Monday, 22 October 2012

Have a Break... Have a KitKat

I have decided to take a break from blogging.

Exams are coming up and I need to get serious. I tried to work around my schedule but it just wouldn't work. My posts ended up being few and far in between so I think it'll be best if I just finish my exams then I can fully focus on blogging. When exams are over, then I'll be free.

I'll be gone for about a month, I'll return some time mid-November.

Here is the promised KitKat:

Friday, 19 October 2012

Review: Mark of Athena - Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)
Title: The Mark of Athena
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Heroes of Olympus (3)
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: 02 October 2012
Date Read: October 2012
Rating: ★★

The Mark of Athena is the third installment of the Heroes of Olympus series. The Seven demigods travel to Rome to find and release Nico. Annabeth has her own quest to follow the Mark of Athena. They met countless of challenges, monsters and creatures of myths brought back by Gaea and the open Doors of Death. It was interesting to learn and get to know more Greek and Roman myths. They fight a new bunch of monsters and Mark of Athena is not lacking in the actions department. But I feel like parts could have been taken out- expeditions were made longer because at each and every step, something went wrong and they're attacked by monsters/evil gods. It made the book unnecessarily long.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Review: Shiver- Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 01 August 2009
Date Read: October 2012
Rating: ★★

Shiver has been in my TBR plie for a while but I wasn't exactly itching to read the book. There's mixed reviews on it but people who share my book tastes recommend it to me. Still, I was hesitant because I was hugely disappointed with Scorpio Races. Anyway, after reading The Raven Boys, I decided to finally give it a go.

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. 
(from Goodreads)

The concept of the book is wonderfully simple (even the temperature wolf stuff is simpleand extremely awesome and unique)  but this simplicity gave way to Stiefvater's complex writing. Such beautiful prose. They weren't mere words. They evoked colours, touches, sounds, emotions. Everything came alive.
“I'd found heaven and grabbed it as tightly as I could, but it was unraveling, an insubstantial thread sliding between my fingers, too fine to hold."
"As the hours crept by, the afternoon sunlight bleached all the books on the shelves to pale, gilded versions of themselves and warmed the paper and ink inside the covers so that the smell of unread words hung in the air."
"I said uselessly, "Sam, don't go." Sam cupped my face in his hands and looked me in the eyes. His eyes were yellow, sad, wolf, mine.  "These stay the same. Remember that when you look at me. Remember it's me. Please."

Saturday, 13 October 2012


The 24 Hour Read-a-thon is finally upon us!
I know I'm a little late, but better than never, right?

Read-a-thon Recap
I certainly had the best fun during the past couple of hours.
I finished Girl of Nightmares in 4.5 hours.
Sadly, I was not able to finish Stardust. I had to turn in after two hours of reading because I had to prepare for an early morning. Only got halfway through it.
The mini-challenges were creative and awesome.
Thank you to all the people who was behind the Read-a-thon. It must have taken so much to get everything set up.
I'm a little sad that I didn't get to read for longer hours, or last the whole way. But, next time, my fellow read-a-thoners. Next time...

Hour 19
Mini Challenge: Book Sentences
using 3 or more books, use just the titles to create a sentence.
The ghost and the goth swallow me whole every day.

Currently Reading:
Stardust: The Gift Edition

Hour 17
Just finished
Title: Girl of Nightmares
Author: Kendare Blake
Release Date: 07 August 2012
Hardcover Edition
Hours: 4.5
Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)
I wish I'd pick a shorter book. But I still loved it. I'm going away again for about 2 hours. But I'll be baaack.


Currently Reading:
Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)The official New Zealand road code

This post will be updated with my reading progress throughout the rest of the read-a-thon.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Ready, Set...

I am participating in this year's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon. I'ts happening this Saturday-13Oct. Still not too late to sign-up.
This will be my first one and I don't exactly know how this works, but it sounds simple enough and I'm excited!
It's a massive reading challenge. We all read at the same time and post updates about our reading progress. There are mini-challenges and prizes up for grabs throughout the day. See, it's all very exciting.

I won't be able to participate the whole 24 hours because both time zones are against me. I can't even stay up the night. I have classes the following morning. Fail. Anyway, I plan on reading:
  • The Official Road Code- My dad's been hounding me to do the test but I don't really have any motivation to even read it. Hopefully, the read-a-thon will help me finally finish it.
  • Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan- I don't even know if this arrives from the library (doesn't look like it) by Saturday but if it does, you can bet that this will shoot up the top of my list.
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman- I've had this for a while and I've been meaning to read for an even longer while.
  • Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake- More Anna!
  • Ghost and Goth by Stacey Kade- Can't believe I'm reading this.
I doubt I'll be able to actually finish all of those, but I'll try to get through as much as I can.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Blog Tour - Character Guest post: The Star Dwellers by David Estes

TSD Banner.png

I am pleased to present a Character Guest post here in my stop of The Star Dwellers Blog Tour. This is my very first blog tour, so it's all very exciting.
The Star Dwellers is the second installment to the Dwellers Trilogy by David Estes.


A Prelude to The Moon Dwellers

The following is a passage taken from the diary of a young girl, Anna, written in Year Zero,
215 years before the creation of the Tri-Realms, and 499 years before The Moon Dwellers
was written.

Today the President assigns me to my new family. I don’t see the President, but that’s what the big soldiers say when they come for me. They say my last name is Nickerbocker now— except I like my old last name just fine. I don’t say that though, because no one argues with the soldiers.

The Nickerbockers are all right, I guess. They don’t say much, just stare at me and at each other. They explain everything when I move into our new “house”, which is made of stone and barely big enough for us all to sleep in. Mr. Nickerbocker—“Call me Dad”— isn’t exactly married to Mrs. Nickerbocker. He was assigned to her after we moved underground. His real wife and three kids were left aboveground, so they’re probably dead, just like my family. Mrs. Nickerbocker—“Call me Miss Fiona”—wasn’t married when she
got selected in the Lottery. Neither of them smile much, but then again, neither do I.

I cry today when I think about my real family and how they were left above. My last memory: their faces, cold, harsh, and devoid of emotion. I know they did it to help me be strong, but it only makes it hurt more. Their smiling, happy faces are lost to me. When the tears start falling, my new Dad tries to calm me, by telling me stories and singing to me. Miss Fiona tells us both to shut up, which makes me glad I don’t have to call her Mom.

Later the Nickerbockers let me go out to play. The streets are crowded, full of kids and adults milling about with zombie-faces. Under the dim light of the candles and flashlights everything looks an awful, bland shade of gray. I see a few kids trying to get a game of tag going, but no one seems too interested. Me, I can barely will one foot in front of the other. 

Before I left, my mom told me that time would make the pain go away, but I’m not so sure.

I go back inside without looking at my new parents who are ignoring each other across the room, staring into space. I huddle under the tiny blanket on my thin bed pad, willing myself to another place, to another time, when bedtime meant a story from my real dad and a tuck- in from my real mom.

My new world vanishes beneath my eyelids and for just a moment before I fall asleep, I smile, the first time all day.


I never really thought about how it must have been like for the first Dwellers. They had to leave everything behind- their families, friends, homes, everything they knew- and live in this crazy underground place. It's heart-breaking and at the very least, a testament to David's skills as a writer. The Star Dwellers picks up from the action of the thrilling Moon Dwellers.

The Star Dwellers (The Dwellers, #2)Title: The Star Dwellers
Author: David Estes
Series: The Dwellers Trilogy (2)
Publisher: David Estes
Release Date: 30 September 2012
Date Read: October 2012

After rescuing her father and younger sister, Adele is forced to leave her family and Tristan behind to find her mother in the cruel and dangerous realm of the star dwellers.

Amidst blossoming feelings for Adele, Tristan must cast his feelings aside and let her find her own way amongst the star dwellers, while he accompanies Adele's father to meet with the leaders of the moon dwellers and decide the fate of the Tri-Realms.

Will Adele be able to rescue her mother and make it back to the Moon Realm before the President and the sun dweller soldiers destroy her family?

Can Tristan convince the moon dweller puppets of the error of their ways?

Was Adele's lost kiss with Tristan her one and only chance at love?

In her world there's only one rule: Someone must die

The Star Dwellers: Kindle
The Moon Dwellers: Print or Kindle

About the Author
David Estes

David Estes.jpg
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. He´s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.
Author Website

Next stop on the The Star Dwellers Blog Tour:
Oct 11 - Random Jendsmit: Review

Monday, 8 October 2012

Review: Sweet Evil - Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)

Title: Sweet Evil
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy (1)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 01 May 2012
Date Read: September 2012
Rating: ★★

The sole purpose of the Nephilim is to corrupt humans to do bad- to feel greed, envy, wrath, to intoxicate themselves, to commit adultery, to hurt one another. The Nephilim's life depends on fulfilling this job. It does not matter whether or not they want to do this deed. A different take on the tale of the fallen angels, yet still managed to maintain the essence of the battle between good and evil. I haven't really read Nephilim books that I liked, (then again, I've only read like three Nephilim series) but I love Sweet Evil. There were things that could be better but I hope Wiggins will only improve from now on. 

Anna Whitt is nice, innocent, naive, kind, pure and one of the biggest goody-goods I have ever read. I know it serves a purpose, but it went a little overboard. The story was written in first person narrative and there were instances where her ramblings left me cringing in disbelief.
"Kai, like Thai, only yummier!"
“He was smoking hot. As in H-O-T-T, hott. I’d never understood until that moment why girls insisted on adding an extra t. This guy was extra-t-worthy."
I know. I was embarrassed enough for the both of us.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Banned Book Week

Incidental Comics by Grant Snider
It is the last day of Banned Book Week. It is an annual event, highlighting open and free access of information. We have the right to express and inform ourselves of the ideas we deem important. The books featured during Banned Book Week are works of literature that has been targeted with countless of restrictions or removal from public access.

And let's be honest. If someone told you not to read something, that just increases your desire to read said thing. Here are a few books I've read from the list:
Harry Potter series- J.K. Rowling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
And Tango Makes Three - Justin Richardson and Peter ParnellThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman AlexieThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerMontana 1948 by Larry Watson
It may be the end of Banned Book Week but I know readers will continue fighting against censorship and the freedom to read.

Library Loot (2)

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.
I know it says 'weekly event' but for me, it's been 'whenever-I-can event'. Sorry.

This week, I've got:
  • The Ghost and Goth - Stacey Kade (Can't believe I'm reading this)
  • Bad Girls Don't Die - Katie Alender
  • Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
  • Stardust - Neil Gaiman (Whoop!)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
  • Storm - Brigid Kemmerer
It is the holidays and I am free. I'm just going to read...

Friday, 5 October 2012

Review: Article 5 - Kristen Simmons

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 (1)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: 31 January 2012
Date Read: October 2012
Rating: ☆ 

Article 5 was a whole lot of romance and a just a tiny little bit of dystopia.

Ember Miller's mother gets arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes: "Children are considered valid citizens only when conceived by a married man and wife." Ember herself gets taken into rehabilitation for being an invalid child. The soldier that arrests them just so happens to be Chase Jennings- the only boy Ember has ever loved.

It's nice to see that Ember actually improved in her character by the end of the novel. She was dependent, weak, annoying and so naive it hurt. The initial burst of bravery she had trying to find her mother fizzled out when she was with Chase. There were times when she didn't seem to understand the idea of self-preservation. Chase was just trying to help you and keep you alive, Ember. Quit getting pissed at him because it's not like you were that great at taking care of yourself. That sounds like a lot faults, doesn't it? But she does improve, a little tiny bit.

And like I said, it was a whole lot of romance. It was stifling almost but it wasn't half-bad either, albeit very angsty. I give her some credit because the main characters' chemistry wasn't borne from thin air. They had a history- of being best friends, of first loves, but circumstances made them hate each other. Then it was all about the journey of relearning each other and rekindling the chemistry. It was an entertaining read.

What annoyed me though was the fact that I have no clue how this world came about. I don't know why the Bill of Rights was replaced with the Moral Statutes came about. I don't know why the government started sending people to rehabilitation centres. How did things get so bad that food and provisions need to be rationed? Why did the government ban literature and media? There was a mention of War that destroyed most of USA. It lasted at least three years. The results were severe, destructive and a lot of people died. Simmons did do well in establishing the now but no bothered to say what the cause of the War actually was, who was on the other side of it, anything. The cause is just as important as the effect.

This really wasn't as bad as I probably made it sound. But if you're in search for a dystopia, there are better books out there.

Feature and Follow (6)

Gain New Blog Followers
Feature and Follow is hosted by Paranjunkee & Alison Can Read every Friday. Complete Rules and Instructions are here: Feature and Follow

This week's question:

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different?

It's a little bit of all of those, though I don't really have a realistic dream to become an author. I just wanted to have a place to get my opinions and thoughts about books themes and whatnot straight, but in a public way. And I eventually want to get to know some people in the publishing business. I guess I want to be noticed as well. It's nice to know people pay attention to what I babble on about. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Review: The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle (1)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 18 September 2012
Date Read: October 2012
Rating: ★★★★

I have been eagerly waiting for this book for a long while. I was really scared that the hype and my expectations would fail the book. I had pretty high expectations for this one, which is weird since Scorpio Races was the only book I've read by her, and I didn't even like it. But I still thought Raven Boys was going to be brilliant.

And it was.

With the first couple of chapters, it is evident that we are dealing with things Bigger things, otherworldly things. The Raven Boys was influenced by a lot of Welsh folk lore, which I wasn't familiar with at all. But I had no trouble keeping up with the story. It was refreshingly different.

Blue Sargent belongs to a family of psychics. They deal in the ethereal; Tarot card readings, scryings. Blue leads an eccentric life and she has been the subject to countless of readings. Blue amplifies the energy around her and her family's talent, but she isn't actually a psychic herself. Every year on St Mark's Eve, Blue stands alongside her mother by the churchyard to wait the arrival of the spirits of the soon-to-be-dead walk the corpse road and every year, she sees nothing- until this year. She sees a boy, Gansey, dressed in Aglionby school uniform, emerge from the dark.

"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve, Blue. Either you're his true love...or you killed him."

Blue is then sucked into a world of mystery she never expected to be solving with the Aglionby boys, the raven boys. But she must be careful to guard her heart for as long as she can remember, Blue has been told that "If Blue was to kiss her true love, he would die."

Before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that The Raven Boys is not a romance. This whole true love's kiss thing was all but non-existent in the novel. Oh, I'm sure it will be of extreme importance later on in the series, and I can't wait to read about it then. But Raven Boys was not a romance. It was a mystery at its core- with ley lines, Latin-speaking trees, ghosts, murderers and one hell of a hunt. Gansey, the leader of the Raven Boys, is obsessed with finding and waking the resting place of the sleeping king, Glendower. The person to do so will be granted a favour.

The story starts out in Blue's perspective, but it is actually told through third person, omniscient, which is necessary considering the epic story that Raven Boys is and the numerous characters it involves. Gansey is a true Aglionby boy- ridiculously rich, radiating confidence, power and completely obsessed with the supernatural, with waking the sleeping Glendower. He wants nothing more than to find his purpose and to prove that he's more than his money and his name. Adam works hard to keep the partial scholarship he received to study in Aglionby. He wants to earn a life outside of what he knows and to become his own man. Ronan, a ghost of his former self after the traumatic loss of his father. Noah is a troubled soul, shy and timid, but he knows a lot more than he lets on. Each boy had complex characters. They were difficult to understand at the beginning, and I still have trouble now. But it was so interesting to see layer after layer peel off, to see them at their core. And Stiefvater is not done showing us who these raven boys really are. The camaraderie between these boys are so deep and complicated. It's like they went to war and back together. This raw brotherly bond was one- if not the strongest thing in the book. Each one tore me up and broke my heart in the duration of the book. It was brilliant.

The pace of the book was slow, especially at the beginning. Stiefvater took her time setting everything up and I admit, I was a little frustrated of the things she revealed and dangled in my face that wasn't resolved in this book. But I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. It just makes waiting for the next book better and harder and ohmygod everyone needs to read this.

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