Monday, November 24, 2014

Review- Looking for Alaska by John Green

Goodreads Summary:

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.


REVIEW:

When I first bought Looking for Alaska, I had already read and loved The Fault In Our Stars. When I picked it up to read, I wasn't sure what to expect, but seeing as it's a John Green book, I knew that it would be, in it's own and unique way, epic. Unfortunately, it wasn't all that life-changing, mind-blowing and totally oh my God, but Looking for Alaska was still a great read, but I only wish I had loved it more. 

Looking for Alaska is actually a very simple story of a bunch of friends who realise how short and valuable life is after they are struck by an incident none of them foresaw. I've read plenty of books with a similar plot and I've definitely read better. But what I must say is that Looking for Alaska is indeed a very nice story. I loved the aspect of what remains when we are gone that was taken up in it. Finding the "Great Perhaps" and all that. That was very interesting. But what has stayed with me and will stay with me most is the following line which I loved so much: 

"You just use the future to escape the present." 

The bunch of friends I spoke of before are Miles or Pudge, Chip or Colonel, Takumi, Lara and Alaska. I loved the gang, yes, but I especially loved Colonel. He was a cool and funny guy. And I loved his mom as well. While the book is actually from Miles' point of view, aside from his curiosity, I didn't really connect with him. Takumi had two absolutely great moments that I'll always remember when I look back at the book. Lara was really nice in her own way, but I didn't really like Alaska all that much and it's a shame, because the book is about her. She was messed up, but I would have loved to know the "whys" of everything, but I felt that somewhere, it was necessary to keep it unsaid and undone anyway. 

What made Looking for Alaska a very quick and interesting read was John Green's writing. It was nice and simple and there were plenty of funny moments, although after reading The Fault In Our Stars, I didn't find it as brilliant. Besides, if I take into consideration the fact that this book is the author's debut, it was some really great writing.


I liked how the book was divided into Before and After and we go backwards and forwards from the day on which the incident that I won't tell you about happens. The summary is a little deceiving though when it talks about the After. I didn't find anything that wasn't the same except the excessive drinking and smoking which I didn't care about anyway. Speaking of the incident, I have my own theory, but to avoid spoilers, I won't mention it, although I feel everyone knows it for what it actually was than what it was made out to be. Looking for Alaska had some aspects that made it just about great for me, and I did like it while I was reading it. 


RATING:




Friday, November 21, 2014

Happiness is...

Hi, guys! So today is one of those days when I'm out of creative ideas. I have some time to actually sit and make posts which is why I'll also be catching up on some commenting over your blogs this weekend, so be ready, I'm gonna stalk y'all big time. It's been so long since we did a random post. Anyway, what I'm going to share with y'all today is something that you must have already come across somewhere or the other. I've shared this stuff with all my bookish friends, but I thought, why not make a post and share it with our lovely bookish blog readers? So here I am sharing some happiness is... anything and everything to do with books pictures. 

All the images are taken either from Facebook, Google, Twitter or some webpage, but in the end, it all lands up to The Happy Page on Facebook as is watermarked on all images. 

I do not hold the right to any of the photos, but I'm sharing them simply out of my love for them and so that we have a place where we can put all the bookish ones together. Trust me, these images are all over my phone and it takes ages to search for them all, so here we are- organised and ready! 












Let me know which one is your favourite in the comments below. I honestly cannot pick one- they are all so relatable. But in case you do have one that appeals to you more than the other, let me know because hey, bookish talk makes us all happy, I suppose! 

Anyway, I hope you liked this post, and thank you so much for stopping by! 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review- The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Summary-

London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself-working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumours about her father′s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.

Juliet is accompanied by the doctor′s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father′s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island′s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father′s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father′s genius-and madness-in her own blood.

Review-

I was so very intrigued when I first saw the summary for The Madman's Daughter. It just seemed to look like a really good historical young adult gothic fiction with just the right amount of creepiness to make for an interesting read. Unfortunately, The Madman's Daughter did not live up to my expectations. I wanted more and I did not get it.

The main issue I had with this book was Juliet, our heroine. I did not like her. At all. And then it got tiring because the entire book goes from her point of view and I did not want to be in her head. Juliet had a lot of things to worry about, namely her father who is supposedly mad and a strange island where all things creepy are going on. But she kept dithering between her feelings for two boys. 

The whole eerie atmosphere which was built up kind of lost its point when one second Juliet was describing her surroundings and the other second she focused on her attraction to one of the boys. Can you even think of how it would feel to hold a boy's hand at a time when some creature is killing the island's inhabitants? I am also not a fan of love triangles anyways, so the romance plot was a fail for me.

The two boys who made for Juliet's love triangle were Montgomery and Edward. I really liked Montgomery. Juliet and he shared a connection since their childhood and he genuinely cared for her. While Edward was shown as a mysterious guy he did not live up to it. 

The interesting parts in The Madman's Daughter were definitely the experiments the doctor was conducting. There are quite a few gruesome scenes but nothing too severe. There were some interesting twists to the story even though the pace was a little slow, but not enough to make up for Juliet's irritating behavior. The Madman's Daughter was an okay read.




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #105

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Hero by Samantha Young
Publication Date: February 3rd, 2015


Summary-

The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets,. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

I'm a fan of Samantha Young books so I'll definitely be reading this one.
What are you waiting on? :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blog Tour: Book Spotlight, Excerpt + Giveaway- Claiming Carlos by Rachelle Ayala

Hi guys! Thanks to our buddy DDS @ B00k R3vi3w Tours, we're part of the blog tour for author Rachelle Ayala's Claiming Carlos, book #2 of the Sanchez Sisters series. As our stop o the tour, we have a spotlight post for you.  You can check out the entire posting schedule here

Book #2 of Sanchez Sisters Series

Choco Sanchez is stuck in a rut. She's never hit a softball and has been friends forever with Carlos Lopez, the head cook at her family's Filipino restaurant. When flashy restaurant consultant Johnny Dee hits her with a pitch, she falls head over heels and gets a makeover

Carlos Lopez is not about to lose one for the home team. Johnny launches a full scale change on the menu, and Carlos sends him straight into the dumpster. Claiming Choco's heart proves more difficult. But never underestimate a man who can cook hot, spicy, and steamy, and we ain't talking just food.





Buy Links:

Amazon.com I Amazon.in I Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:

[Love to Hate Miranda]

“Stop.” Miranda waves a spatula and blocks our way. “No members of the wait staff allowed in the kitchen.”
“I need another order of vegan spring rolls. No meat!” Sarah yells.
“She stole my gluten-free bangus.” Susie pushes her way past Miranda, who bounces against the door to the cold room, opening it.
“Out, out of the kitchen.” Miranda sticks a finger in Susie’s chest. Big mistake.
Susie’s nostrils flare and her piercings dance. “Out of my way.”
With a hefty push, she shoves Miranda who stumbles back into the cold room. Her arms windmilling, she falls in between the sides of raw pork belly hanging up to dry.
“Ai ya!” Miranda slaps at the pork bellies and pulls on a trussed whole duck for balance, right when a wooden tray of balut, fertilized duck eggs with the intact embryo, falls and splatters over her. The slime and partially formed embryos ooze down her hair and face.
Everyone except Johnny bursts out laughing. I whip out my cell phone and snap as many pictures as I can before Johnny blocks my view to help his mother.
Out of nowhere, Carlos appears, and he gives Johnny a kick on the back of his tight leopard printed butt, sending him sprawling against the skewered suckling pigs. They tumble like dominoes, knocking Johnny on top of his balut-covered mother.

Carlos picks up a tray of the Vietnamese style transparently wrapped no-fry spring rolls and flings the contents into the cold room all over Johnny and Miranda. “Vegan spring rolls is off the menu.”

About the Author


Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling Asian American author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.

Rachelle is the founder of an online writing group, Romance in a Month, an active member of the California Writer's Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance

Connect with the Author:

Website I Blog I Facebook Twitter I Goodreads



Tour Schedule

Giveaway

1st Prize - $20 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize - Choice of Rachelle Ayala's eBooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd like to thank DDS for letting us be part of this and thank you to the author as well. And lastly, thank you, readers, for stopping by! 








Monday, November 17, 2014

Review- The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Goodreads Summary:

For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.

Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.

Awards: 2009 Rhode Island Children's Book Award, 2007 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, North Carolina Children’s Book Award 2011, 2011 Nutmeg Award (Connecticut)

Check out www.lemonadewar.com for more information on The Lemonade War Series, including sequels The Lemonade Crime, The Bell Bandit, and The Candy Smash.



REVIEW:

I used to read Middle Grade books when I myself was a middle grader. Then I don't know how, but I stopped reading MG books. The sole explanation I had for the same is that I outgrew those books. Then I won a couple of books that fall under the genre in giveaways. My first thought when I received those books was that I would give them away. One Sunday afternoon, I was browsing my book shelf for a quick and small read. I couldn't find anything. That's when I came across The Lemonade War and I thought, why not? I mean, I never stopped reading Middle Grade books because I thought they were too childish. But it's just that I worried a little about how it might seem. Anyway, I picked up the book and from afternoon until early evening, I was way too occupied in this super cute and innocent read that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

The Lemonade War is the story of siblings Evan and Jessie who have a wonderful brother-sister relationship that gets a little rocky when Jessie, who is fourteen months younger than Evan, gets informed about something really exciting and interesting from school. Pissed off at this, Evan ignores his sister, who is also his best friend, and starts hanging out with his bunch of classmates during the last few days of their summer holidays. The two (Evan and Jessie) declare a lemonade war and the one who earns the most money by selling lemonade at the end of a week, gets to keep the money earned by both parties. 

Having read mostly Young Adult and New Adult books in the past few years, I was pleasantly surprised and really happy to read such a sweet book with a nice story. Even though I fall under the category of New Adult and that means I'm supposed to relate to the characters in those books, I never succeed at doing that. When it came to The Lemonade War, I found way too many scenes that made me think of my childhood and how my relationship was, at that time, with my friends and siblings. It did make me realise how not smart I was at that age, but oh well, I cannot get over how happy and insanely cute this book was. It made me smile throughout. Of course, there were times when I felt bad for either of the sibling and I tended to side with the other. In the end, it was all good though. 

The Lemonade War is a story of two siblings, lemonade, friendship and maths (which I finally learned, thanks to the book). I loved how author Jacqueline Davies has portrayed the cute, innocent and absolutely wonderful relationship between Evan and Jessie. There were times when charts, notes and tables are used in the book itself in the form of graphics which made it more fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I've found a relaxing and truly entertaining genre to get to when I just want to read for the sole reason that reading is fun. I enjoyed The Lemonade War way more than I'm willing to admit. I don't care what it seems like now. I'm not ashamed of what I read and I'm so happy I read this book as it was a fantastic read. 


RATING:



Friday, November 14, 2014

Giveaway (IN only)- The Apocalypse Trigger by Douglas Misquita

Hi guys! If y'all remember, we had done an awesome giveaway for author Douglas Misquita. Well, guess what? Douglas is back with another awesome giveaway for his latest release, The Apocalypse Trigger. This giveaway is going to be a little different from the normal giveaways that we run, but I assure you that it'll be fun. Before getting on to the rules and stuff, let's just see what the book is about. 

In other news, download your free copy of the prelude to this book here.


GOODREADS SUMMARY:

In 1947, a freighter in the Malacca Straits sends out a macabre distress signal. When help arrives all the officers and crew are found dead - with no visible signs of injury. 
Present day: An environmental disaster in British Colombia pits Billy Bradford against Future Energy Group and its ruthless head of security, Luc Fortesque.
A devastating terror strike on the world's grandest luxury hotel has the globe clamoring for the head of the mastermind, Sebastian Gardner.
But the three men will soon become pawns in a plot that dates back to the end of World War II and the collusion between a powerful, centuries-old cabal and a rogue priest.

BOOK LINKS:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Douglas Misquita is an action-adventure thriller writer. His books Secret of the Scribe and Haunted have been enthusiastically received by fans of the genres. He has also penned a short travelogue, Impressions of Egypt.
His third thriller, The Apocalypse Trigger and an accompanying FREE short, Know Thy Enemy are now available.


Find out more at his website

AUTHOR LINKS:


GIVEAWAY: 


Alright guys, here's the most exciting part- the giveaway! But before you get on to the Rafflecopter, please read all the instructions very carefully. 

Instructions: 

1) Download a free copy of the prelude, Know Thy Enemy from here
2) Read the 40 pages of the book.
3) Answer three very simple questions based on the prelude in the Rafflecopter form. 
4) The questions are your giveaway entries.
5) Please do not post your answers in the comments. Write them down in the space provided in the form itself. 
6) Five participants who get all three answers right will receive a physical copy of The Apocalypse Trigger. 

Also guys, whilst you're on Douglas's website, do visit his homepage to check out some more awesome stuff about the book. Now that the instructions are done, let's get on to other important stuff.

Giveaway rules are simple:

*Read the instructions and fill out the Rafflecopter form below. 
*The giveaway is for residents of India only. 
*The Rafflecopter starts on 15/11/ 2014. 
*Once winners are picked, they will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or else we'll be compelled to pick new winners.
*The book will be shipped by the author. 


May the odds be ever in your favour! Do well and you shall win! Thank you Douglas for this awesome, awesome, awesome giveaway. Thank you readers for stopping by!