Monday, August 27, 2012

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Introduction: I think its really scary to all of a sudden forget ten years of your life - to wake up and realize that your dreams of a perfect happy little family, a promise of friendship - all those things you protect so much to keep are all gone now. To wake up and suddenly realize you dont know the person you've become. I guess this book has given me a new perspective in life - to really hold on to what matters most in life today before they become just another memory that you might forget one day.

Overview: Alice is twenty-nine. She is whimsical, optimistic and adores sleep, chocolate, her ramshackle new house and her wonderful husband Nick. What's more, she's looking forward to the birth of the 'Sultana' - her first baby.

But now Alice has slipped and hit her head in her step-aerobics class and everyone's telling her she's misplaced the last ten years of her life.

In fact, it would seem that Alice is actually thirty-nine and now she loves schedules, expensive lingerie, caffeine and manicures. She has three children and the honeymoon is well and truly over for her and Nick. In fact, he looks at her like she's his worst enemy. What's more, her beloved sister Elisabeth isn't speaking to her either. And who is this 'Gina' everyone is so carefully trying not to mention?

Alice isn't sure that she likes life ten years on. Every photo is another memory she doesn't have and nothing makes sense. Just how much can happen in a decade? Has she really lost her lovely husband for ever?

My Opinion: Part of me enjoyed this book, because the story line is something that catches my attention. I guess because I was able to relate to what Alice felt... to suddenly not know details of my life. Its not the Alice and I have the same situation, but just like Alice... I'm in that point where she was 10 years ago - I'm also full of hope, looking forward to my future with the man I love, together with our kids. Its scary for me to wake up one day and realize I lost everything I want to have so much before. 

Although honestly, there are parts of the book that I wish the author has established more... I feel like Nick is lost as a character. I cant feel his presence and importance in the story. Although Elizabeth's character is amplified by her journal, I cant seem to connect the sister/ bestfriend bond that she and Alice used to have. So although Alice is missing ten years of her life, I dont. 

But overall, this is a good read for me - especially since I took a unjustifiable long break from reading and blogging. So before plunging in, I have to start it light! ;)

My Rating:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Skeleton Crew (Underworld Cycle, #2) by Cameron Haley

Introduction: Just like what I said in my FB page, I'm pretty much a sucker for Zombies. So when I read the overview, I grabbed this book and plunged into reading-manic. Then I realized its already book 2. So I spent a lot of times trying to locate the first book... but to no success. So anyway, I skipped book 1... and turns out it ain't that much of a miss. Which is a good thing coz I do believe that in a series - despite the stories being interrelated - each book must be stand alone. But I would really love to read it to understand this whole magic and underworld thing more.

Overview: Bodies are hitting the pavement in L.A. like they always do, but this time they're getting right back up, death be damned. My mobbed-up outfit of magicians may be the strongest in the city, but even they aren't immune to the living dead.

And I've yet to develop a resistance to Adan Rashan.

If I don't team up with the boss's son, we won't just be at each other's throats over control of the outfit. We'll be craving hearts and brains, as well.

Because as long as this nasty spirit from the Between is stopping souls from finding peace, I'm facing the biggest supernatural crisis to ever hit the City of Angels.

Zombies, it's time you feared me.

My Opinion: When I started turning the pages of this book, at first I was a little lost with all this magic lingo, all this juice and outfits and world rules, and then Domino's thing with Adan - who by the way I find mysteriously charming. But slowly yet surely, as soon as I got the hang of it, I began to be drawn to this very exciting world of magic, demons, fairies, and yeah - zombies. Now Zombies here are different - yes they still want to eat people, but they can still think and act normal. Often times they dont know they are dead until this uncontrollable urge to eat people hits them. Its a totally new twist for me, and I liked it.

This story, though, revolved mainly on Domino. Everything always seems to get back to her - like most of the characters are just there to ensure that she'll be the heroine we all expect her to be at the end of the day. Although its a good thing coz it makes the readers' empathy focused on one person only - it made me feel like the rest of the characters lack identity. But maybe coz it has already been established in the first book? See now I really must get my hand on that book.  

The ending is a little surprising. I dont know whether Cameron is highlighting some culture's practice or tradition - but the story when the husband must leave and wander in the wild while the wife raise their child on her own - it sounds a little too stereotyped for me. I strongly believe that when a couple gets married, its either they wander together exploring the world - or they settle down and raise a family. That's why its called tying the knot, right? Oh ignore me - just another attack of the romantic side of me. Haha. Nonetheless, I do like the ending. It leaves me with something to hope for for Domino and Adan.

Overall, this has been a very exciting read for me. Its like a non-stop action that'll keep you wanting to turn the pages faster to know what'll happen next. I like Domino's character - a little bad-ass, a little softie - very likable. I like the story, very unique with its highly interesting magic system. And the plot is anything but boring! This, indeed, is another urban fantasy book that I would highly recommend.

My Rating:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Breakfast In Bed by Eleanor Moran

Introduction: I kinda like the title of this book... oh, the hopeless romantic in me. Haha. Well, I honestly didn't know what to expect when I started reading. All I knew was that Amber will be torn between someone from her past, and someone she can actually share a future with. So there I go... reading this book... which took me forever to finish... and its not really a good thing.

Overview: TAKE ONE NEWLY SINGLE WOMAN: At 31, Amber is being bombarded with wedding invitations just as she's collecting her divorce papers - and her bossy best friend has gone one step further and made her chief bridesmaid. It's high time Amber regained control of her life - so she goes after the career she's always dreamed of as a top chef.

ADD A PASSIONATE AND FIERY CELEBRITY COOK: Amber's joy at landing herself a coveted role in Oscar Retford's kitchen soon fades as she discovers Oscar is as famous for his furious temper and addiction to firing people as he is for the legendary meals he creates.

TURN UP THE HEAT: Keen to keep herself out of the firing line, and to avoid thinking about why her marriage crashed and burned, Amber throws herself into her job. But as passions start to run high, and her past catches up with her, it looks like Amber's cooked up a recipe for disaster.

My Opinion: As I was reading this book, I keep having this urge to stop and give up. Not that I dont like the story... but coz... well... I dont like how the story is progressing. It was okay until I realized everything is just so predictable. Predictable in a sense that its either a cliche or something overrated. Oscar - the chef with a deadly charm but with a temper that can blow the chili out of his kitchen. Milly - the bestfriend whose rich beyond imaginable and doesn't know what to do with her money. Dom - the philandering husband who blame it all on the wife for not having enough time to be around. Lydia (Oscar's wife) - the exact definition of vogue woman. And etc. 

So what made me continue?... Its because there are things intriguing enough for me - like is Oscar really sincere? What's the deal with him and the wife? Is Dom really a lying prick? And as I was looking for this answers, I came across the scene when one of Amber's friend Marsha is having her engagement party - when Marsha acknowledging her efforts, and Milly helping out in the kitchen, and then there's Dom making things a little easier for her despite the pressure. So when Amber said... "I love my friends"... at least that part, I sincerely felt. And after that, I soften up a little... that when Amber was conversing with her mom about what happened to them and why they ended up distant to each other... I actually cried. Also, I like the kitchen setting. I can honestly feel the tension - makes me hungry. Lol.

Anyway, in my opinion, I think the ending is what saved the book. Although it ain't perfect (like what the hell - Milly and Oscar?)... but its believable. Its not the ending we would all like - but its a hopeful one. Its a leap of faith, trusting in a love that we once believed upon. Being in a relationship is not easy - and it will never be perfect - but if we pick up lessons from all the mistakes (whether the ones we did or the ones done to us) - we'll be okay. And that's what this book's ending has taught me. :)

My Rating: 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eat Slay Love (Living with the Dead #3) by Jesse Petersen

Introduction: After my very disappointing encounter with Books 1 and 2... I must really love Zombies enough to subject myself to Book 3. So, after I equipped myself with lots and lots of patience - and having blocked any memory of the first 2 books - I'm now ready to get my brains blown up with frustrations. But... surprise... surprise!

Overview: Sarah and David have survived the zombie apocalypse. They stood side by side and fought the undead, mad scientists, and even bionic monsters until the unthinkable happened. A zombie bite. But not even that could stop them. Now, with a possible cure in hand, they're headed east, looking for a safe zone behind the rumored "Wall." They're feeling pretty optimistic.

That is until Dave stops sleeping and starts lifting huge objects.

My Opinion: And here comes the redemption, just in time before I totally despise this series! I love the connection there is now between David and Sarah. I also love that this book isn't all about Sarah anymore and her annoying heroine boost that's just simply too much at times. The plot has improved so much compared to the first books - Yes, zombies still need their daily doze of braaains, there are still crazy survivors, and some less crazy ones. But I like the new additions - like Nicole and her bitchy character - who kinda surprised me with her transformation in the end. I even like the druggie rock star McCray who despite having short focus span actually has a potential to be the hero of the day. Everything became so interesting all of a sudden - especially now that David has acquired some zombie powers and Sarah became more tuned-in to reality.  

For me, and this is my personal opinion only, forget about the first 2 books. You wont miss much when you read just book 3. You surely wont miss the disappointments! ;) Anyway, kudos to

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Forget the Past: Book One of Fear of the Past Trilogy by Claude Nougat

Introduction: I was thinking - this book can either do great or totally waste my time. I have to admit, the description is really unique - that for one has kept my interest level high. And one thing I can say though, that interest level never dropped a bit. It was sustained with a dash of action, a trace of true love, a valuable amount of historical insights - all enveloped in a supernatural story so wonderfully presented.

Overview: When Tony, a gifted child and brilliant video game creator, turns 17, he suffers burnout and feels like an old man. He goes to Sicily, the homeland of his deceased father, to search for his roots . An abandoned palazzo with a strange name inscribed above the door, the Circolo di Conversazione, attracts his attention. He walks in and meets the ghosts of all his ancestors going back 900 years, milling about, waiting for Judgment Day. Soon he discovers he has more in common with an English adventurer who settled in Sicily during the Napoleonic Wars than with his own father. The Englishman with whom Tony bears an uncanny resemblance was the secret lover of the Duchess of Floridia, a famous beauty (she married the King of Naples in 1814 when she was 43). The Duchess mistakes Tony for her secret lover come back to her. But is love possible with a woman who died 200 years ago? Can he take her back in his own time?

My Opinion: This is a pretty interesting story - history and romance intertwined in a fantasy setting. Its a story of one man's search for meaning - only to realize later on that the key to that understanding lies in his past - but first he must figure out the connection. Its entertaining being carried from one story to another - learning at the same time with the protagonist as facts about his past unravels before him . Its like this book is a compilation of life's drama - each chapter bringing me some kind of realization. It definitely made me hooked - as I am introduced to different characters who all have a very engaging life story to tell. The plot is never boring, and despite being truly unusual - its something believable. Its also easy to follow irregardless of the vast cast and the never-ending dialogues.

This book may seem to only tell us of the lives of the characters, one at a time. But the author filled each story with meanings - of understanding the different faces of love and sacrifices, and of realizing that what's important for one person may not be the same for another. Some may value beauty, money, honor or security above everything else. But some people live for love - and that love can stretch through centuries.

The only thing I didn't like much about this book - is that Tony is so skeptical about where he is and of what's being presented to him. I just felt like its either he is being stupid to see or proud to admit that there is something supernatural going on around him.   

But overall, this for me, is definitely one of my best reads. The story is unique, enjoyable, plus its well-written.

My Rating:

Friday, January 6, 2012

Flip this Zombie (Living with the Dead #2) by Jesse Petersen

Introduction: I am not so excited reading this book, coz I honestly didnt like the first one. But since I have books 2 and 3 anyway... and I seriously am a fan of zombies (lol?)... so I feel obliged to atleast give this another chance. Who knows... this time it may actually redeem itself?

Overview: The Zombie Apocalypse has been good to Sarah and David. Their marriage is better than ever. They communicate well, share responsibilities, and now, they're starting a business. ZombieBusters-for all your zombie extermination needs.

There are lots of zombies and that means lots of customers...Except one of them doesn't want the zombies dead, he wants them alive and ready for experimentation. Mad scientists make for difficult clients and this time, Sarah and David might have bitten off more than they can chew.

My Opinion: Goodness... Zombiebusters Extermination Inc? Seriously?! Oh well... to each his own. I'll probably have mine as Zombionic Annihilator Pte Ltd. What?! I want to make it sound professional too! Plus, I kill even the bionic ones.

Moooving on, Sarah and David - all of a sudden experts in this Zombie-killing thing, just puts me off. Before I wrote this review I asked myself, what is it really that I dont like about this book? I figured, its just that I dont want to be like Sarah. I just dont like her character. First, she wishes there really is a bionic zombie since she is getting bored killing the - well, boring ones. Next thing, she hopes to have a cure from all this so she teamed up with Doctor Good Looking aka Mad Scientist. Come on, girl! Make up your mind - damn the world or save it! Not to mention, she is trying so hard to be like Alice of Resident Evil - except that in Resident Evil, I actually believe everything. This book is just way out of this world when we talk about reality. I would rather look for my dad rather than kill zombies for a living and be paid with... a box of SpongeBob plasters! And if I'd ever have to kill zombies everyday of my fucking life, atleast give me a fucking good reason to do so - and no - just so I can be as popular as Paris fucking Hilton wont make me risk my skinny ass. Hahaha. (Excuse me for the language - the book's my reference :p)

Okay... I dont really hate this book entirely... I love the cover - pink! I like Robbie's surprising character and how he irritates me - atleast he is a genius and that explains why he was able to manipulate Sarah and David. And I like it when David saved Sarah from the bionic zombies - although its something I totally expected, still I find it romantic. I just loved what he said: "I could have followed you everyday forever....(blah, blah)". Sorry I forgot the exact line, but I'm sure you got the point. Finally, a proof of true love! (Yeah, hopeless romantic me!).

Well, apparently this book didnt impress me. But dont let me stop you - if you're looking for a book that you can enjoy at the moment and forget about after - you can have this one as an option. ;)

My Rating: 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Married with Zombies (Living with the Dead #1) by Jesse Petersen

Introduction: Okay so... I'm into Zombies and the undead and all that stuff... so when I saw this book, I cheered silently (okay... I'd like to believe I was atleast discreet about it :p)!. I mean, movies about zombies never fail: they will scare you, and if not... atleast you will sure laugh about how disgustingly funny they look when they go roaming around - limping, rotten and sometimes with missing body parts - trying to satisfy their cravings for... braaaains? Haha. So books can definitely do better, right? Oh and... it comes in a very chic cover too!Yay!

Overview: A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.
Meet Sarah and David.
Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.
Meet the Zombies.
Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.

My Opinion: Well... I am disappointed :( I never thought I could feel this way about a book - but hey, I was so excited to read it that I even have all the three books with me. And when you're "that" excited and you get "less" of what you want - well, what else can I feel?

For one, I cannot relate to their love story completely - or is there? They are on the verge of divorce, which means they hated each other - I thought I'll see how they will fall in love again... realizing that they still want each other and do this little sweet gestures that would sweep them off their feet at times. The first night after the zombie apocalypse broke out, they had sex merely because they thought its the end of the world anyway. Where is the romance in that??... Geez I'm such a hopeless romantic. Haha.

Another thing, I am so detached to the characters. I cannot understand their decisions - and I think there's just not enough history to back up their sense of individuality. I dont know exactly what to expect from them - I feel like they are so unreal and not the kind of people I will see everyday. I just cannot sympathize with them - even with Sarah. I guess I'm just really looking for that something that'll make me say... "Huh... I would definitely do the same."

And also, the author used too much reference on movie scenes far too familiar - that I guessed the originality just sank in. So in the end, this book has made me realize that during a similar outbreak, with all the movies about zombies that I have watched - I will definitely kick zombie asses! Haha.

Anyway, this book is an easy and fast read - made me laugh at the situational humor present in the story. So anyone whose looking for a light amusement, with loads of zombie humour and minimal brain function - you might wanna give this book a try. ;)

My Rating: 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Behind the Hood by Marita Hansen

Introduction: I'm honored to be one of the chosen to review this book. I had always been intrigued by the title, and more so by what this book can offer. Well, I can tell you this... it takes a great author to weave such a great book! :) 

Overview: New Zealand author Marita A. Hansen weaves a breathtaking tale of revenge and violence in the first book from the new series Behind the Lives.

A gang leader, a hapless teenage girl, a young father struggling to support his wife and baby, an abused boy and more give different sides to a harrowing tale that could be told anywhere in the world.

It will leave you breathless.

My Opinion: When a friend of mine asked me what I think about this book, all I said was that it kept me heavy-hearted during the entire time I was reading. Not in a bad way though - but because it was written so vividly I can even say it felt so much like everything is happening right before me. 

Each chapter is told by different characters, and surprisingly enough, each voice is owned, authentic - and sounded so much like being told by different persons. You get to peek into the minds of all characters - understanding their actions and decisions - and being able to sympathize with them. It made me attached to the characters - hurting when they get hurt, feeling scared when they are scared, and angry when they are. It allowed me to live their lives in such a short time that I engaged myself reading the book. Kudos to the author for this, as its not easy to be changing voices and give identity to each and everyone of them.  

My heart goes out to all the characters - and hated Tama from the very first chapter to the last. His desire to avenge the wrong things done to him or to his mates, to own the girl he believed to really love, and to keep his gang together and loyal to him - he is a lost soul, but let me say a hopeless one too. His distorted view of the world around him explained why he is a very effective antagonist.

This novel is painfully honest - showing us a different side of teenage life, the one entangled with sex and violence. It may be too much for some, but I'd definitely recommend this as a very good read. This is a story with a roller coaster of emotions - and the best part is - you get to feel each and everyone of them. Marita did a great job, definitely cant wait for her next books!

My Rating: