Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Muse: (Armchair Backpacker #1) Indonesia!


Hello and welcome to the first post in my Armchair Backpacker project! For those of you who have no idea what it is, Armchair Backpacker is an event where bloggers from all around the world doing guest post every Monday about daily lives in their country. Just like a backpacker, we'll explore the world they live in! You can learn about all of that here. :)

Are you excited? Are You??? AREEEE YOUUUU??? (okay, Hilda, settle down. Don't want to make all the nice readers run for their lives) Because our first destination is....

*cue drum rolls...*


Yay yay yay! Indonesia happens to be my country, so... it'll be Hilda again talking! Enjoy! :)


The Bookie in Action

Hi! It's Hilda from Catch the Lune again! *awkward pause* I'm a proud Indonesian girl, and I'm going to be your tour guide while you're in Indonesia! To those of you who live in Europe or America, congratulation! You're now in Asia, baby! ASIA! Let me pronounce it for you guys... A-S-I-A! x)

Willing to trade glasses for food!
Now what do you know about Indonesia, folks? Bali? Yeah, I hear you. That's a cool place, but you know? We have more cool places you should visit in Indonesia! And ssshhh... I'm going to show you things natives-exclusive! You know, top secret stuffs! ;)

Come on, follow me through the journey! And watch out for monkeys, since they might steal your glasses or watches!





Places You Should Go To

Kota Tua (Old City) for History lovers

Fatahhilah Square, taken from the window of Museum Fatahhilah
the bicycles and the cute vintage hats

Kota Tua, or Old City is located in our capital, Jakarta. Do you love museums as much as I love them? You should totally visit Kota Tua! There are many museums, old buildings with Dutch architecture, and a big square where you can see traditional dancing performed in the afternoon! Also, there are many bicycles provided for renting for small fee! You can also ask for a tour guide to accompany you sightseeing around the town, and every bicycle comes with a vintage hat you can wear for guarding you from stinging heat or like me, for the practical use... fashion! :P


I'm good with sport... as long as it doesn't involve legs or hands. Or like, anything to do with the body. :P

Parang Tritis beach for lovers of sea and sand

Find me where the sky meets the sea.

Sands. Sands. Sands. It's the first thing I saw when I visited Parang Tritis. Parang Tritis is located in Djogja, a city not far away from the capital. There is no coconut trees in sight, only sands. Horizon. Perfect spot for watching sunset, sunrise... seriously, any kind of sun. :P However, the sea is dangerous for swimming because it's too close to the ocean, so no need to bring your swimsuit! :)

Pulau Kembang (Flower Island) and Pulau Komodo (Komodo dragon Island) for animal whisperers

Pink is the new black!

Meet thousands of wild monkeys in Pulau Kembang, and the dinosaur (kind of) in Komodo island! My friend went to Komodo island and she saw pink beach. If we take a handful of sand then we can see red sand in between the white sand. 

Library

Mostly I go to my university's library. It has seven floors, although the percentage of books I can read is about 10%. The rest? Uh huh, too bad I'm not interested in Chemistry or Physics (HORROR!). :P

While in Indonesia... Did You Know?

  • One of the world's most luxurious cemetery is located in Indonesia. Iinspired by Forest Lawn memorial park, San Diego Hills resembles five-stars hotel with sports facilities, an Italian restaurant, a small-scale replica of Istanbul's Blue Mosque, a man-made Lake of Angels that's dotted with rowboats on weekends and a helicopter landing pad. And it also hosts wedding parties. Oh well.
  • Sarah Alderson, the author of much-beloved Lila series and Fated, lives in Bali. If only I can find time to stalk meet her and threaten ask her to autograph my copy. *sad face*
  • We have three years of high school here. I don't know why, just want to mention it. :P

Final Note

Aww, I'm very excited that you bother reading this post! Seriously, this post is just so full of rants and nothing else. I'm not the best tour guide since:

1. For the life of me, I can't ever remember the name of places
2. I'm never good with directions (unless we're talking about that One Direction)
3. Words and I are not destined to be together

*facepalm moment*

All my little problems aside, you can count on me to bring you to whatever place you want to! I hope you enjoy this (slightly) long post! Give me a call next time you come to Indonesia, will you? We can drink coconut together! ;)




 




And... that's our (too short) journey in Indonesia!! Hopefully I didn't bore you guys with my explanations! :') Oh, what do we get here now? A map to help us marking the countries! ;)



Boosh! Get your seat belt ready for flight, because our next destination is UK! Hello, Londoners! Sacrifice your Brit boys for us!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Dark Star by Bethany Frenette



3.5 stars

Wow, this book is absolutely not your normal definition of superhero book.

Audrey has always been idolizing her mother, the superhero Morning Star. It’s bad enough that her mother doesn’t seem very keen to have Audrey following her path, but it’s even worse when her mother’s sidekick, Leon, keep tugging her patience. Strange things are happening in the city with high school girls gone missing, but Audrey’s mother refuses to give out any information to her. When Audrey’s friend is falling victim and almost dead, Audrey decides to take matters into her own hands and uncovers what her mother and Leon has been fighting all this time. But like Gram said, there are some places it’s best not to look…

The writing in Dark Star is great and very easy to follow. I also like the relationship between Audrey and her mother. Although they fight at times because Audrey’s mother tends to keep her in dark, it’s clear that both of them love each other very much. I like how Audrey keeps first aid kit everywhere in their house because her mother doesn’t want to get Audrey worry when she comes home injured. Leon, with her cookies smell, flour in his hair, and ironed shirt also get some pieces of my heart too.

However, I felt like the characters in this book are not used wisely. They have just the right characteristics to make them even more awesome: a bit reckless and justice-must-be-served heroine, a vigilante superhero as her mother, a mysterious sidekick, stern grandmother, and supporting best friends, but I feel like I didn’t know them much better in the end. I also wished for more romance in air because really, Audrey needs more time to talk to Leon without getting into banter and later, fight.

In overall, Dark Star is a good read but it’s not something that I expected. Although this book gives sense of comic-like superhero, it’s nothing near. It’s a great book but with the superhero thing stamped in the synopsis, I think I raised my expectation bar too high. I think devoted fans of paranormal stories (who can endure slow pacing in their books) would fall in love with this book. I hope there would be a sequel because for me, Dark Star felt more like an opening for an enjoyable series.

But that night I lay awake thinking of girls lured out into the sweet night air, the darkness that awaited them, vanishing lights and a rising wind. Tricia and Kelly and those other nameless girls, bound to me by a shared ancestry and by the cuts above our heels. And when I slept, my dreams were filled with blood.





 

I rate this book: 
Three cups of tea. I like it.  Recommended to read in spare time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: The Color of Snow by Brenda Stanley


3.5 stars

“What color is the snow?”

“White,” I said, sharply.

Stephanie squinted and took a deep breath as she looked out at the field. “How do you know it’s white? Who taught you that snow is white?”


Sophie is the girl who lived in a cage. For seventeen years of her life, she has lived in isolation with her father. Her father told her that this is for their own good. The outside world is bad, and this is his way of protecting her. Bars in her windows and tall chain-linked gate are supposed to be Sophie’s barrier to the outside world. Her father did all these things to protect Sophie… wasn’t he?

Papa didn’t mean to kill Damien. He shot him because he wants to scare Damien… not because he wants Damien dead. There is no mirror in their house because it takes away from focusing on God. Sophie is a curse and she has to keep hidden, because anyone who loved her would die. Sophie’s mother is dead because of her. Sophie has always believed her father, but when things happen and she has to live with family she believes hating her, secrets start to come out. Now it’s time for Sophie to choose which side she has to believe.

I’m not very fond of drama on every page, but I’ll make exception for this book. This book is full of raw emotions and surprising twists. It’s a very complex story when a girl has to suffer because of what generation before her did. The characters in this book are vivid and very realistic. I’m so relieved that Sophie meets Stephanie, her step cousin. Stephanie helps Sophie questioning about the life she has always known. She’s truly a best friend to Sophie.

The curse is not something that I expected. Brenda Stanley did an amazing job of showing us parts when Sophie’s parents met. The author leads us to believe that the curse might really exist. I was taken to a journey with Sophie to unravel the secret behind her birth and the curse that was said put upon her. The ending is full of hope and I’m really glad how it turns out. Sophie may always be the girl who lived in a cage, but in the end she learns how to free herself.

I knew it was for the best and tried to accept why it was necessary. But even though I had never been to another person’s house or seen another girl’s bedroom, I knew in my heart that this wasn’t right…that I wasn’t normal. My isolation was even more apparent, and for the first time in my life, it mattered.






I rate this book:
Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome. I love the tea flavor!  A strong recommendation.


Many thanks to Tribute book for kindly providing me the review copy! :)

 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Haul from the Hummingbird (#6)!



Hi everyone! I'm so excited to do this feature again. Today is another few weeks edition! I'm trying to limit my review-books, so I don't do NetGalley for now. Boy, do I have any idea how hard it could be. Especially with books like Stormdancer and Speechless showing up! Anybody sharing my on-going lament? :P

Now for the good haul from my lovely (and super strong) hummingbird! 

(clicking on the book cover will bring you to the Goodreads page!)
 


First shelf

I received Hallowed the same week of my birthday, so I take it as unofficial birthday present! Thank you so  much, lovely Riya! You should totally check out her blog because she has the cutest blog (and such amazing reviews) ever! Plus, I LOVE that girl very much! x)  Such a Rush is a book that has been on my wish list for a long time! Dante's Girl has one of the cutest cover I've even seen in... decades? :P Insignia receives many positive reviews and I'm so intrigued to read it!

Second shelf

I love the cover of The Forsaken very much, it's VERY COOL beyond words! Oh my gosh, Tiger Lily! Finally! Fun fact only, Peter Pan was one of my earliest book crush! ;)  I hunt for awesomeness in I Hunt Killers! Sounds like the perfect book to balance my cute contemporaries! x)

I read like snail lately, so I'm hoping to quicken up my pace soon! A bit hard since all I want is sleeping all day. Must be side effect of holiday. I think I'm in hibernation right now. That's right, folks, summer hibernation!

Enough of my ramblings! What did you guys get? Can't wait to see everyone's amazing hauls! :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer



Get smart. Get everything.
 
Three best friends Gigi, Bea, and Neerja thought that high school is nothing. When they get into one of Ivy League colleges, they would have anything they want: the cute boys, the grades, and the happy-ever-after. Who needs high school when they can have Ivy League college waiting?

But when the girls see the empty yearbook of Neerja's genius older sister, Parad, a bunch of questions about success versus happiness raised up. Now it's their mission to ensure they got everything they deserved from high school, whether that was grades, fame, guys, a totally full yearbook. After all, if they were supposedly so smart, this should have been a piece of cake... right?

 
Oh my goodness. I think this book might be one of the most brilliant contemporaries ever. Plus, it has such amazing title that I want to put it on my shirt! I love this book so much to the point I want to marry it. Er… figure of speech.

This book is unlike any other contemporaries I’ve ever read! It’s witty, funny, adorable, romantic, and so smart! If you multiply each good point I mentioned one hundred times, then you finally get the result: this book!

Gigi is my newest favorite heroine. She’s super smart, beautiful, and funny. She’s just what I need after reading too much self-proclaimed smart heroines who keep making reckless choices. I really like Gigi because she’s very relatable. The friendship she has with Neerja and Bea is very adorable too. They are clearly best friends for life! I’m the happiest person when Gigi learns to speak up in public. When she still runs for student representative although it means she has to become opponent with her crush Will, I was so proud of Gigi!

Now, Mike. Mike is the guy who gets involved with Gigi in cheating scandal. At first, I thought he is just like other jocks. But then I see the other side of him, and I fell in love. Mike is smart, funny, protective, and sweet beyond words. I swooned every time he appeared. I rooted for Will at first, but afterward, my heart belongs to Mike and his brilliant mind.

I don’t think I can recommend enough of Smart Girls Get What They Want. Fans of contemporary would heart this book, but I think anyone with love of books would find this book very entertaining. I know that this is hardly a review, more likely a gushing, but when you love a book too much… you can’t help it, right? ;)

“Dude,” Bea said. “So true. I say we go for it. Ski team. Student rep. The play. Gigi’s right. Let’s not think and, for once, just do.”

We squeezed our hands together. We could do this. We had to. Because high school only comes around once, and I would hate to look back and think I didn’t make the most of every moment because I was scared of what other people thought. Other people never think that much about you anyway.

Eleanor Roosevelt said that.



 I rate this book:
 Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome. I love the tea flavor!  A strong recommendation.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Muse: Introducing Armchair Backpacker!


Hi everyone! Monday Muse is here, bringing you cheerfulness to (hopefully) help lightening up your Monday! :)

First of all, I'm very excited for today's Monday Muse! SQUEAL! SCREAM! SWOON! Hilda proudly brings you...


WHAT

Armchair Backpacker is an event where bloggers from all around the world doing guest post every Monday about daily lives in their country. Just like a backpacker, we'll explore the world they live in! You might think that your daily life is boring, but to others, it might look very exotic and beautiful! We're going to learn about the food, the transportation, the dress... basically, anything you would like others to see about your country! Reading guest posts from bloggers all around the world would feel like exploring the land yourself. We all will be backpacker, only for now, we'll be doing it in our comfortable armchair!

WHEN

Starting next week, every Monday I will bring you different bloggers from different countries. Armchair Backpacker will last until the the last week of summer, where I'll do a giveaway with one choice of road-trip books you can pick! :)

WHERE

In this blog, Catch the Lune, of course. ;)

WHO

Bloggers from all around the world! (YAY for internet who make this possible! :P)

WHY

I figured out that summer (or winter for Australians! Don't worry, I haven't forgotten you guys! ♥) is supposed to be fun! But I know that not everyone is in summer break right now and you may feel utterly tired right now, so I'm going to bring holiday to you! ♥ Armchair Backpacker will be fun posts that I hope can cure your wanderlust for now! Who knows, one day you might visit the country featured in this event for real? At least the guest post from the amazing bloggers will help you plan your visit! ;)

The last word...

I hope you'll take a journey with me! I can't promise you to be the best companion ever, but you can always count on me to have your back! Challenge the road. Open your soul. Let's get lost! :)



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: The White Lilac by Christina J. Adams


3.5 stars

Love the opening of this book! This is the kind of book that starts with a bang. Caryn, the heroine of this book, has to win a competition to become The White Lilac. In general, The White Lilac’s job is to gather the cure to save humanity and they will sacrifice themselves in the process. When Caryn wins the competition, she is offered to have three free days out in the city. Caryn has been living in laboratory all her life, so she’s very excited to go see things. She’s allowed to spend these three days in any way she likes with a companion, and she chooses Kai.

Kai isn’t supposed to be in the same room with Caryn when she chooses him. He has to get Beta-Earth’s ruby in few days or he may never see the sun anymore. Caryn promises him a ruby if he agrees to accompany her exploring the city. Both are soon to uncover the conspiracy behind the cure and the lab Caryn has always trusted before.

I think the setting of this book is very fascinating. I haven’t read many science fictions so I’m really glad that I read this book. I like the relationship between Caryn and Kai and how easy conversations flowing between them. Their friendship seems very genuine and it’s wonderful to see Caryn and Kai care for each other as friends first. I was surprised by how little romance in the story, reminded me of the kind I usually see in Middle Grade books. Thankfully, the little portion of romance works for this book.

Some grammar errors and typos dampened my reading experience a bit. Run-on sentences annoyed me and I think an editor would help a lot in this case. The first few chapters of this book are flawless so I was disappointed to see more and more spelling and grammar errors as I flipped through the pages. This book has promise and thorough editing would polish this book into something brighter. In overall, The White Lilac is a fun read and I think Sci-fi lovers would have great time reading this book!

For the first time I begin to doubt that I can win. How can I make it a second longer? The ceiling lights dance on the surface above and want to pull me up to them. I have to think of something, anything to distract myself. Anderson’s last words to me come back.

“You were born for this.”





I rate this book: 
 Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome. I love the tea flavor!  A strong recommendation

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Review: Knee Deep by Jolene Perry



We all know it’s Shawn and Ronnie forever.

Shawn and Ronnie have been in love since they’re twelve years old. Shawn is Ronnie’s first kiss, first love, first boyfriend, and first everything. Shawn was once the sweet boy who prepared Ronnie a very special picnic because he said the coolest girl in the world needs the most perfect spot for her first kiss. Ronnie believes that twenty years after, she would still be with Shawn, in love.

This is their senior year and Shawn starts acting weird. He is easily irritated, irrationally possessive, and tense all the time. His outbursts start leaving bruises on Ronnie’s body. Ronnie keeps making excuses for Shawn’s strange behaviors. It must be temporary, because she can still see glimpses of the guy he fell in love with. Love means keeping up with your loved one in the hard time… right?

Things begin spinning out of control, and Ronnie is desperate to fix everything and has her perfect life back. Ronnie plays Juliet in a play while her best friend, Luke, plays Romeo. Shawn is the love of her life, but why does her heart flutter every time she sees Luke? Why does everything feel so easy and comfortable with Luke? When Ronnie’s and Juliet’s feeling mingle, she can’t see the difference between Juliet’s lines and her words anymore on stage.

Knee Deep is the kind of book that will suck you from the first passage. The descriptive words are beautiful and the atmosphere between the characters is so thick. I keep feeling that something bad is going to happen, and the tension makes me uneasy, nervous, and breathless at the same time.

It’s not like I can’t understand Ronnie. She’s a character I like from the beginning. She has overwhelming desire to fix anything wrong so she has always been the first who offers peace after her argument with Shawn. I think deep down, Ronnie has already known that there’s a crack in their relationship. She only refuses to see the crack, because she’s supposed to have her happy ending with Shawn.

They are in a destructive relationship, and throughout the book I just want Ronnie to admit it. Shawn might be Ronnie’s perfect guy once, but now, he’s a ticking bomb waiting to explode. For the life of Ronnie, I just want to shout out at her to please, please do what you know you have to do if you want to save your life.

Knee Deep is a wonderful book and I admire how much the characters’ feeling exposed in the story. Ronnie does make mistakes, but in the end she learns that sometimes, some things are not meant to be. This book deals with fairly hard issues and I’m very glad to tell you that the result is amazing.

There’s something incredible about being loved by someone I’ve known for so long. Like he knows me, loves me, and yeah, it’s this thing I can count on. Solid. Stable.








I rate this book:
Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome. I love the tea flavor!  A strong recommendation.

 
Many thanks to Tribute Books and Jolene Perry who have kindly provided me a copy of this book! :)

Monday, July 02, 2012

Monday Muse: Guy Best Friends


Oh look, it's Monday again! Time for Monday Muse post! ♥ How are you guys? :)

I'm sorry that I didn't post Monday Muse last week. I got sick and my body went into auto-mode. It means that I can do nothing but sleep, snuggle in bed, watch TV series, and basically being lazy worm. But for now, Hilda is back and ready for action! ;)

Today we're going to talk about another type of boys in fiction: guy best friend! For other type of boys, see my posts of Bad Boys and Good Guys! ♥

Guy Best Friends

 
Appearance
  • He's cute. He usually wears shirt and hoodie.
  • Devilish grin, bright eyes.
  • Most of them oozes happiness.
  • In general: the cute guy next door looks! :)


Behaviors
  • He's annoying! But you like how ridiculous and crazy he is.
  • Mischievous and irritating! Sometimes you just want to throw pillow at his face to shut him up.
  • Your forever partner-in-crime and back-up.
  • Always the voice of logic. Have I told you that he can be really annoying sometimes?
  • You can always count on him to tell you his frank opinion about the guy you're dating.
  • He might won't listen patiently to your ranting about that jerk who broke your heart, but he will be the one who beats the ex up for hurting you.
  • Extra brownie point: guy best friend is not as judgmental as girl best friend. You're having a crush on that new bad boy? Guy best friend might just tell you to be careful while girl best friend will go crazy. :P
Extras
  • Girls tend to forget that not every guy-girl relationship have to end up like the ending of When Harry Met Sally. Yes, that's a very cute movie, and yes, that's soooo cute. But not every friendship has to have that kind of ending, right? ;)
  • He can give you that sweet brother-like hug!
Where to Meet

He's usually the guy you spend most time with at school. You have most of your classes with him and you sit in the same table with him at lunch time. Lunch time: time for him to spill the latest guy-only gossip. :P


Guy Best Friend in Fictions



 
Hilda's Verdict

Why did I write this post? Because I'm obsessed with Chace Crawford and I have to find ways to post his picture.  Er, no although that's one of the reasons. I wrote this post because I think guy best friend in YA is rare. Most of the time, we have guy best friend who then becomes love interest. That's the perfect recipe for love triangle. I don't think that it's necessary for the best friend to fall in love with the heroine. I think it would be much better if some heroines have guy's perspective in their (love) lives.And the guy best friend do not have to be gay. Who says friendship between guy and girl do not exist? ;)

guy best friends rock! ;)

I hope this post can brighten your day! Stay inspiring, get inspired, and have inspiration! Have a wonderful Monday, awesome people! ♥

What do you think of guy best friend in fiction? Who is your favorite fictional guy best friend? :)


PS: I'm having headache right now. I'm going to returns comments as soon as I feel better. Thank you for your kind understanding! :)

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Haul from the Hummingbird (#5)!


Hi everyone! So amazing to see you again! :)

I'm so glad to start July! July might be my favorite month. It's the time of my super-awesome summer break, the month when my birthday comes (EEEP!), and the beginning of a school year here. Hopefully this is gonna be a month full of awesomeness! ♥

Now on to the lovely hauls I received and bought the past few weeks!

(clicking on the book cover will bring you to the Goodreads page)

Thank you so much, Disney-Hyperion, Strange Chemistry, and Jolene Stockman! ♥ 

First shelf
I'm reading Dark Star right now, and it's totally fabulous! This is Not a Test is a wonderful read, definitely worth every cent I spent. You can read my review here. Oh my gosh, pirate and assassin in The Assassin's Curse! Sounds terrific. x) For Darkness Shows the Stars receives so many raving reviews, plus the cover is gorgeous! 

Second shelf
Can't wait to read Smart Girls Get What They Want, I so fall in love with the title! ♥ The Jelly Bean Crisis has the loveliest cover ever, agree? ;) The Golden Lily means Adrian, and Adrian means absolute heaven. Just sayin. My sister bought After, and it sounds sad but amazing. :) 

Third shelf
Hopefully Something Like Normal won't break my heart too much! I really like the cover of My Life Next Door, and the catchy title. Oh, a math prodigy in  A Girl Named Digit? I'm so eager to meet her! x)

I can't wait to see what everyone else got, so feel free to leave me link to your book haul post! I hope everyone had a good week with books and well... everything else in your life! Stay amazing! :)

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