright, the other two bored me to tears. Especially Bree’s story.

For Hudson’s story, it was so-so. It didn't pull me in, neither compelled me to stop reading. I understood his situation perfectly—a moment’s indulgence that tore him between his interview for bright future and the girl he just met. Their encounter might give you sense of an insta-love, however, it didn't bother me, because such happens. In fact, I've seen my own friend falling in love like that, at the first sight. Blessedly, the feeling sticks to likeness rather than love, and slowly develops through the entire night they spent together.

The next was Bree’s story. For me it was the most boring one, uninteresting. I couldn't connect with Bree or her reasons to leave her sister, a sister who, despite her own distraught, loved her so much. And Bree just rubbed it all on her face and run away. How selfish.

The next is optimistic and enthusiastic Elliot, whose story I just luuurrrved. I loved his idea about friendship and love and happy endings, I loved that his utter devotion to his best friend he was secretly in love with, and strongly believes she’ll someday return his love. And his belief was shattered into shards when his story goes off-script. Here, I can’t say anymore, ‘cause that’ll spoil the readers.

The story I most loved Sonia’s. She was a mutli-layered character, her inner turmoil and conflict with herself was presented is a way that touched my heart. Mostly because I've closely experienced something her character had. When she lost her love, she worried she had lost her ability to love too, until she encountered someone else. It was story of self-growth, overcoming her fear, and moving on with life.

All the characters and their stories were bound by a thread called Leila, a carefree spirit who is hiding her own sadness behind a happy façade. I kept reading the book to see her ending—if it was a tragic or happy one. And trust me, I’m super pleased.

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Paper Towns by John Green

Book Summary : Quentin has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman, for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow.

But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance . . . and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

Masterfully written by John Green, this is a thoughtful, insightful and hilarious coming-of-age story.

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : John Green's books are like sugar candies. Sweet and fluffy and addictive. With John Green’s classy prose, the plot was definitely engaging enough to engulf any reader, but having read The Fault in Our Stars first, I found it little let-down in comparison to TFIOS.

Margo Roth Spiegelman and Quentin Jacobson are neighbors since childhood. While Margo is cheerful and full of live, a bluff-master and a maverick, Quentin is just the opposite. Their friendship remained into category of ‘just-friends’ until one night Margo suddenly shows up in Q’s window and persuades him to become her official driver-cum-partner-in-crime in eleven mischievous (some revengeful) acts that needs to be accomplished on the same night. Those impish acts range from exposing a lecherous relationship between her ex-boyfriend Jase and her best friend Becca, to breaking into the highly secured SunTrust building.

Though the whole night Q enacted the role of a fearsome guy, but still those were the hours when he could actually anticipate what Margo is all about. Not to mention, his likeness for her starts morphing into something more than that. And, as expected, after the night he expected their friendship to grow. However, he is proven wrong. The next day Margo is gone and a week later she is still missing. Unlike the previous times she eloped leaving everyone clueless with her strange clues, Q leans this time she left clues only for him.

For she is Margo-the-maverick, her clues lead Q to nowhere.

The story then accelerates its engage-charm when Q becomes desperate to find Margo, accompanied by his three friends Ben, Rader and Lacey in this search mission. And here is John Green’s wizardry. He made the story to be told from a wannabe graduate Q’s perspective unfolding many thought elements which are so much accurate and primitive for existence.

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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Book Summary : Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

My Rating : 5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : “Love makes us such fools.”

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is the kind of book that stabs you right in the gut with its earnestness and insight.

Time, when we dwell on memories, helps us see scattered fragments of the past in a clearer light. Some moments are brighter and some darker—strange and beautiful that haunts you forever.

Like The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender.

A story of an entire family. A hypnotic generational saga of their love like curse and losses they faced, the pain and passion and obsession of tragic youth. Heart-wrenching and leaves the reader depleted, disintegrate into infinite shards.

“To many, I was myth incarnate, the embodiment of a most superb legend, a fairy tale. Some considered me a monster, a mutation. To my great misfortune, I was once mistaken for an angel. To my mother, I was everything. To my father, nothing at all. To my grandmother, I was a daily reminder of loves long lost. But I knew the truth — deep down, I always did.

I was just a girl.”

No doubt Leslye Walton’s writing deserves a huge round of applauds because of its romanticism, lyrical prose and bittersweet view towards harsh realities. The writing was simply haunting and compelling, layered with so many inexplicable emotions I’m still struggling to grasp at. It wasn't exaggerated when Walton’s prose was compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s. The author’s depiction of Pinnacle Lane the most atmospheric I have ever come across, her portrait of the lives, their hopes and dreams and disappointments were vivid, melding together in wave the comes crashing upon the readers.


When I finished the book, all did was to clutch it, and lay in my bed, with tears rolling down my cheeks. I never felt so broken since I read The Storyteller two years ago, which, not to mention, craved my heart out of my chest.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is probably—no, most definitely the best read of this year so far.


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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Book Summary : The war begins...

Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand men and women who live in the vast caves beneath the surface of Mars. Generations of Helldivers have spent their lives toiling to mine the precious elements that will allow the planet to be terraformed. Just knowing that one day people will be able to walk the surface of the planet is enough to justify their sacrifice. The Earth is dying, and Darrow and his people are the only hope humanity has left.

Until the day Darrow learns that it is all a lie. Mars is habitable - and indeed has been inhabited for generations by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. The Golds regard Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

With the help of a mysterious group of rebels, Darrow disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside.

But the command school is a battlefield. And Darrow isn't the only student with an agenda...

My Rating : 4 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Darrow, a Helldiver - what's that? Yeah that's what Darrow, the main protagonist of Red Rising is. A Helldiver—a person who works in mines of Mars. And he is the only one from his hometown, Lykos, a settlement town buried beneath the surface of Mars. You have tunnels in place of streets and alleys. There is no concept of money, only services and commodities that are traded. You don't have antibiotics for burns you get in mine. You have to sell your body to a person of higher Color to get that.

"I grew up with a quick smiling girl of fifteen so in love with her husband that when he was burned in the mines and his wounds festered, she sold her body to a Gamma in return for antibiotics."

And when his love is gone, driven by loss and fueled by vengeance, a Red rose against the Golds' injustice. And to bring down the system, he crosses many obstacles, is helped by some highly techie persons like Dancer, Harmony, Micky, and Matteo—who even possess the capability of saying, "We are forming synapses, my darling."

The world building is vivid and detailed. The principle hierarchy shown in Red Rising reminded me of Caste system once prevailed in ancient Indian subcontinents. Here, the society is discriminated by ranks, and defined by colors. In laymen words Colors are categorization of people from different breeds (by birth as it is) and have a dedicated profession of their own. You have Reds (Lower Class), Browns, Pinks (Pleasure Giving Class), Coppers (Bureaucrats) and the GOLDS (The Highest).

Moreover I got a good explanation of muscle swelling from Gyms-

"The idea of building muscle is to exercise it, which is nothing more than using the muscle intensely enough to create microscopic tears in the tissue fiber. This is the pain one feels in the days after an intense workout-torn tissue- not lactic acid. When the muscle repairs the tears, it builds on itself. This is process the concentration machine is built to facilitate. This is the devil's own invention."

And here, from last sentence, you get my penny - Pierce Brown is an awesome writer.

"They are born with calluses. Born with scars and hatred."

Yeah, the way he smuggles his thinking, and fills emotions in those small sentences, the way he introduces his own words - slingBlade, forceGenerator, knifeRing etc.

The romance was, however, short lived, and Darrow’s driving force. And even in its mere existence, the romance made me swoon and sad at the same time.

"In her eyes, I see my heart. In her breath, I hear my soul. She is my land. She is my kin. My love"

In short, Pierce Brown debuts with an engaging plot weaved in an appraising writing style.

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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Cover Reveal : MIRROR X

Author: Karri Thompson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: June23, 2014
Find it: Goodreads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|iTunes

Summary : I was born more than a thousand years ago. Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I've finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future. But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me. Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets.
The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either. When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…

Exclusive Excerpt:

Michael took a seat on the edge of my bed, rocking me toward him. When the side of my thigh met his knee, my heart rate doubled, and I drew in a deep breath.
“Before you were awakened I spent hours at your bedside imaging what you were like, how your voice would sound, how you looked when you smiled. When your red lips pulsed, when your chest heaved, and you took your first breath, I kept my emotions in check. But now, now that you’ve ‘awakened,’ everything is different. I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about you.”
I ignored the pain and tilted closer until the space between our faces was less than a foot. My heart, my mind, my soul—everything yearned for his affection at that moment.
“I feel the same way, too.”

I closed my eyes, wanting this handsome, earnest guy to take me into his arms and tell me he’d make them let me go. My lungs expanded with his warm breath and spicy scent. When his lips met mine, every atom in my body danced, urging me to pull him closer and tighten my grip upon his back.
His kissing became more fiery and I reacted by kissing him harder. It wasn’t until his mouth moved to my neck, that I came to my senses and drew away.
“Not yet,” I said, scooting away.
“I know,” he said between breaths, rising from the bed. His wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his uniform and returned to the chair. “I can’t…we can’t. We can never…,” he said abruptly. “It’s against protocol. I-I should go.”

About The Author:
Karri’s debut YA novel, Amateur Angel, was released May 1, 2012. The next book in that series, Hollywood Angels, came out September 1, 2013. The first book in her upcoming dystopian trilogy, The Van Winkle Chronicles, will be released by Entangled Publishing Spring 2014.

Giveaway Details:

1 eGalley of MIRROR X International

a Rafflecopter giveaway