Review: A Job From Hell by Jayde Scott (Anicent Legends #1)

Title: A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends #1)
Author: Jayde Scott
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance Paranormal
Publisher: Scotland (self-published)
Synopsis/Summary: The moment Amber starts her summer job in Scotland and sets eyes upon Aidan, her fate is sealed. Summoned by an ancient bond, she can never love another. Lost in the woods one night Amber enters Aidan's deadly world when she unknowingly participates in a paranormal race and promptly wins the first prize...a prize worth killing for.
In a world of forbidden love, ancient enemies, legends and rituals, nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted. Life will never be the same again, unless she enters the Otherworld. But to do so, Amber must die...
Find the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
    Holy cow I love this book! The plot wasn't exactly very original, however, the story flowed fast and I really enjoyed Jayde's writing.

     Okay, I should say something about what I loved and hated about the plot. First, I loved that the story didn't drag, the events were actually flowing to you chapter after chapter. The book was actually written in dual POVs, and I felt that things really started to pick up after Chapter 7, when there started to have chapters in Adian's POV. The characters in this book were all very tightly woven, there was no excessive characters in this book, no cardboard-cutout sidekick, no mean girl (well, there was one that kind of resembled it, but I wouldn't say she was actually mean, more like obsessed). There were a lot of deals in this book too, which made me think that all the characters were, in some degree, calculating. Well, the stakes were high for every character in this book, so I wouldn't blame them for thinking about themselves and their love before the others. (And I really enjoy watching characters interact that way, they were neither friends nor enemies, I love those kind of relationships!)

     As for something that I hated about the plot... Well, I actually felt that the book started to drag when all of the characters were gathered together, there were so many conversions and distractions going on that it was kind of confusing. I love watching Amber and Adian deal with different characters, but not with all of them on the same time! I was lost reading the countless dialogues and wasn't really sure where the plot was going. Luckily, this only happened in a few chapters. Also, I found that Jatde's writing at the beginning of the story was actually more enjoyable than during the later part of the book. I don't know how this happened, wasn't things supposed to be better rather than worse? Jayde started pouring many jokes in the later part of the story, while some did actually manage to crack me up, some were confusing. I don't mind a few jokes, but sometimes when I was reading dialogues and jokes kept popping up, it actually derails the story and after some time, appears to be boring and excessive. Another problem I had with the plot, was the ending. It was... Weird, several characters that rarely appeared in the story suddenly popped up towards the end, giving readers a final twist, and they way that Jayde saved the main characters from this twist was unexpected, but not in a good way. That solution appears to be too random and awkward and left me thinking, "How convenient that things managed to happen just at the right time. It was genius. Yeah, Not."

    The world-building was not exactly original, but I think Jayde managed to put a good spin on the paranormal world without complex settings.

    I also found that there were a lot of scary mansions in self-published works, whilst I haven't seen the setting on publisher-published works (okay, Anna dressed in Blood should count as one). I don't really mind reading about scary mansions, but of all three of the self-published works I am currently reading are set in scary mansions? That's just weird! Well, I guess that's not exactly the author's fault, I just think they should go different ways other than scary mansions and vampires.

    Which brought me back to the paranormal aspect of the book. The paranormal aspect were actually what crafted the story, unlike the recent books that I read (Envy, Touch series), where paranormal just sort of felt like a device to attract readers, I could almost imagine what those books would be like without the paranormal features. I enjoyed the paranormal in this book, but I couldn't help but cringe when I found out that vampires were involved, again. I haven't read the blurb before reading the book and the blurb actually didn't prepare me for another vampire story, I did enjoy this one though, apparently vampires don't always kill-joy. (I, however, don't enjoy other vampire series like HoN very much, and I haven't read the Twilight Saga OR the Vampire Academy series, so you could see I am not exactly the biggest vampire fan.)

    I really liked the characters of this book, all except Layla, which I think many people would share my hate once they read the book (go read it!)

     Amber was an very average protagonist, she wasn't overly confident with herself, she was brave when needed to be and naturally curious. I didn't expect her to be the snarky kind though. She started cracking a LOT of jokes starting from the middle of the book. That's problem I was talking about  with many jokes popping up in the later part of the story. We already have one snarky character, we don't need another one and Amber's sudden humor actually confused me, she wasn't that funny in the beginning, what changed? I think Jayde should develop Amber more thoroughly before starting to write, instead of adding a new personality to her in the middle of the book. It's weird. I don't hate Amber though, and there weren't times that I want to smack her head which was a very rare situation lately (I seemed to be reading a lot of crappy books lately and it really frustrates me. Some characters irritated me to the point that I wanted to smack his/her head. Ugh!). Amber wasn't without flaws though, actually her biggest flaw was her commitment issue. She couldn't commit herself to potential friends, let alone a guy, she had a hard time trusting people what with the things going on around her and a heartbreak. That changed throughout the book and I really loved the trust that she slowly developed with the characters. I do hope she was more friendly to some characters though. Oh well, I am satisfied.

    As for Aidan, he was hopelessly in love with Amber. But truth be told, I don't really like their romance that much. Sure, I was excited when they first kissed, but after that their relationship just didn't appeal to me anymore, I don't know why. Aidan was a the mopey type, and I was shocked that I didn't hate him as much as I hate Ben from the Touch series (While I don't exactly have any bias towards the mopey type, they usually end up irritating me), maybe it was because of what he did for Amber, I don't know, I usually just go with my instincts with characters. So, my feeling to the guy is neutral, I do think he needs to treat his friends better though. From what I gathered, he didn't have a lot of friends and I think he really need to treasure the few that he had.

   I like Cass, and I also love Kieran a lot. What can I say? I am a sucker for funny guys. And like I said, I need only one snarky character and that's Kieran. So Amber, stop trying to be funny! That's Kieran's job!


    I would give this book 4 stars and I am now starting to really appreciate the self-published world. The settings might not be the most original but at least there was no confusion on the world-building. The plot was intricately woven with interesting and likable characters and I am very glad I stumbled upon this book when it was free on Amazon. I recommend this book to all of you paranormal fans out there. The setting might disappoint a little but the story does not! Have fan reading!

Rating: 4 stars!

Have you guys read any good self-published lately? I am planning on reading more self-published works, any suggestions? Did you guys enjoyed A Job From Hell?


Feature & Follow (2)

Okay, another week has gone by, I'll have a 4-day-weekend, so you can expect to see a couple of reviews very soon. Anyway, I am glad that I got to meet many fellow bloggers last week through the event, so I'll definitely be doing this regularly, so now, let's answer the question...

Q: What is the BIGGEST word you've seen used in a book lately - that made you stop and look it up? Might as well leave the definition & book too.
Now THAT is a good question, because I honestly don't know how to answer it...

    I started reading English books (my first language is NOT English) when I was 13 years old. At first, of course, I had no idea what the book was saying, it all just seemed gibberish to me, I would actually check the dictionary at that time, because I thought if I know the words I'd know the meaning of a sentence (of course that's not the case, there are much more than knowing the words to actually read and understand a book, I know that now). However, even though I'd check the meaning of a word, I have never actually written them down, I was too confident in my own memory, and needless to say, I ended up checking the same word a few times before I could actually remember it. As time went on, my vocabulary expanded, and I now have a much wider vocabulary than my peers, however, I still stumble upon words I don't know time to times, and when that happened, I usually just skip it, I am pretty sure many people do that. So, I actually haven't checked the dictionary for a long time, but I did shortly kept a book which I wrote SOME of the words that I saw, not just books, and I'll find the weirdest one there for you...

    AHA! okay, so tell me, what does "dolichocephalic" means? Okay, I am the one that is supposed to tell you, so, um, I checked on dictionary.com and the meaning is "long-headed"... Did you ever have a moment when you checked the meaning of a word but didn't even know what the meaning means? Yeah, I am in that kind of moment, what do you mean by long-headed? Isn't there a normal length for how long your face is? How long IS long headed and what does the word do? You don't go up to people and say, "Hi, I'm Ally, I am dolichocephalic so don't stare at my head please." Really?

    Anyway, this is not from a book, I am not even sure where I picked up the word, it doesn't even look like a SAT word, so... That's it, feel free comment below so I can learn some new words and also, leave me the link of your blog and I'll make sure to follow you! :)

P.S. Ever since my triumphant at setting up the GFC, I have also added Linky, so now you have three widgets to choose, Networked Blogs, GFC and Linky, choose anyone that you want, of course, I would appreciate you to follow more than one, but, I am just happy to gain followers and to know people read my blog :) And pop in at Twitter to chat with me! I'm @AllysonRida


Review: Deadly Little Games (Touch Series#3) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Games (Touch#3)
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Publisher: Hyperion
Synopsis/Summary: High school juniors Camelia and Ben have discovered a powerful bond: They both possess the power of psychometry, the ability to see the future through touch. For Ben, the gift is a frightening liability. When he senses a strong threat or betrayal, he risks losing control. Camelia's gift is more mysterious. When she works with clay, her hands sculpt messages her mind doesn't yet comprehend.
Before either one has a chance to fully grasp their abilities, a new danger surfaces, but this time, Camelia is not the target. Adam, a familiar face from Ben's past, is drawn into a puzzle he can't solve...and his life is on the line. As the clues pile up, Camelia must decide whether to help him and risk losing Ben or do nothing and suffer the consequences. But in these games, who can be trusted?
Find the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

      Okay, so this time the book is another stalker story with Adam as the stalkee. This series is basically all stalker stories, and since this time there was no major flash-back moments, I don't have anything to complain about. The story is still in the same format, but the stalker notes have improved, adding in more variations, not just "You're dead" and repeat and repeat. While these notes don't seem tailored to especially one subject, like the A notes from PLL (I can't help but think of it whenever the word "stalker" comes up), they are better.

     I also like the crossword puzzles clues a lot. However, I couldn't really get all of the answers right away...Does this means I am stupid? Anyway, LOVE it. It's a refreshing way to send threats and it's cryptic too. It helps add to the spook factor of the story (though there is actually not much spook in the book).

    However, there is one thing that dragged the book: the romance, again. I seriously hate Camelia and Ben's relationship, I can't stress that enough. And this time they went through more drama and it basically ended with another break between them. I feel that this couple can't ever settle down, it has been THREE books already, and they still haven't worked out all the trust issues!? I think that's a major sign that their relationship is not healthy (no, not that meaning), and I still think they should break up. Well , anyway, I am pretty sure they'd break up and then get together again, that's the basic cycle of their relationship. *sigh*

     Since Adam is a big deal in this book, we got to know some of his friends. There's Piper, Tray, Melissa and Janet. However, most of his friends didn't have much dialogue, so I don't really know much about them except some of their hobbies. Well, the book is short, so you can only have so many sentences about new characters, I understand.

      I think characters is actually a very big problem for this series. Since each book is very short (less than 300 pages), we never really got to hear the inner struggles of any characters. I have never really connected with Camelia and this time I think she irritated me even more. She was persistent on helping Adam, and that caused her to say things, not exactly harsh, but more bossy. And I HATED it. As little as I know about Camelia, I still know that she was not someone who would be bossy, she's nicknamed Chameleon for a reason, and I am sure it's not just because of her name. So what she did was a little out of character.

     There's really no characters that I can connect to and that's a major problem in this series, Adam has definitely grown on me with his wit, and he talks a lot, like me, so I actually like him, can't connect to him though. Why wouldn't he call the police when received stalker notes? *another sigh*


     Deadly Little Games is a fast-paced book, a good follow-up on the first two of the series. It was definitely better than the previous two, as the plot is not so similar to other famous YA books, also the plot twist, as usual, is a surprising one, it's a good trait to carry on. However, this book doesn't really strike me as a must read, it's good for passing time so if you have time for a quick read, you can consider it, but I am sure there are other better fast-paced books. All in all, I would give this a three star as it's very average.

Rating: three stars!

So, have you guys seen any good stalker books lately? I would love to know ;)


Review: Envy by Gregg Olsen (Empty Coffin #1)

Title: Envy (Empty Coffin #1)
Author: Gregg Olsen
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Crime, Paranormal
Publisher: Splinter
Synopsis/Summary: Murder is such a dirty word…
New York Times bestselling adult true crime author Gregg Olsen makes his YA debut with Empty Coffin, a gripping new fiction series for teens based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories…with a paranormal touch.
Crime lives--and dies--in the deceptively picture-perfect town of Port Gamble (aka “Empty Coffin”), Washington. Evil lurks and strange things happen--and 15-year-olds Hayley and Taylor Ryan secretly use their wits and their telepathic “twin-sense” to uncover the truth about the town's victims and culprits.
Envy, the series debut, involves the mysterious death of the twins' old friend, Katelyn. Was it murder? Suicide? An accident? Hayley and Taylor are determined to find out--and as they investigate, they stumble upon a dark truth that is far more disturbing than they ever could have imagined.
Based on the shocking true crime about cyber-bullying, Envy will take you to the edge--and push you right over.



    Let me just start by saying that I can NOT finish this book. This book sounds promising from reading the blurb and I was excited to get into it but I am VERY disappointed.

    The plot is mainly a whodunit storyline, that's good, it's a classic and you can hardly imagine anything to go wrong. But that's not the case for Envy. The story is written in various POVs. Actually, there were so many POVs that I've lost count already. Now, various POVs aren't bad, they can actually be very useful if you want to describe how several characters feel about a certain event, but the problem of POVs in Envy is they are too random. In each chapter, which is mostly only three to four pages (short, I know), there were already various POVs appearing. I was left confused after each chapter, and when I tried to recall what I just read, I couldn't. That's just it, the book is too messy and the POVs are all messed up that I am not sure what each chapter's purpose is to the building of the story. Basically, you start with one random character's POVs (I have no idea why some POVs are even necessary), than after a few thoughts and a hell lot of unnecessary descriptions, sometimes followed by a few events, you switched to another character's POV that has nothing to do with the situation of the pervious narrator. It was unexpected, and not in a good way, and I was seriously annoyed by it.

    Basically, the plot was supposed to be that the two main characters, Hayley and Taylor, they are twin sisters by the way, trying to solve the murder (or is it a suicide?) of Katelyn, their deceased (ex-)friend. But the story is so poorly written (not the language though, some sentences are great, meaningless, but great) that I am not even sure Hayley and Taylor are the protagonist of the story. The story doesn't focus much on them trying to solve the crime, instead we were treated with jumbles of thoughts of other secondary characters. To put it simply, the story lacks focus. "What are you trying to do?" "Aren't you suppose to talk about how Hayley and Taylor solve the mystery?" are two questions that I often ask after reading chapter after chapter of dragging descriptions and unrelated sub-plots. There are occasionally flash-backs, apparently trying to explain how Katelyn's life became such a mess before she died. They were good additions, but they ended too abruptly, and I thought the flash-backs would resume after a few chapters, maybe a character completing her thought on the event, but NO, we don't such a luxury, instead we were left with endless questions of why the flash-back was necessary and what happened after that.

    I read a good (figuratively speaking) half of the book before I decided to stop reading it all together. I usually complete a book no matter how painful it is to continue, but I really can't do it anymore. I was in no mood to pick the book for over a week and I think that's a good enough reason to quit.


    So it was said in the beginning of the book that this story was based on a real-life incident, good, so the world-building would be believable since it actually happened. I read half of the book and there were no major problems with the town of Pot Gamble.

    What I had problem about, is the paranormal aspect. Hayley and Taylor are supposed to have powers, what kind of powers, I don't know, I can't describe it. It's like a psychic thing, touching, thinking about a person or an object and you can somehow connect with them. And that's the problem, the paranormal powers the twin sisters have are very vague. Is it really too much work to research the name of the power your protagonist has? I just want to know what power is it, I am not even asking for backstories like how did they get the power, I just wanted to know what it is and how it works. Is that too much too ask?


     There are many characters in Envy and almost every character has their own POVs, even the anatomist of Katelyn has her own POV, I mean, what's the point of telling me how Katelyn was anatomized? I don't want to know, you just have to tell what the professionals think, is it a murder? Or is it a suicide? You DON'T have to complicate things by giving some no name character a POV, it's annoying to get used to a new POV and this just confuse readers a whole lot.

     Also, apparently, the teenagers in this book smoke and drink at age FOURTEEN. I'm 14 and I don't smoke or drink, neither does ANY of my peers. I know it's a somewhat common issue in teenagers right now, but do you really think a 14 year old, someone isn't even in high school yet, would smoke or drink? Where's your common sense!? Sure, there might be cases of it, but the author actually treat it like it's a COMMON thing in the lives of 14-year-olds. Seriously? Dude, do your research!


    I am seriously disappointed with Envy and I don't think I would recommend it to my friends, but if you decided to give it a try, good luck and hope you'll have a better experience with this book. My rating for this is obviously a one star, I am sad to have to give such a negative review but I think I have to speak the truth of how I feel about this book.

Rating: One star!


Feature & Follow (1)

This is my first time to join the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! The event (should I call it that?) is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. I think this would be a good way to meet some fellow bloggers and hopefully spark a friendship or two!

Okay, so this week's question is:
What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?
My answer: I've recently read Anna Dressed in Blood and let me tell you, it's AMAZING, I've read rave reviews of the book on other blogs and I am super excited to get to read it. This book is definitely worth all of the rave reviews and talk!

Okay, so I finally figured out how to set up a GFC here. It's as simple as that, why didn't I think of it? (smacking myself in the head) Anyway, thanks for Daphne (her blog!) here for the help ;) And you can now follow me on GFC or Networked Blogs, of course I would appreciate it if you do both. Anyway, thanks for anyone who's following! I finally got a sense that I am not talking to myself on the blog! Thanks! <3 you!


Review: Dealy Little Lie (Touch Series#2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Lies (Touch Series #2)
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Publisher: Hyperion
Summary/Synopsis: Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, a new boy at school who had a very mysterious gift – psychometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry and experiencing strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow been transferred to her.
Ben returns to school, but he remains aloof, and Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Camelia makes the painful decision to let him go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at Knead, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events uncovers secrets from Ben’s past – and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it's up to Camelia to figure out who – before it's too late. -Taken from Goodreads


     So the plot of Deadly Little Lies...It's...Ugh, I should just go ahead and say it, unoriginal.

     The plot of this book is basically a lame version of the Pretty Little Liars books. You can see the resemblance: Stalker, sending threatening notes, written by red pen... Except that this stalker is much more lame then any of the "A"s, he/she hardly ever leaves a note, and when he/she did, it was usually the same message: "you're dead", "you're next",etc. Being a stalker is a full time job! You don't see A taking breaks whenever there is romance in the Liars' life, and A gives thought to her notes, what's the point of repeating "you're dead" over and over again to his/her victim!? Camelia won't actually drop dead because of it.

     Then, there's the romance. Normally this would be the place where I say I adore which and which couple, but I can't. Because all the couples (actually there's only about two different couples in this book) are not appealing to me. This book introduced Adam and he quickly took an interest in Camelia, whereas Camelia, spent the whole book trying to forget about Ben. I've said it in the last review, I don't like Camelia&Ben, or Camelia and Ben for that matter, so I don't really care whether she got over him or are they on-again-off-again or not. As for Adam, I think he's okay, better than Ben actually, he's not mopey all the time, acting like the world owns him something, and he's actually funny, wheres our poor male protagonist is humorless and mopey, he can't even made up his mind about Camelia, but that rant would better save for when I talk about the characters.

    The atmosphere of the book should be grim and scary, but I don't really see it. I mean, there are times when Camelia was alone in her house and it got creepy, but overall the book doesn't emit scary, it emits lame-stalker-story.

    There are three good things about this book though, one: it has a better ending. With 30 pages more than Deadly Little Secret, the ending of Dead Little Lies isn't rushed. It desperately screams "sequel" though. Well, I guess that's a step-up. Two, it's fast-paced, at least I don't have to read any more lame attempts at trying to be an intimidating stalker. Three, it has a pleasant plot twist when the identity of the inept stalker was revealed.


    So, apparently, the town mentioned in the book (I think it's called Freetown? That's the name of the high school too), is a prank-laden one. And rumors travel fast in this town too, basic small town setting, I have nothing to say.

    There are new developments on the paranormal powers though. So psychometry might actually be hereditary. Since Camelia's aunt has the power, Camelia seems to have it too. Not much about Ben's situation though, but his family probably was psychometric too.


    I have rants readied for this part, so let's start with Camelia.

    Camelia was stalked, again. And this she didn't tell her parents, again. So, basically what happened with Camelia in book one actually just happened again in book two, and she actually dealt with the situation the same way she dealt with it on book one, tries to swallow it all herself and making lame or zero attempt to actually try to identify the stalker. She did tell the counselor though, not much help was presented because of the act, but at least she learnt something from last time's experience. I also found out that Camelia is a super boring person. No, not about her sculpting, it's actually a good hobby, at least to me, it's about her music choice. It's only a sentence but I can't help but noticed, Camelia actually listened to the sound of rain hitting brooks on her phone. What does this tell us about her? That she was so last generation she can't even choose some pop songs. I know, I'm making kind of a big deal, but I can't help but be incredulous about this.

    Okay, let's talk about Ben. I still hate the guy, even more so this time. Throughout the book he said he wanted space from Camelia, and when she gave him space, he wouldn't let her go. I know, he was doing this for Camelia's sake, well, then act like you really don't care, not like a lovesick puppy! I found him annoying, he has his own set of rules and expect people to stick with another set of rules, and the way he kept appearing to Camelia was actually beyond annoying. You either be with her or not, make a choice, dude! As much as I dislike Camelia, I don't think she should end up with Ben, there is plenty of good-looking guys, there is no need to be fixated at him.


    I'll give this book 2.5 stars, that's the most I can give, I actually want to give 2 only, but at least the book has better scary scenes this time, the stalker's not that scary though and the characters are still annoying to me, not much development on any characters too. The writing's actually good, it flows fast and is not heavily burdened with details, I can see Laurie is experienced in her writing, needs to come up with better plots though. I bought book three, I really want to drop the series, if it was just gonna make lame-o versions of famous YA series, the first book was Twilight and second one was Pretty Little Liars, let's see if there will be rip-off of The Hunger Games too!

Rating: two stars!


Review: Deadly Little Sercret (Touch Series#1) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Title: Deadly Little Secret (Touch Series #1)
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Publisher: Hyperion
Synopsis/Summary:Until three months ago, everything about sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at an art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes far from ordinary.
Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe he's trouble, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. Instead she's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help – but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something...but he's not the only one with a secret. -Taken from Goodreads

     I was going to read three books of the series before reviewing it, but since the plot is actually not that continuous with Book 2 (same characters, whole new story), I decided to review it separately.

    This is a fast-paced book, with only 252 pages, Laurie told a paranormal romance story. But beware, the paranormal aspect is actually quite minor, while it's somehow crucial to the plot, it's not what drives the plot to go forward. I was actually sad that there were so little paranormal, the idea was good, (I can't tell what the idea is, 'cause it would be a spoiler), but Laurie should use it more, making it a focus of the plot would be good.

    In between some chapters, there were some diary entries, these entries were actually written by the one who sent the gifts and notes to Camila. Whenever I read those entries, I would be "wow, psycho", yup, that's how crazy this person is, and the revelation of his identity is actually quite a plot twist, which I enjoyed.

    One thing I didn't like about the plot is the ending (yes, it's always the ending). While the ending of this book was not all bad, it answered all major plot questions in the story and the revelations of them were rushed, explaining them in a few sentences and then we have already moved on. The ending was a closure itself,  and I wondered how Laurie would go on with the second book. (Which means I will be reading it, yay.)


    The story was set in a seaside town, I don't know the name, probably because that wasn't mentioned, or I just didn't remember. The settings were normal, there was a high school, restaurants, a shop for our protagonist to work at, etc. As for the paranormal aspect, it wasn't explained much, it didn't explain why someone would have the power, was it from his/her parents? Or was it acquired? We don't know, only that it was there, and it was somehow important to the plot.


    I couldn't connect with the characters in this book. Nope, not even Camila.

    Camila was a normal high-school student, her life was organized, planned and somewhat perfect. Then she was almost killed, and saved by a handsome guy. And now she couldn't stop thinking about him. First of all, I was actually annoyed that Camila was so fixated on Ben (the one who saved her life), he was acting all cool and wouldn't even talk to her in the beginning, if I were Camila, I would take the hint and leave. But NO, she had to keep chasing him and ignoring her friends' advice to stay away from him. While Ben was not actually a bad guy, I didn't like him, nope, not one bit. So them as a couple? Please, I would rather do homework then read about them. I know that everyone had flaws, but some of the choices Camila made were so stupid that I wanted to smack her in the head and tell her to think again with her tiny bird brain. So, when things started happening to Camila, I didn't actually care, making the story all the less enjoyable. I told myself I should care, but really, I don't.

    As for Ben, well, he was the typical YA bad boy type. Mopey, doesn't talk much, but actually have a soft and caring side once you get to know him. Please, I don't care what happened to him in the past, I just know that the way he suddenly take interest in Camila was confusing. What made you change your mind? You were too cool to talk to her one day, and the next you were practically grabbing her (well, sort of)? I am sorry, but no amount of crappy past could make me understand and accept the sudden mood change.

    There was some good characters in this book though. Like Kimmie, Camila's best friend. She was supportive and loyal to Camila, even though she was acting all selfish and only cared about Ben. I liked her, but there was actually not much development on her, making her a loyal best-friend cardboard cutout. Same goes to the other characters, which was actually saddening because I like some of the characters a lot, but I couldn't connect with them either.


    I would give this book 3 stars. It was an okay book, not too shocking, not too crappy either. The characters need more development. There were actually a lot of dialogue in this book, and apparently some of them were even attempting to be funny, I don't know if it was because of my sense of humor (or lack thereof), but I don't find it funny. I think it was annoying and was taking time from the plot. Overall, the first book of the Touch series failed to impress but I will keep reading and see if there are anything interesting.
Rating: 3 stars!


Spam Blog!?

Hey, just a little post to talk about the blog being down for a while today.

I don't know if you guys have noticed, but the blog was down this evening and when I went to check what happened, the e-mail said my blog had been identified as a spam blog. Now, I know it might just be a mistake or even a joke by some lame-o with nothing better to do, but it was actually annoying. How on earth does my blog count as a spam blog? I posted TWO posts, and both of them are reviews of books. I know my rants might be annoying at times, but I don't think that count as SPAM. I am actually sad about this. This blog had just started and I am already getting a bad vibe. Anyway, just wanted to give you guys a heads up and I'll be posting more reviews soon :)


Review: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy #2) by Veronica Roth

Okay, so I finished Insurgent today, so I will review this before I forget anything I want to note...Yeah right, as if I can forget anything about this book, it's amazing! It's so much better than Divergent and now I am definitely eagerly waiting for book 3!!

(If you haven't read book 1, there might be spoilers ahead.)

Title: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy #2)
Author: Veronica Roth Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Apocalyptic, Fantasy
Publisher: Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Summary/Synopsis: One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.



     Oh, what can I say, I've totally underestimated the Divergent Trilogy! While I was reading the synopsis of Divergent, I knew this was going to be a story with the end of the world epic feel to it. And now it has finally showed exactly how great this story are. I am not going to say what I said about Divergent was wrong, because I still feel Divergent is actually not that great, it's just that Insurgent changed my view on the whole trilogy. That being said, let's start reviewing.

     Okay, the first thing that made Insurgent so great is that in this book, the stakes are higher, and it's more interesting and exciting than reading about Tris' initiation training. This time the stakes are on the factions, which is much bigger than worrying about whether Tris will make it through her initiation, which, by the way, I honestly don't care, not that I don't care about Tris, I just think making her factionless might actually be far more interesting, and her relationship with Tobias will be even more appealing with the whole 'betraying his faction to be with her thing', now that I said(typed?) it, I actually want that to happen :p  Anyway, with the stakes now on factions, the story becomes way more epic and let's just say I love epic stories!

     The second thing is that the plot twists are great! In Divergent I actually didn't realize what or when were the plot twists because they were not shocking at all, Insurgent gives me WAY better plot twists that are so shocking that my mouth actually opened into an O (and this time I was reading in my classroom, no need to tell you how that ended...). With the two big reveal about Tris' family, I am sure you are going to be shocked! Maybe even right out of your seat... I love good plot twists and this book delivers them very well.

    The third thing is that the plot is actually more complex than Divergent. In Divergent we were left with many of the main mystery answered (TOO many, actually), so it feels kind of like a closure. This time, Veronica digs the seemingly solved or unquestioned moments from Divergent and elaborate them into the more complex plot of Insurgent. Long story short, readers are raised with questions and mystery that we didn't know it was even there before,  maybe it's because Veronica hides them so well, anyway, LOVE it.

     The only thing that I am not happy with is that the ending is too abrupt. In Divergent, we are left with a Tris monologue that gives the readers something to wait for (her life after what happened to the factions) but also gives a sort of closure, and I am actually cool with that. But this time, I think the book ends too abruptly, I am an either cliff-hanger or closure kind of girl, I can't settle at the middle and I kind of feel like that's what happened. On one hand, I think that the ending sentence actually meant something shocking will happen, but on the other hand, I think it was just the people's cries of outrage, so I am confused. I am not sure if that was Veronica's intent, but if she was hoping for a cliff-hanger ending, I think it needs more work. However, all in all, the plot of Insurgent is great, and no plot is actually perfect, you can always find something you don't like even if you absolutely loved the book (at least, it was like that for me), so I don't think that's really a great problem.


    I actually don't have much to say about the world-building, it's dystopia so as long as the living standards are not too high, I don't see anything that can't be written into the story, as long as it is being explained, I am able to accept almost all kinds dytopian worlds. So the world of Divergent is expanded in Insurgent, with us seeing the remaining two faction headquarters, Candor and Amity. We also get to know about the big mystery about the gate surrounding the world of Divergent and I am looking forward to seeing the world of Divergent further expands as the story goes on. 


    The character developments in this book is as good as it was in Divergent. I think developing characters are actually Veronica's strength.

    Tris was faced with guilt and grief when the book started. She killed Will and her parents sacrificed themselves to save her. In a way, she was looking for a way to sacrifice herself too, she thinks this can condemn the fact that she killed Will and honor her parents' sacrifices. My heart actually aches for her because of this. She is too strong/stubborn to admit any of these feelings to anyone, maybe not even yo herself, trying to throw her life away without really thinking things through. Good thing she finally figured out that she actually didn't want to die and faced her fears in the end. She was healed a little, somehow.

    Another character that I really want to talk about, Peter! I actually have a strong love/hate feeling towards Peter. I hate that he insists on being so harsh to Tris, without really explaining why, love that he had such a different view on life than all the other characters. His life might actually be hard, with his unique view on life, and I actually want to know more about it. I hope Veronica doesn't kill off Peter though, his death won't serve much use on shaping Tris into a stronger heroine anyway and I would really hate for him to die. I want to see him realize that the way he sees life is actually wrong (at least, wrong in many ways, he might not be ALL wrong though) and watch him experience love, to see how he will react to it. I want to see him change for the better.


    This book, as I kept saying, is so much better than Divergent and it actually made me fall in LOVE with the trilogy, I hope the ending will be able to keep up with the good work in Insurgent. I also want to note that, I actually only realized now there are some sort of similarities between The Maze Runners Trilogy and this trilogy. Of course, the story goes in different directions, but if you read both Insurgent and The Maze Runner, you will see what I am talking about. (The Maze Runner Trilogy is actually really worth reading anyway, so go read it!) Okay, so overall, I will give this book a four star, I think the pace is still a little bit slow in the beginning and the ending kind of dragged the rating down a bit. Anyway, a 4-star read is actually really good, I don't think I should go around giving 5-stars all the time, and this actually haven't reached 5-stars in my heart yet anyway. I definitely recommend this to all of you YA readers, it's good!

Rating: 4 stars!


Review: Divergent (Divergent Trilogy #1) by Veronica Roth

Okay, my first ever blog post... I am so nervous as I post this! I wanted to post a review of a book that I really liked so it would be more special but I just couldn't pick a favorite, so I decided to just use the book that I recently finished, which was Divergent, so, without further adieu, my review on Divergent!

Title: Divergent (Divergent Trilogy #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Dystopia, Apocalyptic, Fantasy
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Summary/Synopsis: In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. -Taken from Goodreads


    Divergent is actually quite a long book for YA (usually there are only 300 or so pages, but Divergent has 487 pages), and with its massive volume, there is bound to be a lot happening in the book. However, the plot of this books is very simple, so I think the plot didn't quite live up to its volume, I expect a more complex plot for such a long book. Instead of plot developments, there are a lot of character developments in the book. There are some chapters where the whole chapter is basically an emotional monologue from Tris, I actually loved them because it makes me feel closer to the character. However, they also kind of slows down the whole pace of the book, while I do get that character developments are important, I think Veronica can maybe cut down the amount of it for a little bit.

     Also another problem of the plot is that the plot twists aren't great (which is kind of what make the plot seems simple to me). Actually, there is basically no plot twists at all (it might have, I just didn't know it, that's another problem). The story kind of keeps going on and I can predict things that will happen, while it was intriguing to see Tris grow throughout the book, I don't think that is enough to keep readers reading, there is not enough surprises or even "Aha" moments when my prediction came true, the story is filled with events but overall it just kind of felt flat to me.

    However, I do LOVE the romance of this book. There are no love triangles (well, there was one periodically, but it ended fast) and the chemistry between Tris and Four is so great that I am actually excited to see what will happen whenever the two are in the same room together. The kissing scene came rather late, and throughout the book I keep thinking "would you two kiss already?" and when they did I was actually smiling to myself (and I was reading on a train!).

    Overall I think the plot is so-so but the romance part is really great.


    The world-building of this book is great! The idea of dividing people with factions might not be completely original but Veronica did a great job putting a refreshing spin on it.
    From Divergent you can get an inside look of three factions: Dauntless, Abnegation and Erudite. Each faction have a very different living environment than the other, and it represents each faction really well. I don't want to spoil anything so I won't describe each faction, but I assure you, Veronica spent an amount of time to construct her dystopian Chicago and it really paid off.


    The characters of this book are all great. They each have a unique personality and Veronica actually developed Tris very thoroughly.

     We get to see Tris' internal struggles and insecurities about the choice she made throughout the book. She is obviously a very strong (not physically, though), fearless heroine. But she is always insecure about it, thinking that she is a coward, which actually makes me feel bad for her. I am also sad that Tris couldn't trust her friends enough to really be open to them. That's part of the initiation's fault, but I can see Tris is reluctant to actually trust her friends too. Near the end of the book, there are about three tragic deaths that is a shock to her, I would like to see how would she react in the next book.

    My favorite character has to be Four. He is emotional at times but I can see he really cared for Tris and I am totally rooting for them to be together from start to finish. He has dark pasts and we get to learn about it. We can see that he tries really hard to throw his past away, but I am pretty sure seeing Tris brought up some of the memories.

    Other characters like Christina, Will, Peter are also great. I really like Tris' friendship with Christina, she needs a girl friend that she can talk to and I am pretty sure Christina can provide totally honest opinion. I just hope that after what happened towards the end wouldn't jeopardize their friendship. As for Will, he is a good friend, what happened to him was tragic. Peter, oh Peter, he is SO hateful to Tris, he teased her and bullied her, though we never know if he was born that cruel and hateful or not, you will have to admit, Peter did a pretty good job playing the Villain. Several times in the book I actually hope that Peter would die a painful death for what he did to Tris and some others. He is a villain that you will love to hate, he is not complicated, just plain evil, and that's what makes him great (in a twisted way).


    Overall, I would give this book 3.5 stars. I think the plot of a book is very important, because you are using your book to tell a story, and if your story stink, then no matter how good the characters and world-building are, it can never be great. I enjoyed Divergent with its unique world and colorful characters. The story might not be epic, but at least it was simple enough that there aren't times that I have to go back and check for clues. The story is mainly about Tris' growth both emotionally and physically, which is why the story seemed dull to me, the epic storyline didn't start 'til the end. I recommend this book to those of you who love YA dystopian and love good and original world-building, it is definitely worth borrowing from the library or even buying it. I have already bought the next book and are about halfway in.

Rating: 3.5 stars!