Monday, January 30, 2012
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. :)
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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 Petersen for this nicely wrapped-up story with a truly engaging plot and more interesting characters narrated in a hilarious and witty manner. Oh and, cute cover - atleast that one's consistent! ;)
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
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.
Friday, January 6, 2012
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. ;)
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
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. ;)
Monday, January 2, 2012
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!