Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving you guys! We don't have Thanksgiving here in HK, but I think it is a great idea to always be thankful. So let's talk about some people I am thankful for:

1. My friends

     Sorry, no pictures of me and my friends, I have already decided to maintain faceless :P I am thankful to them as they made me laugh and time spent with them is probably my happiest times! :)

2. My sister

    I have a sister, but she's currently studying aboard, so she's not living her anymore. To be honest, she was never a very good sister, she was selfish (she never shared, nor was she grateful when I help her or share with her), arrogant (she kept saying that I am a little kid so I am stupid and blah blah blah... I don't get it, what does being young have anything to do with my intelligence? Plus, she's just 4 years older than me, it's not like she's that superior :P)  and generally treated me with no respect, and I actually still kind of hate her for it, but you know, you can't live in the past. So I am going to thank her for giving me a thicker skin.

3. My parents

    Yeah, me mother and I argue a lot, classic teenage issue, I can't help it, sometimes I am just so frustrated around her. My father is one of those people that seldom gets angry, but if he does, watch out :P I am thankful for them as they raised me and taught me. Plus, my father was basically the one footing my bill on most of my books ;)

4. Awesome authors!

    Thank you for writing books that are so AWESOME.

5. You!

    Basically, I am still very insecure about blogging, I kept thinking that not one will read my posts and reviews, but you guys helped me and without you guys, there is no blog, so THANK YOU!


Review: Red Glove by Holly Black (Curse Workers #2)

Title: Red Glove (Curse Workers #2)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Synopsis/Summary: After rescuing his brothers from Zacharov’s retribution and finding out that Lila, the girl he has loved his whole life, will never, ever be his, Cassel is trying to reestablish some kind of normalcy in his life. That was never going to be easy for someone from a worker family that’s tied to one of the big crime families—and whose mother’s cons get more reckless by the day. But Cassel is coming to terms with what it means to be a transformation worker, and he’s figuring out how to have friends.
Except normal doesn’t last very long. Soon Cassel is being courted by both sides of the law and is forced to confront his past—a past he remembers only in scattered fragments, and one that could destroy his family and his future. Cassel will have to decide whose side he wants to be on, because neutrality is not an option. And then he will have to pull off his biggest con ever to survive….-Taken from GoodReads
From the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

This review doesn't contain spoilers, so go ahead! Read on! ;)(This is going to be pretty short, since I've said most of what I had to say in my review of book 1, White Cat.)

    Again, I am astonished with the pure smartness of this book. This time, the story was more of a murder mystery, and I just love how Holly Black never held onto any evidence, instead placing it all on the table, letting us discover things alongside Cassel. I have read mysteries that drop hints by brushing over something significant with only a sentence or two. Some may admire it, but I call it misleading. Luckily, this never happens in this book :) Oh, and I just love all the con knowledge and such. Con works actually requires a vast range of knowledge, and though I don't think I would ever be a con person myself, it's still so fun to read about them. Especially with motion deceptions, they are so true!

    This is not much of a plot twist or climax this time, but everything flew through well and kept me interested 'til the end. Plus, trying to intercept Cassel's actions is fascinating enough, he is a guy full of surprises, and he's actually very loyal to his family, while his family members all have a secret agenda of their own.

    The political aspects are toned down a little for this book, but there is still our protagonist dancing around the edge of law (actually, he does plenty of illegal stuff :P). And the whole proposition 2 thing is pretty new in YA books, where we seldom talk about politics.

    I have grown a fond love for Cassel and his (real) friends, Sam and Dancea. The characters are all full of surprises, and all have their own characteristics. I still loath Lila, but I will bear with her, since Cassel likes her :P

    I would give this book 4 stars. Red Glove is a good installment to the Curse Workers series with its colorful characters, thick mystery and originality in including little parts of politics in its plot. Personally, I like solving murder mysteries more than facing life-and-death experiences (book one), but both books are good. And I should confess this, I read about 30 pages of Red Glove before I started White Cat. Not that I wanted to, but I grabbed the wrong book by mistake and didn't notice it :P Despite not having read the first book at all, I had no problem understanding the first 30 or so pages of the book, it goes to show that Holly Black does nice recaps of her previous books, she doesn't throw a recap at you with a lengthy paragraph and the main protagonist launching into a monologue of we happened in the last book :P I would recommend this book to YA mystery and crime novels readers, they are gonna love the conspiracy and mystery featured in this book! :)

Ratings: 4 stars!

Do you like murder mysteries? Any must-reads? I would love to expand my TBR list ;) Did you like White Cat? What about this book? Better or worse? Personally I think this book is better. The mystery is deeper, and while there are no "ah ha" moments, I love it :)


Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Synopsis/Summary: Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?-Taken from GoodReads
From the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

     Gosh, this is a really great book, with its epic story line, the wholeness and richness of the world-building, even of its slightly strange aspects, this book is close to perfection in my opinion.

    First of all, I must say I love all the mysteries set up from the start of the book. Black hand prints on doors? Made by mysterious people with winged shadows? I am sure you could guess what species these strangers are, but you don't know the rest, and I am sure you will be delighted to find out ;)

    Second, I love all the strangeness (in a good way) of the book, especially at the start. When we were introduced to Karou, a girl with blue hair naturally growing out of her head, runs secret errands for her sort-of-family, I was immediately riveted by her. She was just such an interesting character that I couldn't help but want to find out more about her. And knowing her we did, and the pull Karou had on me kind of vanished, with her secrets being peeled and we saw her, knew her. But by then the story had already drawn me in and even without the urge to know all about this peculiar main character, I still read on, and was deeply satisfied with my experience :)

    Which brought me to the third thing, the wholeness of this book. There was a past-life story line going on there and I was glad that the mysteries of the past was revealed slowly, chapter by chapter, bits by bits, mostly through out the book (the last part had more of the past, but it was so cool, I loved it!). There was not really a second when this book was boring, or any parts or events that were redundant. The story was fully developed with a solid back-story, amazing world-building and mysterious and intriguing characters.

     I did have a small complaint, that was that the romance aspect actually took up too much of the story, if you ask me. I am not really a fan of romance, but I don't hate it. Every book has a little romance, sometimes even the whole book is a love story, and those were the kinds that I am quite annoyed with. The whole romance just felt a little too boring to me, I mean some moments were sweet, by too much really made me wanna gag, and I felt that this book had gone a bit overboard. But that's just my opinion, I know a lot of people love books that have a bigger romance aspect in them, or even a whole romance novel, and I am sure this book's love story will be satisfying to you ;)

    By the way, I absolutely loved the writing, the prose. It was so lyrical, beautiful, the prose helped wove a beautiful yet tragic love story with the most unique world-building I have ever seen!  At times the whole metaphor and analogy thing might me a little annoying, when you just want to know what happens next, but most of them are good, and the third person POV blended into the story perfectly. I was aware of it, not like when I read The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers, when I didn't even realize I was reading it, but it was still very good and worked well with the story. Plus the transition of POVs was not confusing at all, and there weren't actually that many POVs, just two, so I am good :)

    Oh, the world-building, where do I begin? It was so great, everything about it was just so well thought-out, there were no holes in it at all. Well, maybe some tiny ones, but those could be easily overlooked. The whole world-building was very imaginative, the paranormal aspect was so unique, it definitely made it stand out of all the paranormal novels being sell these days.

    The story was first set in Prague, and most of the story happened there. I have never been to Prague, but I liked it. The way Taylor described Prague, it sounded like a beautiful city, yet I could feel the melancholy in the air, in between the lines, and that fitted the story pretty well. Hack, this book made me want to go to Prague!

    Like I said before, there were some really interesting characters in this book. Karou, as an example, and Akiva too. His story felt a little less riveting as Karou's, but no doubt it was a sad one. I absolutely love Zuzana. She is Karou's best friend and I really liked her. She might get ignored a lot because Karou always had to read secret errands, but she didn't really left her side, no matter how hurt she was that her best friend was hiding secrets from her. She didn't really appear in the last half of the book, but I would really want to see her more, and I am sure Karou does too! ;)

    I would give this book 4.5 stars! Why not 5 stars you ask? Since I sounded like a salesperson just there, keep ranting on about how great the book is? Well, because the romance kind of annoyed me, so the 0.5 star was gone :P Anyway, it was still a very good book, a little too long for a relaxing read, but it was definitely worth reading. You could read it one part at a time if you don't have time to finish it in one sitting, and the beauty of the book is, it has short chapters! Really, I am that kind of person who couldn't put down a book unless I finish the chapter I was reading, and the short chapters really did justice :P Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a high fantasy novel with unique world-building, mysterious and eccentric characters (at least at first glimpse they were :P And I meant that in a good way) and a bitter-sweet love story that I am sure readers will enjoy, though some parts are a little too much for me. I would recommend this book to every reader out there, the paranormal aspects of this book is really different, the love story was flushed out, though at first it felt a little like insta-love, it turns it wasn't. Hope you will enjoy this book! :)

Rating: 4.5 stars!


Weekly Wrap-Up (4)

Sorry for the missing posts this week and last week...Anyway, check out some new books that I bought! ;) (Linked to Goodreads!)

This week's posts:

Monday: None, sorry :(
Tuesday: Okay, I know I was acting out of line but I didn't post anything either :P
Thursday: Another undeserved break...
Saturday: None, I was going to post a review but I couldn't finish Daughter of Smoke & Bone in time, it was good, but I am in sort of a reading rut these past week, I had to will myself to finish White Cat :P (Not that it was bad or anything)

Okay, that's it for this week's wrap-up guys! Did you have a good reading week? Actually mine wasn't really that great. I had all these desire to start a new book when I see an awesome cover, then halfway through I just keep hoping the book would end soon, and the book wasn't really that horrible! I think I am having some sort of reading ADHD, I can't stay in a same book and finish it... Ugh, any cure? I am going to try reading the Dead is series books by Marlene Perez since her books are all super short yet jam-packed with mystery, it would be a good pick-me-up read, but if this doesn't work, I don't know what will... :(


Feature & Follow (9)

I missed posts this week, weird... I forgot them when I crashed right into the bed at night, I think all the studying then writing the novel for NaNoWriMo was getting to me... Well, I did have a good week, I went on the school picnic (it's kind of a tradition in HK school, the name is pretty self-explanatory, each class go on a trip on the normal school day, no class that day!) this Thursday, we went to the beach and had a great time! There was sand everywhere though :P Okay, question of the week:
Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

Movie into books... Can I say TV shows? I am not exactly a fan of movies :P Just thinking about sitting there for 2 hours makes my butt fall asleep... Well, if it was about TV shows I would say that Once Upon A Time would make a great book series! It would be a wonderful retellings. The show basically had all the elements of a retellings. Dark story lines. Check. A modern twist on the orginial. Check. Plus, it has two main story lines, Storykrook (modern world) and the fairy tales world, these two story lines intertwined all the time, which definitely would look great in a book! Now that I have wrote this, I actually wanted to see the TV show made into a book! :P

What about you guys? What movie would you like to be made into a book?


Review: White Cat by Holly Black (Curse Workers #1)

Title: White Cat (Curse Workers #1)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Synopsis/Summary: Cassel comes from a family of Curse Workers - people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all criminals. Many become mobsters and con artists. But not Cassel. He hasn't got magic, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail - he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Cassel has carefully built up a facade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his facade starts to crumble when he finds himself sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.-Taken from GoodReads
From the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

     I don't know how to describe this book, only that everything is not what it seems and many things in this book turned out to be a con. Con is a main focus of this book, and though I haven't read any con stories before, I liked it. I love books that have heavy mystery, books that make me think (not in a philosophic way, though those are good too) and this book provided just that.

    Cassel woke up from his sleep and found himself standing on the roof, ready to jump. He survived, though somewhat disgracefully, but the school has suspended him. In his leave from school, he went to live with his granddad, and was rewarded with a mystery so big that it could change his whole life...

    The plot is fairly interesting, I love reading about the con work, since it's a complete new territory for me. As I have said before, I love the mystery, and despite the mystery factor, the plot was easy to follow. However, even though the book was all kinds of awesome, I just couldn't get into it. I found myself constantly reading the book then putting it back down after several minutes. It's not that there was anything wrong with the story, or even the writing, but I just couldn't get myself psyched for it at all. There was some close-calls, but I wasn't gripping the book when I read through these parts. There was clearly a climax, yet I didn't find myself racing through the pages, dying to know what happens next. Everything just flows through and I have nothing to criticize about the book, even though I didn't like at all that much. It's kind of weird :P

    I just love the idea of curse workers! It's pretty creative. There are 7 types of curse workers: emotional, luck, death, physical, memory, dream and transformation. Their abilities are pretty self-explanatory from the names, so I won't spend time talking about that. There are blowbacks when you curse someone, so you don't really see workers roaming freely in the book, but the setting did make the book more interesting.

    Almost every character in this book have a secret agenda, and each are just as cunning and suspicious of others as the other. Cassel Sharpe is our guy, the main focus of the story. He is the non-worker in a family of workers, so he's kind of a black sheep in that area, but not in the con part. He is smart, I am sure everyone who finished this book would give him that, but somethings it's a bit irritating that he pretty much let people throw him around like a punchbag. I wanted him to man up, but he didn't really change that much throughout the story. So...

    I hate Lila. She's kind of a love interest for Cassel, and I hate her! She's a self-centered, spoiled brat, and the whole bullying thing doesn't really do it for me. I hate her attitude towards Cassel, she was one of those people that pushed Cassel around and that's not okay with me. I know she has problems of her own but that's not the way to treat the person that's supposed to be your "best friend", according to the blurb.

    The characters that I do like are Sam and Daneca. They are Cassel's friends, and it's nice to finally see someone treat Cassel right.

    I would give this book 3.5 stars. The book is basically one big conspiracy and I love it. I love the smartness behind the story, how things are linked, how Cassel solved the mystery. But somehow this book lacked that something that pulls me in and keep me reading 'til the end. I wasn't really that motivated to read the book, hence the delayed review (this was supposed to go up on Monday :P). Now that I have reviewed it, I still couldn't find what exactly was the book missing, but it was still a worthwhile read. I would recommend this book to YA paranormal and crime story readers, the "crime" in this book will not disappoint, hope you guys will have a better reading experience than me ;)

Ratings: 3.5 stars!

Are you a fan of crime stories? What do you know about the art of con? What kind of curse workers would you want to be? Do you like the book? It's my first time reading Holly Black and I kind of have a high expectation, and it was okay Not striking though :)


Feature & Follow (8)

Another week had pass by, how is your week? I got most of my test result this week (except one subject, the wait is killing me :P) and most of them are pretty good but not as good as I expected, I have to work harder! ;) This week's question is:

Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?

No, I don't mind books having similar ideas, and I actually quite like retellings! For example, there are tons of paranormal books out there that have the almost same structure of the paranormal world, but as long as the plot is good and the author is able to add her own flair to it, I am okay. I mean, some ideas are hard to not be reused, like the whole love-triangle thing and vampires and stuff, so I think as a reader we can't expect everything from a book is completely original, because that's not possible. We all live in the same world, sometimes even the same society, so some author's thinking route might be similar to another author, but as long as they could use the similar concepts, ideas, backgrounds to spin it into their own story, there's actually nothing to complain about. Of course, there's a fine line between similar and down right plagiarizing, so far I haven't read any book that seemed like it was ripped from another book, which is a good thing :) As for retellings, I love them! Well, as least fairy tales retellings. Some fairy tales are just so bright and happy, and I like that usuallt fairy tales retellings could be a little more dark, they are definitely fairy tales for Young Adults! As for fanfic, I must say I don't read fanfic, because I mostly don't like reading on the computer, nor do I always agree with what other people intercept the characters from the novel from which the fanfic was based on, and you must admit, some fanifcs are horrible. I have never read any pulled-to-publish fanfic, but I don't think I'll be reading them in the near future. As I have said, I am sure something will be different in these books and I don't want it to affect my view on the original novel/series. So no fanfic, thank you very much. 


What about you? How do you like books that are quite similar? Do you love them because you love the ideas? Or do you hate them because you think the idea was not being used well in the other book? I mostly just treat every book as an individual, I rarely compare them, 'cause that would be quite unfair, because all books have their own unique features, even if the books are in the same genre, the comparing is still not fair. How about retellings? And fanifics? Comment below :)


Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass (The Selection #1)

Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Synopsis/Summary: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. -Taken from GoodReads
From the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

     I actually didn't quite know how to write this review. Not that The Selection was a bad book, but it wasn't a particularly good one. Sure, it was refreshing in all the Dystopia novels that somehow always include intense fighting scenes and being on the side of the revolutionaries. But it lacked some intriguing plots, and though I found that I enjoyed the book, it wasn't all that outstanding compared to all the great books I've read this year.

    In this dystopia world, people were divided into eight castes. The Ones being royals and the Eights being the lowest. America Singer was a Five, which meant that her family was poor, and when the chance of the Selection came, her mother urged to join so they could at least have the chance to finally step out of poverty. The Selection was actually a competition of sorts held for the purpose of finding the prince, Maxon, a wife. Since America had a secret lover in home, she refused to join, but after some persuasion from both her boyfriend and her family, she relented and joined, thinking she wouldn't even have a chance to be chosen within thousands of girls to be the one of the 35 competitors. She was wrong, obviously, and she was picked, so within weeks America was flew off to the palace and began the competition with 34 girls to win the prince's heart.

    The premise sounded quite different from the usual dystopia novel, right? That's 'cause it is! To be honest, it was a little too similar to The Hunger Games at first but this one was more of a romance novel, with a sub-plot that featured, you guessed, revolutionaries that revolted against the royals that ruled the country. I wasn't a big romance fan but I must say the fast pace of the book really kept me reading, and I had an interest to learn more about the revolutionaries.

    However, though many events happened throughout the book, if you looked at it in a big picture, nothing much actually happened. We had the start of the Selection, and I thought at least by the end of this book the Selection would be over, but it was clear that it would be stretched to the next book, with only 6 girls left as The Elite. We had a couple intrusion from the revolutionaries, but they actually never had any direct contact with our protagonist, so there were really no excitement from the sub-plot. We also had a love triangle but needless to say that was not resolved. And a little mystery from a friend America made during the Selection, which wasn't revealed in this book either. Actually, I just recalled all the big events that happened in the book, yup, that little, and there were not much progress on the plot lines except The Selection part, so you could actually guess how slow the plot development was for this book. I know I did just say it was fast-paced, but I meant that in a sense that events followed very closely, but most of these events had little significance to the plot :P

    One more complaint, the plot twists, or may I say, the climax was seriously lacking. Actually, there were no climax at all. I think the intrusion from the revolutionaries were supposed to be the climax, but let me tell, they were hiding during that particular part. Yes, so no excitements or any action more than a few ladies running around in their dresses or robes. Let me tell you, a book that has no climax is not okay with me.

    Though I seemed to have some pretty big stuff to pick at, The Selection actually was a good read. It was entertaining when reading, but when I tried to review the events happened in the book, I found how little plot development there was. No worries, if you are not especially picky, this book will be a good light read. But the next HG or Twilight? No way. (And Harry Potter can never be compared or replaced by another series :P)

    Dystopia novels rely heavy on their world-building, and the world building for this book was average. The whole caste idea actually wasn't new, I am sure you would have seen it in almost all dystopia books, but the whole monarchy thing was new, it brought a slightly historic sense to the story even though it was set in the future. There were also a little history on how Illea came to be. But honestly? I couldn't figure out why it had to be monarchy. There was no reason to start the royal system at all from what I gathered from the little history we had on Illea, and that part wasn't all that explained and developed, so I was a little disappointed at this.

    Well, I didn't take a particular liking to any of the characters in the book at all. But America was an admirable protagonist.

    America was a strong woman, not the fighting kind, like Tris from the Divergent Trilogy, but in the way that she stood her ground on things that didn't make sense and unfair. And she was kind. She was kind to almost everyone, and I think that's a really good quality, a likable one too, though I didn't particularly like her.

    Maxon is the prince, the one that America resented at the start but loved towards the end. He was a really charming (pun intended) character, and there really was no bad qualities about him. To be honest, I think he and Aspen, the other love interest, needs more distinct characterization. If you remove the whole Aspen-being-a-Six-and-Maxon-a-royal thing, there was actually nothing special about the two guys at all, they both love America, and they are willing to fight for her, and that's it. Aspen is smart, but Maxon is smart too. Aspen is strong, and America did say she could feel Maxon' muscles underneath his suit. Maxon is kind, and I am sure Aspen is kind too. Now you could see how similar these love interests are, and with the overdone love triangle, I think Cass had to step up her game in writing one with two more extreme guys.

    I know The Selection was a well-received book, and I couldn't deny it had its attraction, but overall, I think this book kind of fell flat to me. So I would give it 2.5 stars. The book needed more plot developments as well as more sub-plots beside The Selection and the revolutions that are not happening. The world-building needed to be more flushed out and the characters need more distinct traits. Despite all these flaws, I did have a good time reading it as it was a very fast and light read with only 327 pages. The ending was kind of abrupt but I would be looking forward to the next book, just because I want to know what will happen. I recommend this book to all YA dystopia fans, this is one unique dystopia with the lack of a kick-ass heroine, but was special and interesting in its own way. Hope you will enjoy it!

Rating: 2.5 stars!

Although I have many critics, I think this is a good start for a debut author, so, keep up the good work, Cass! What do you think of the book? (I wanted to think of more directive questions but couldn't think of any. I couldn't ask you which caste you would want to be in 'cause that was pretty obvious, and not which guy to choose because many of you might not even have read the book. It's kind of hard for me to come up with questions:P) Anyway, anything that you want to note, just comment below! ;)


Books? That's My Thing!: Fairy Tales

    Yes, this week we are gonna talk about fairy tales! No, that's not because it was the first thing that flashed before my head when I finally sat down and wrote the post. Actually, I was just as clueless as you might be about fairytales. You must have read or at least heard of some of fairy tales when you were a kid, but ever wandered what actually deemed them as fairy tales?

     I did a little research (more like typing fairy tales in Wiki and copy the the first definition of it :P) A fairy tale is supposed to be a short story that features all kinds of mystical creatures. Fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, whatever, and it usually was sprang from a legend or has a hidden meaning behind it (I'd like to say that should count as a fable, but that's what the Wiki said :P). A fairy tale doesn't always concerns a fairy, so why was it called a fairy tale? Well, it was all pretty much out on the Internet but I will tell you. Fairy tales were first discovered and loved in France, in France, they call these stories "conte de fee", and it translate to "fairy tale"! (Yup, pretty straight forward story. Although I still wanted to know why the French would name it that way in the first place...)

    Anyway, despite the definition, I must say the meaning of a fairy tale is still pretty general and vague. For example, all the paranormal novels we now read always have some sort of mythical creature or magic in it, so does this means paranormal novels are also fairy tales? Personally, I have some theories on how to identify a fairy tale. But as usual, they are flawed. Plus the subject was kind of debated by literary figures over the years, so they definitely are very rough ideas... Well, here we go.

    The first thing that I thought is that it had to be set in an imagined land/place, not a real place. I felt that a lot when I was reading fairy tales (when I was a kid, of course), the feeling that you are reading a story that happened in a secret region, a region where magic was possible, it just made the whole thing all the more fantastical. Though there were actually YA books out there that happened in imagined and totally different universes, like:


Basically all high fantasy novels fit this description :P

    The second thing was that it happens in the past, an older time period, not in the modern days. Or if the story prefers, their own period of time as well. Seriously, usually fairy tales happened during times when everywhere were still using monarchy, so I would consider a fairy tale as something that happened in the old times, or on their own level of time (that takes some world-building). Of course there are also a wide variety of YA books out there that had this particular element. Dystopian novels are already very good examples. And since I am too lazy to paste covers again, you would just have to find dystopain novels yourself... ;P

     The third thing is that there are no sub-plots. Have you ever read a version of Red Riding Hood that captured two parts of lives in the story, like one for Liitle Red Riding Hood and the other one for her friends and relatives or  whatsoever. That never happens even though there were tons of endings to the book that some even included cannibalism. A little gross...:( This one would be hard to find in any novels at all, because I am pretty sure a novel must include at least one or two sub-plots.

    And that's pretty much it, if a story consisted of these 3 elements I would consider it a fairy tale. 

    So, I've made myself clear as to what I think count as fairy tales, how about you? What do you think fairy tales are? How would you consider a book is a fairy tale? What's you favorite fairy tale? Comment below! :)


Review: The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten

Title: The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers
Author: Lynn Weingarten
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Harper Teen
Synopsis/Summary: If there’s an upside to having your heart broken, it’s this: A broken heart makes you brave.
The first day of sophomore year doesn’t go the way Lucy planned. After a summer apart from her boyfriend, she’s ready to greet him with a special surprise and instead gets a shocking one in return: He’s breaking up with her. Beyond devastated, Lucy has no idea how she’s going to make it through homeroom, let alone the rest of her life.
Enter three stunning girls with the unnatural ability to attract boys and an offer Lucy can’t refuse: They can heal her heart in an instant. And then she’ll be one of them—a member of a sisterhood that is impervious to heartbreak and has access to magic distilled from the tears of brokenhearted boys. But to gain their power, Lucy must get a guy to fall in love with her the old-fashioned way, and then break his heart in the next seven days.
While the sisterhood may need another Heartbreaker, Lucy’s only desire is to get her ex back. But how far is she willing to go, and who is she willing to cross to get what she wants? -Taken from Goodreads

     The plot of The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers are pretty simple, and rang true to the title. Lucy, our main character (this book was written in 3rd person POV), just got dumped by her boyfriend Alex, needless to say she was heartbroken, then something magical happened. A senior names Olivia offered her a chance to join The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers, and from then on we got to see Lucy's journey morphing into a better, less pathetic version of herself.

    The plot was pretty cute. There weren't really complex storylines, nor were there unfathomable mysteries, but this still sucked me in. Mostly I thought it was the idea behind the book that lured me. Heartbreakers, which in truth were a little like witches, as you could see from the blurb on the back of the book, were a really refreshing idea, and a fun new way to write a coming-of-age story about dealing with heartbreaks. And of course, we had our favorite ingredient, magic.

    Though the book concerned magic, I would still call it a contemporary read. It was sort of a story of how Lucy got over her heartbreak, and the process wasn't all that magical at all. Plus it brought us to some important philosophies such as how we viewed ourselves were actually reflected on how other people viewed us, nobody was absolutely perfect, but the idea was to believe we were good, not perfect, just good, and don't look down on yourself. That itself was a very important advice and the book delivered it without burdening the story at all. That made the book a very meaningful read.

    The book actually just span for seven days (eight days if you count the last few ending chapters), but out main character had changed a lot during these seven days. It was actually quite unrealistic, I mean, you couldn't change a person in seven days, at least not in the way Lucy did. She practically grew out of her old shell, not that it was bad, just that it happened within seven days was kind of unbelievable. Oh well, that was a small complaint compared to the whole goodiness of the book :P

    I also wanted to note the writing. It was really good. The book was told in 3rd person and if you had looked at some old posts you would know I usually hated them, but I liked the 3rd person narrative of this book! It flew seamlessly and there were no awkward moments at all, plus I was so into the book that I actually didn't realize it was in 3rd person until I took a break. I felt like I was looking at the whole story through Lucy's eyes, even though it was not in 1st narrative. It was definitely good and was a good example to 3rd person narrative books. I have read ones that was written awkwardly that I was very aware when the narrative moved from the mind of one character to another, it was quite annoying actually, but The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers didn't have this problem at all!

    The magic in this book was really unique. Unique as in it wasn't dark at all. Often I've seen books with magic element in it that portrayed it as dark, and sometimes, evil. For example the latest book that I've read, Beautiful Creatures actually featured magic as kind of dark too. Even Harry Potter portrayed magic at as a dark tool, at least in the later books. So there was no mistaking that many magic books that contained magic was also kind heavy, or dark. But not this one. The idea behind the magic was still pretty general stuff, although the broken-heart-tear thing was new and very fitting, it wouldn't stand out from all the magic books out there if the story was more dark. But since the book portrayed it as a more "light" thing, it made the book stood out. That was really good :)

     I had a pretty neutral feeling towards all of the characters. I didn't particularly like one character more than the other, or hate anyone (well except Alex, from the moment she broke up with Lucy, I knew he was not a good guy for her. Still Lucy had to stumble back to him, it was actually pathetic :P) in particular.

    To be honest, I actually hated Lucy during the first half of the book. She was so pathetic, clinging to someone who broke up with her and clearly didn't like her, hanging around like a puppy. Plus she totally lacked social skills, she would constantly went mute at times, because she was too afraid to say anything, which annoyed me a lot. Luckily as the story progress she became more brave(?), well, at least she had better social skills, and she was confident too.

    I never really liked Alex, not one bit. Even from memories of when he and Lucy were together, I knew he wasn't a good boyfriend, at least not to Lucy. He would always ignore her, and except for several moments, I actually couldn't see him show any affection towards Lucy at all. He clearly wasn't as into the relationship as Lucy, and that was well proven at the later part of the story.

  I would give this book 3.5 stars. It was a fun and light read, but I liked my books with a little bit more mystery. The book didn't offer much in terms of plot twists and turns, but it sure flew really well, with big incidents here and there too. They were plot holes, or at least loose ends if the book was to turn into a series, which I would happily buy and read, in the book, but it didn't really killed the enjoyment.  I would have given it more stars if the characters were slightly more unique though. One last thing to mention, the cover! It was gorgeous, and I didn't know why, but the cover reminded me of Christmas! Probably was the whole silver and red thing, or maybe it was that the book was released around Christmas :P I would recommend this to young readers of YA, this book was light and the story wasn't too dark, also this would appeal well to readers of contemp books, and paranormal readers could give it a go too, though this book was a little different than usual paranormal reads, this was more "light" ;)

Rating: 3.5 stars (I didn't have 3.5 stars image, so this one will have to do :P

Phew, we are finally back on schedule! This book was great, I read it in like 5 hours or so. So, some questions for you guys, what kind of sisterhood would you like to join? Would you want to be a heartbreaker? It isn't as bad as it sounds ;) Did you enjoy the book? Cool cover, right? There were quite a few loose ends, would you like a sequel and what would you want it to be about? Comment below, I am waiting :)


Weekly Wrap-Up (3)

The week's over! And I had a lot of reading and writing waiting ahead of me for missing so many reviews this week, and NaNoWriMo was going well, considering, thanks for all of your support and luck ;) So, this week I basically only posted two memes and one review, but I will do a recap anyway. I bought tons of books this week though, and I couldn't wait to share it with you guys!

Monday: I was supposed to post a review, but I couldn't finish Beautiful Creatures on time :(

Tuesday: Books? That's My Thing: My Life on the Day of Halloween (I probably had the most boring life ever, so don't hold high hopes for this one, there were no ghostly encounters, costumes or even candies in the post... :P)

Wednesday: Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (I posted this one in a hurry and didn't review, needless to say I found tons of typos and problem sentences later, but I still didn't edit it. I used "though" three times in three corresponding sentences, what is happening to me?)

Thursday: Where I took a gratuitous break, I should be ashamed...

 Friday: I posted a random rambling about joining NaNoWriMo this year, thanks for all of your support, let's work to the goal together! (I am currently on 5867 words by the way)

Saturday: Again, nothing... *sigh* 

Books I bought this week!


~From the bookstore (I spent hours finding these books!)~

~From Giveaway~

Thanks Ex Libris for banned books week giveaway! I am excited to have won! ;)

~From online bookstore (will be in in two weeks! Link to GRs in the photos!)~

How was your week? It had been a bookful week for me! Also a testing week too *pun intended* ;P Comment below! Tell me what new books you've got this week, how was your NaNoWriMo status? :)