Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Here by Denise Grover Swank

Julia Phillips doesn’t remember anything about the accident which killed her best friend, Monica, and leaves her feeling confused and guilty. The police think that she’s responsible for the accident, and her schoolmates treat her like a freak. Julia knows that her family is struggling to pretend that everything’s okay, but Julia doesn’t have the strength to play with. All Julia wishes is to die in place of Monica.

Julia’s grades are falling down and she is threatened by the possibility of being sent to alternative school. Her guidance counselor assigns some tutors to help her study. When one of the most popular guys in school, Evan Whittaker, volunteers to be one of the tutors, Julia thinks that it is very strange. Evan didn’t even spare her a glance before the accident, so what is it with thus sudden interest? Why does Evan look at her with such longing and sadness? Evan knows something about the accident. The whole reason why Julia can’t remember anything, why she suddenly possesses drawing skill, and why she owns a bracelet that is not hers from the accident… 

I’ve had my share of YA books but Here still managed to caught me by surprise. There is a twist in the middle of the story, one I didn’t see coming. I got a feeling that Evan is something more than a cute tutor and caring friend, but when the whole truth is unveiled, it still took me completely by surprise. I really like the twist even though I did feel as if the book I was reading suddenly switched its genre. The first half part of the book is the kind of sad contemporary I usually read, but for the rest of the book? It’s different. I don’t want to spoil the fun, but you have my word that the result is amazing.

I have to admit that I didn’t really like Julia at first. She annoyed me with the way she ignored her family’s suffering. Maybe I’m just being too hard to her since Julia obviously has gone through many things. But the more I read this book, the more she grows on me. Julia has a low self esteem, but I’m glad that Evan can encourage her little by little to stand up for herself. I guess the most favorite thing I find about Julia is her brilliant mind and her quick asses of her hard situation. I really like Evan’s character too. He’s not perfect and while his actions are considered brave, it is definitely reckless. However, he’s the one who fixes Julia. I doubt Julia would get better if Evan didn’t risk everything and come to her. Evan’s absolute devotion to Julia is very sweet and touching. 

Maybe one thing that turned me off a bit about Here is the love triangle aspect. I know some readers who enjoy the love triangle in this book, but honestly, I’m a little put off because of it. I was fully engrossed by Evan in the first half of the book, so the later appearance of Reece kind of shocked me. Both guys are cute, brave, and extraordinarily sweet, but I dislike how Julia is torn between two guys. I can see why Julia is attracted to Reece, but I also think that it’s strange considered her earlier romance with Evan.

In overall, Here is a great book that I would recommend to any fans of YA. When I found this book, I was instantly intrigued by the ghostly cover and the premise from the blurb. I thought this book would be another sad read about letting go and moving on, but it turns out to be so much more! Here is a great surprise and I enjoyed it immensely. I was very impressed with the twist and surprises that are thrown in the book. This book might have a slow start but the actions later kept me grinning with delight. It ends with a cliffhanger and even though the suspense is not enough to make me scream and rip out my hair, it certainly is great enough to leave me wanting to read the next book! I can’t wait to see what happens to Julia, Evan, and Reece’s adventure and the tangled relationship between the three of them.

I stand and tug on his arm. “You have to go!”

He grabs my hand as he rises. “Will you come?

His tear-soaked face waits for my answer. Tears over losing me. All I want is for someone to love me. Need me. I have it here, with him.

In the end, there is no question. I lift my chin. “Yes.”

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Red String of Fate Giveaway!

 "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,
regardless of time, place, or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle,
but it will never break."

I've been thinking to host a themed giveaway for a long time. I'd like to do a spring giveaway, but time flew so fast and we are in the peak of spring already. A summer preparation giveaway would be cool, but I think it's wayyy too early to do so. And then the muse came, in the name of the red string of fate!

The red string of fate, or also called the red thread of destiny, is originated from Chinese and Japanese legend. It is said that the gods tied an invisible red sting to men and women who are destined for each other. In Japanese myth, the invisible thread is thought to be tied around the little finger.

Don't you think the idea is really cute, and very sweet? Destined lovers regardless of time, place, or circumstances. Oh well... I guess this is my romantic side kicking in. Below are the list of books which I believe fate plays big part in. I hope you like the list, because I had such a hard yet great time choosing the book! One lucky winner will win a book from the Red String of Fate List. :)

The Red String of Fate List (aka The Prize!)

The Rules
1. The giveaway is open INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository ships to you.
2. Must be 13 years or older to enter.
3. The lucky winner will have option to choose ONE book from the list above.
4. The giveaway opens from today, April 26 until Saturday, May 26.
5. Smile, because good fate comes to those who spread happiness (yes, believe me your smile has that DAZZLING effect)! ♥ :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Muse: We are all wizards and witches!

You must know this part from the book, right? Flying invitation letters ♥
I hope everyone has a good day! Welcome back to Monday Muse, your one-stop weekly post where you can get a little dose of inspiration to brighten up your Monday! Even though I was very tempted to write about One Direction (OMG LIAM! HARRY!) but I'm painfully aware that it's not book-related. Unless some miracle happens and Liam Payne would play as Finnick Odair in Catching Fire! Well, no such luck I guess. So I picked another muse for this edition! Guess who? 

Today, my muse is... JK Rowling, the Queen of Magical Realm! ♥ 

Actually, she has been my muse since I was in the third grade in middle school. Yes, it was the first time I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone! And I'm sure you must have known by now - JK Rowling's newest series for adult will come out this September! I'm soooo happy!! I thought she would never write again, not after Harry Potter and all its exhausting hype. And I've never been so glad to be wrong!! I can't wait for this new series! Gosh, I practically would read anything written by JK Rowling - even her grocery note! :P

If you're a Potterhead, then you must have received your owl about this amazing news: POTTERMORE is open for public! 

Pottermore is the super amazing site designed by JK Rowling herself to give back something to the fans all over the world. It's an online experience of becoming Harry Potter, and it's completely FREE! In this amazing site, aside from experiencing Harry's adventure, you also get to read amazing note about Harry that has never been published before! It's completely safe for all ages too, even for a nine-year-old kid who has just finished reading Harry Potter and curious to try it! ♥

The site has just opened for public this April. It should have opened to everyone since last year, and I don't know what it is with all the long wait. But well... better late than never, right? Click the picture of our Queen to bring you to the Pottermore site! :)


In Pottermore, you can also visit Diagon Alley, buy your school shopping, pick your pet (owl, cat, or toad!), get your wand, get sorted into houses in Hogwarts, and study MAGIC, of course! :)

There are four houses at Hogwarts – Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin, and each has a noble history of its own. To find out which house you belong to, you will need to take part in the Sorting Ceremony in Chapter Seven. Then, once the Sorting Hat has decided, you will discover whether you are hard-working and loyal like Helga Hufflepuff; intelligent and wise like Rowena Ravenclaw; ambitious and cunning like Salazar Slytherin or brave and chivalrous like Godric Gryffindor. From that moment forward, your house is like your family at Hogwarts, and your allegiance to your house is everything. You and your housemates should then try to earn as many house points as possible and help your house win the all-important House Cup.

Which house do I get into? Well, what do you think I must be?

A little bit of drumroll please...

I am:


Gryffindor, and proud to be one! :) The bravest of the brave! My favorite character in Harry Potter series, Albus Dumbledore, was a Gryffindor too! Not to mention our king, Ron Weasley; our queen, Hermione Granger; and our hero, Harry Potter! ♥

I actually thought that I would be a Ravenclaw. No, I don't like Algebra or Physics *shudder* but I LOVE learning new things. Oh well, I guess my need for justice is stronger than my devotion to my study. ;)

The funny thing is, I asked my sister to guess the house I got into. She guessed: Ravenclaw! I asked my friend and she also guessed: Ravenclaw! Both are really, really surprised when they found out that I'm Gryffindor. Wowza. Some of my classmates are sent into Slytherin, and they are so proud. When they found out that one of my other classmate is a Hufflepuff, they kept saying, "Poor her." "We're so lucky that we don't end up in Hufflepuff." "Oh, I don't know what I would do if they send me to Hufflepuff." Um, I think they're being Slytherin, and they play their role really well. Finger crossed I won't have to do a wizard duel with them. ;)

So I think, the sorting hat really puts you in the best house according to your character. The quiz with random questions is so true! :)

What are you waiting for? Go to this site to have more on Harry Potter experience and sign up yourself!

When you have signed in, don't forget to come back here and maybe add me on Pottermore. Oh, and please please please do tell me, which house do you get placed in? 

Well, I have to go now. You know, we Gryffindor have to do our duty to save muggle from crazy Slytherin.

Thank you for reading Monday Muse, fellow wizards and witches! :)


This is not important, but my sister just found out that she's a Ravenclaw. We're rivals now LOL! I've known all along that she's a Ravenclaw. She's very smart and a genius in Economy. Too bad my family can't end up in Gryffindor together like Weasley's family. :D

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (#8)!

Here is a confession. Before I wrote the title for this post, I needed to check my blog's archive first. 'Waittt... what edition of IMM is it?' Yes, I'm ashamed to tell you this: I forgot the number because I skipped so many weeks. Bad, bad Hilda!

This is not an excuse, but I just finished my mid term test this week. You know... finally. *dramatic music on cue* And yes, I told you that I have to study for my midterm since (gasp!) one month ago. Well, blame it on my lecturers and their so-called tight schedules. I'm pleased to tell you that I have came back from the study torture battlefield now, all safe and sound. :)

What do I have in my mailbox in the past four weeks now? Well, let's see.... 

(Click the book cover to bring you to the Goodreads link!)

Enormous, special thanks to Netgalley, publishers, and authors for the awesome books! ♥

I can't wait to start reading Storm! The only thing that's better than a hot guy is FIVE hot guys together in a book. I think the Elvis Presley's hair in Dark Kiss is hilarious. I hope I'll get blown away by The Immortal Rules! The Glimpse has such amazing premise and really good cover. Hopefully the cover is not a misleading case!

I have finished reading Forbidden (my review).Oh well, I don't know what to say. It's a very hard book to describe, especially with the difficult topic. I love the mention of 80's in Retro Geeks. They said The Book of Blood and Shadow is The DaVinci Code for YA. Well, I'm not a big fan of DaVinci Code but it does intrigue me. The cover for the Prophecy of the Sisters is my Indonesian edition's cover. Isn't it pretty? ;) 

I'm going to do a comeback giveaway next week, so stay alert! :) 

What is on your mailbox this week? Don't hesitate to leave the link! :)

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

3.5 stars

Reviewing Forbidden in complete, coherent thoughts is one of the hardest things I did. I still am not really sure about the stars I give to this book. This book can earn two, three, or even five stars from me. I'm just too conflicted with my own feelings. Books with dysfunctional family theme always leave me feeling sad. I mourn how much children would be affected because of their parents. I especially hate it when parents can be completely ignorant of their kids and just mind their own business. This is one of the books, and the result of the dysfunction in the family is the worst.

Lochan and Maya are two siblings separated only by thirteen months. Even since their father’s leaving, they take turn doing household chores and taking care of their little brothers and sister. Lochan was constantly coping with his depression, haunted by his mother’s words when he’s twelve-year-old that he is ‘the man in the family’. Maya tries to help her brother by helping him socialize, but she doesn’t help much. Lochan has some kind of phobia to people and he can’t bring himself to talk to people out of his family members.

They try to hide the fact their mother is gone most of the time so they’re always on their own. If Social Services know about their condition, the children would be forced to go to foster houses. In this hard situation, Lochan and Maya find themselves forbiddingly attracted to each other. Even though they know that they can never have future together, and their relationship would threaten the fragile string of hope in their family…

Oh, what can I say about this book? Forbidden is a gripping read and I found myself devouring the story. It’s obvious than Lochan is broken, even more crushed than any members of his family. He has sudden outbursts and he said things he doesn’t mean sometimes, but I liked Lochan and I really hoped that he would recover from his depression and anxiety problem. Lochan thinks way too much and the only who can help him is his sister, Maya. Maya never doubts Lochan and she always sees the bright view in everything. If Lochan is in darkness, Maya is a representation of light to Lochan.

I don’t usually like reading two POVs in a book, but Forbidden is an exception. I love reading Maya’s cheerful and bright thoughts, and getting glimpses of Lochan’s darker thoughts and fear. The transition between Lochan and Maya’s feelings is fairly smooth. A character I especially resent in this book is their mother. She’s completely oblivious to the fact that her children are suffering. She spends money on useless things to please her boyfriend, while her children are struggling to make ends meet. I feel like she’s the one to blame of the messed up result.

Forbidden is a disturbing read, one that will leave you feeling completely raw and twisted. I recommend this book to people who enjoy mature YA with psychological streak since the theme of this book might be considered offensive to some people. 

They said that we refused to mix, that we had no friends. But they were wrong. We had each other. He was my best friend in the world. He still is.

I rate this book: 
  Three cups of tea. Don't let the rates deceive you. Recommended to read but I know this book is not for everyone.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

3.5 stars

Beautiful cover with beautiful verses inside to suit.

I Heart You, You Haunt Me is a quick read but it covers an intense topic of the death. Like so many books that concern about death, the story is very sad yet it’s full of hope. Since this book is written in verse, it’s very short and you can finish this book in one sitting.

Ava killed her boyfriend. She didn’t exactly kill him, but she’s the one who dared him to jump off the ledge in the deadly day. Now Jackson is dead, and Ava spends her days wishing that she could go back and change the past.

People keep telling Ava that it’s not her fault. Jackson is the one who decided to jump. Ava didn’t push him off the ledge. But if it’s not her fault, why do every bone in her body shriek that she’s guilty? Ava can’t see other guy or even hang out with her friends anymore. Because it would mean betrayal. Betrayal, betrayal to Jackson.

When Jackson’s ghost comes to her… it’s only a proof. A proof that she’s supposed to spend her life with Jackson, forever. If Jackson comes to her even when he’s dead, it only means that Jackson demands Ava to spend her days with him forever, right? But what if Ava gets tired of having relationship with ghost who can’t talk? What if Jackson has another reason to meet Ava?

When I’m writing this review, I reread a few chapters in the end and it affects me even more. Ava loves Jackson, but she can’t live with a dead boyfriend haunting her every time she’s alone in the house. She’s torn between guilt and desire to move on. The moving on, the letting go... Ava is still on her way to achieve it, but she’s hopeful. The last few pages of this book are full of hope, and I think it’s the best way to end a sad story. A promise of better things to come in the future.

It was my fault.

I dared him. What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking.

Don’t you see?

He did it for me.

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, April 16, 2012

Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal: Taste by Kate Evangelista

It's Monday! Do you like Monday? Monday is not exactly my favorite day out of the seven days. I guess I just love weekend too much. Either you're a Monday person or the one who walks like zombie on Monday (like me for example), today I have something to cheer up your Monday! Yes, an upcoming book trailer and excerpt of Taste by Kate Evangelista, a paranormal YA book which is coming up this May. I'm not exactly sure what creature we will find here, but one thing: they are all gorgeous. ;) 

In honor of this book trailer and excerpt reveal, you won't see Monday Muse this week! Don't worry, Monday Muse will be back again next week - with more rambling and crazy stuff I'll talk about! :)
The Excerpt   
I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what I was seeing at first. A statue? My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts. I didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.

“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who the boy was.

He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self-assuredness of someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.

I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled. My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch-black irises, like the other Night Students, but blue ice stared back at me.

“Human,” he whispered.

He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face. He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the way my body shivered.

Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.

“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.

He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and lilting.

Footsteps retreated behind me.

Luka reached out again.

It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled. I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he helped me stand.

“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my heart to the brim with comfort.

I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”

“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”

My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.

From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again. Recognizing the blue-black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta hadn’t come back to finish me off.

Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in his tense muscles vibrated into me.

“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.

I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.


I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.

“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”

“I don’t think so.”

Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”

“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although, she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”

There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t funny.

“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.

Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”

Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.

Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him? I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?

“Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic. The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.

Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he said formally.

Luka nodded once.

Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be shared on a later date.

The Trailer!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday!

Hello! Thank you for stopping by on this post, whether you're my amazing old followers or fantastic new followers! Feature and Follow Friday is a fun meme hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.

Q: What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaption of because you think the movie could never live up to the book?

The first thing that comes into my mind is Catching Fire! I'm worried whether they will find a suitable actor to play Finnick Odair! He's one of my favorite Hunger Games characters, and I only hope that the actor can show both sides of Finnick: his playful side and his fragile side! x)

Well, I'm always nervous when they make a movie adaptation of the book. Most of the time, they don't stick to the book and it's like a nightmare for me. I expect them to follow every bits and pieces of the plot in the book, so when they eliminate some scenes, it gets on my nerves! Ah, me and my sky-high expectation.

Demanding the movie to stay exactly the same with the book. Hey, it should be stated as the right of reader! :)

Don't forget to leave the link! I'll make sure to drop by on your blog. Have an amazing weekend everyone! :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli

Jake and Lily are twins. They were born in the California Zephyr train, in the Moffat Tunnel.


They have something special that intertwine them. Both can feel the other’s thoughts, fear, and presence. In their birthday since they’re sixth, they somehow wake up in a train station. That is their secret, the thing that makes them special.

Super cool!

But now they’re both eleven and having their summer holiday, Jake starts hanging out with other boys. He never has time to play with Lily anymore.

Uh oh, NOT cool.

It is the first summer when the twins spend it separately. While Lily tries to find her life without Jake with the help of their Grandpa, Jake learns about making up for his own mistakes and being friends with someone considered nerd is okay.

The first thing that made me interested to read this book is the author. Jerry Spinelli is not my favorite author but I love how raw and honest his writing in Star Girl. I enjoyed how wonderful Jerry Spinelli captivates the feeling of eleven-years-old kids.

This book is written like a journal and you get to slip inside Jake and Lily's head. At first, I was more interested in Jake’s POV. Jake goes out and spends summer holiday with his friends, and it’s certainly more interesting rather than sulking Lily who keeps yelling and getting angry at Jake. But as the story progresses, Lily’s story intrigued me more. Lily’s attempts to have a life are desperate and hilarious sometimes. While Jake’s story is dark with the heavy theme of bullying, Lily’s story is a little more cheerful and more focused on her struggle to stand in her own feet.

I like most parts of this book, even though I’m not really in favor with the ending. It’s just an okay ending for me. Jake and Lily is a great, quick read that will remind you about the confusion of growing up, the strangest time when you realize that boys and girls are different, and the importance of
staying true to yourself.

How do you not try to get something you want?
How do you stop caring about the thing that you care about the most?
How do you erase the other half of your own self?
parts of Lily’s journal

I rate this book:   
 Three cups of tea. Like it, but doesn’t give me much impression. Recommended to read in spare time.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Monday Muse: The Arts and Fashion on Fire

Hello there! Welcome back on the final edition of Hunger Games madness  in Monday Muse. This series of post is purely intended to cause agitation among lovely Hunger Games Tributes. I believe that most of you have watched Hunger Games movie and just like me, you broke up in tears when the movie has just started for about ten minutes. What? You didn't? Seriously, girl, what is wrong with you? (If you are a guy, you're just slightly forgiven!)

Well, as you can see, the previous posts are about Capitol fashion and Hunger Games ID card. I was thinking to do a review for the movie but my blogger friends have done super-awesome-asdfghjkl review on it already.So in this post, I'm going to highlight awesome things that Tributes create to show their love to Hunger Games, and fashion for the Hunger Games Tributes! 

I'm terribly sorry that I forget the exact urls where I found some of the brilliant arts. None of these arts are mine and they belong to their respective owners.

Found here. The detention didn't happen for real. He (Timothy) did this as an April's Fool joke. :)

Found in Tumblr. One of my favorite Hunger Games arts!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...