Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Wrap-Up and April TBR

Hey everyone!

It's the end of the month so, I'm going to go head and show you what books I read in March and the books I am planning to read in the month of April.

Books read in March:
Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

April is going to be a hectic month for me. School is almost over, so I need to start studying for my finals. So, I only have 2 books planned to read this month. If I get to read more, I'd include it in my wrap-up so you guys can see it.

Books I would like to read in April:
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (currently-reading)
Confess by Colleen Hoover

That is it for me. If you guys have done your wrap-up and TBR for March and April, please leave the link down below and I'll definitely check it out.

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
Published: May 27, 2010
Publisher: Definitions

Synopsis: She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

Forbidden! Where to start? This novel isn’t like any other novel I have ever read--from the plot to the characters. When I first read the synopsis, to be honest, I was disgusted. My second thought was, interesting, because I have never read anything on incest. Still, this novel is outstanding and that’s what I love about it. 

Reading Forbidden was an emotional roller coaster. Seriously. This novel covers tough topics like family struggle, incest and the consequences that come with it. As a character, I loved Lochan and Maya, especially Lochan because he shouldered many responsibilities in the household. Lochan is an interesting and memorable character with more depth than we get to see from guys in YA books or, dare I say it, in reality. Even though the idea is revolting, you can’t help it but wish happy ending for Lochan and Maya. Truthfully, this novel would break your heart: by the end of the book I was sobbing, and I’ve never cried like this for a novel. You’ll definitely need a box of tissue when you read this book.

Overall, Tabitha’s writing was brilliant and I recommend this book for everyone over the age of 16 and up. (Be warned: There are parts in the novel that aren’t recommended for children to read.)

Rating: 4/5 (Recommend it)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
Published: February 2, 2012
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR

Synopsis: When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she's the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her - and the rest of the world too.

This book seriously surprised me. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s really suspenseful, creepy, and fascinating. I’ve never read a book with this kind of plot—it is unique. The first few chapters weren’t that great; I got confused and I didn’t know what to expect for the rest of the book. But after a while it picked up and I rushed through it. I’m lost for words to express my feeling for this book; it’s a good thing because there aren’t a lot of books out there that left me baffled—but Harbinger sure did.

Faye’s parent’s thought they were doing the right thing when they send Faye to Holbrook Academy; they want her to get better. Faye has been struggling with visions and nightmares for a long time, and when she arrives at the Academy, she thought she didn’t belong there. Trying to find a way out of the academy, she discovered things she didn’t know about herself; things that will affect the future.

Faye is a unique character. She’s very strong, and … let me tell you, she’s like a beast. You’ll know what I mean when you read this book. Yet, I really like her. She’s been neglected by her parents, and I felt for her. I also liked the other characters. However, I didn’t really care a lot about Kel, and his relationship with Faye. That’s the only thing I didn’t like about this book. The romance in the book didn’t impress me.

Overall, I really liked this book. This novel delivered far much more than I had anticipated. Harbinger has a definite creepy (in a good way) factor. I think that is one quality I love about this book. It definitely surpasses many of the other fantasy/supernatural fiction books in YA genre. It’s well-written, and well researched. Sara Wilson Etienne (I love her last name by the way) did an amazing job with this book. Everyone, especially fantasy/supernatural fan, should check this book out. (And I love the cover of this book; it’s gorgeous, isn’t it?)

Rating: 3.5/5 (Recommend it)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Published: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen

Synopsis: New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Article 5 is brilliant. Just brilliant. I can’t describe how much I love, love, love this book. I took my time reading it, and it’s just, hmmm … I don’t think I will be forgetting this book anytime soon. It’s beautifully written, fast paced, filled with action, intense, and suspenseful. Whatever good adjective you got, it will describe this book. The best dystopian book of 2012, even though we just started 2012. It’ll be in my all time favorite books list.

I loved every single thing about this book. The plot, the character, the writing, almost everything about it, I loved. What I feel about this book is hard to put in words.

If you are my goodreads friend, you would know that Article 5 is my first dystopian book. My first reaction after I finished reading was I’ve been missing a lot because dystopian is now my favorite genre. Article 5 tops the books I’ve read this year, or maybe even every book I’ve read. I’m so, so, so happy to have read this book.

After her mother was taken away from her and herself being locked in to girls rehab, Ember know that she have to get herself out of the rehab and find her mother quickly. It always has been her mother and her. There is only one person who can help—Chase, as it says on the synopsis--the only boy Ember ever loved. The government in this book is very cruel. It’s like you are with them or against them; nowhere in between. I felt for both Ember and Chase.

Reading Article 5 has been like watching a very suspenseful, action movie. It was amazing. As Amanda Bynes had said in the movie Easy A, this book is awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome. I love the romance between Ember and Chase. It isn’t lackluster or not too much, just the way I like it.

I loved both Ember and Chase. I love how strong, smart, caring and sweet Ember is. She’s my new favorite character. She has goals, and she’s not your normal YA character. I admired her. She’s a very likable character that everyone is going to fall in love with. She loves her mother more than anything; she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her mother safe. Chase is the sweetest, bravest, and, of course, gorgeous guy every reader is going to fall for right away. He’s a hero. Ember’s (and mine).

To say the least, Kristen Simmons is now my new favorite author. I have a feeling I’d love anything she’s going to write after this. I’m very impressed with everything this book has to offer. If you love action, suspense, and a little romance like me, this is your go to book. I want everyone to read this book because you will be missing out on an amazing adventure. I recommend this for everyone age 15 and up. Can’t wait to read the second book!

Rating: 5/5 (Recommend it, so buy it, devour it, love it!)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Follow Friday #2

The Feature & Follow is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee's and Alison of Alison Can Read.

Question of the week: Have you ever been to BEA? If not, what's stopping you? If you have, what was your best experience there? 

Answer: No, I have never been to BEA. I haven’t really thought about going. But I also take summer classes so I can graduate a little bit early, so that can be another reason as to why I’ve never been to BEA.

Leave me a link of your Follow Friday, and I'll be sure to check it out! 

Happy Reading! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Published: September 14, 2010
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Synopsis: Every person's story has a beginning, middle and end, but the path that leads from one stage of life to the next is rarely predictable. Renee's journey begins when she is a carefree college student, studying in Italy with her best friend, Audrey. During that idyllic summer abroad, Renee meets a handsome local, and falls deeply in love. But like all summer romances, the affair comes to an end when she returns to North Carolina. Back home, Renee fulfills everyone's expectations - including her own - by marrying her longtime college boyfriend. Over the next two decades, she raises a family and lives a predictable, if in some ways unfulfilling life. When Audrey announces that she's dying of cancer, Renee drops everything to spend Audrey's last days by her side, unaware that her unconventional best friend still has a few surprises up her sleeve . . . surprises that will turn Renee's world upside down, and offer her a chance to re-live the choices of her past in a way she never dreamed possible.
I have only watched the movies of Nicholas Sparks books before reading Safe Haven, and I loved them, especially The Note Book and A Walk to Remember. It didn’t occur to me to check out one of his books until I saw this at my library. I read the synopsis and I was sold, it caught my attention right away.

Safe Haven is my first Nicholas Sparks book and it’s an amazing book! It’s funny, captivating and suspenseful. Everything you want from a good book, you will find it in Safe Haven. I couldn’t put it down. I love the characters. Katie wanted a fresh new start when she moves to a small town North Carolina. She doesn’t want anyone knowing about her business or trying to socialize with her. She doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake she made in her past; she did her best to push people away from getting to know her. Katie doesn’t want to feel anything because feeling something meant losing herself and letting herself to getting hurting again.

Katie wasn’t expecting the patient, sweet and kind Alex, with two kids, to make her feel all the things she refused to feel. Katie saw her plan of staying unattached with anyone pass before eyes when she start spending time with Alex and his two kids. Katie is torn between the past she’s running away from, and the life she never thought she wants to have. All in all, this book is about Katie starting to let people in her life once again.

Safe haven is heartbreaking yet incredible. Nicolas Sparks is an amazing writer. I really like that the book make me think and allow me to put myself in Katie’s shoe. My heart breaks for Katie. This book shows that everything you planned won’t follow their places. I highly recommend all Nicholas Sparks’s book.

Rating: 5/5 (Recommend it, so buy it, devour it, love it!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #2

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Here is the book I'm waiting on this Wednesday:

The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis: When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

This book sounds so cute. I love contemporary, so this is up my alley. I have never read a book by Kasie West. All in all, I'm looking forward to this book. 

Let me know what book(s) you are waiting on this Wednesday! 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The List by Siobhan Vivian

The List by Siobhan Vivian
Published: April 1, 2010
Publisher: Push

Synopsis: An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two. 
I don’t have words to describe this book. It’s very different from a lot of YA books. The List is, obviously a … list, which gets posted all over the school of the week of homecoming. This book is written in not just two or three or four, but in eight points of view. It follows the eight girls who are in the list. 

Abby: a freshman who doesn’t really care for her school. She’s happy when she was named the prettiest girl from her grade. To be honest, I didn’t really care for her; she’s kind of a brat. However, it was very sad to read about her relationship with her sister, Fern, who is completely the opposite of Abby. 

Danielle: another freshman, but she’s named the ugliest girl from her grade. I really liked Danielle. She’s passionate about swimming and really cares about her boyfriend, Andrew. But when the list posted called her “Dan the Man,” everything changed between them. His friends started to tease him and humiliate her, but Andrew never stood up for her. 

Lauren: a sophomore, and the prettiest. Lauren was homeschooled her whole life, and she’s pleased when become popular so fast. This girl is adorable. She’s has no clue whatsoever about the world of high school; extremely na├»ve and really sweet. 

Candace: also a sophomore, and the ugliest. Now Candace isn’t ugly, she’s actually very pretty, and when she found out, she thought it was a joke. Why wouldn’t she, right? It’s not fair to name the pretty girl ugly, right? Right! But the person who made the list didn’t see her from the outside; they saw her from the inside. And Candace is one mean girl in the inside. Despite the list, I actually like her. She’s isn’t that mean. She doesn’t show it but she’s sweet. But, of course, she has her time when she’s nasty, but sometimes aren’t we all a little bit nasty? 

Bridget: a junior, and pretty. From all these girls, Bridget’s life is the one that really scared me. She doesn’t eat. Period. She wants to eat but she doesn’t let herself eat. It was shocking for me to learn that one thing--an article of clothing--can change a girl’s life forever, and the change is NOT always good. 

Sarah: a junior, and the ugliest. Sarah is the outcast, and I don’t think she even want to fit in. She has one friend/boyfriend (I’m not sure what he is to her), Milo. Finding out she was put the ugliest in her grade was hurtful. Instead of crying or feeling sad for herself or letting Milo comfort her, she rebelled. And her rebel idea is gross. From all the girls’ stories, I looked forward to Sarah’s and Milo’s. They really cared for each other, and when Milo shows his feeling, Sarah wasn’t willing. I liked her development in the book. A lot. It was nice.

Last but not certainly the least, the two seniors: Margo, the prettiest, and Jennifer, the ugliest. I didn’t like two of them; I hated them. I’m not going to say more about this two more than that I despise them. 

Overall, it was an okay book. I liked how different it is from other YA books out there. 

Rating: 3/5 (Recommend it, but borrow it)

Monday, March 23, 2015

In Honor by Jessi Kirby

In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Published: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 

Synopsis: Honor receives her brother’s last letter from Iraq three days after learning that he died, and opens it the day his fellow Marines lay the flag over his casket. Its contents are a complete shock: concert tickets to see Kyra Kelly, her favorite pop star and Finn’s celebrity crush. In his letter, he jokingly charged Honor with the task of telling Kyra Kelly that he was in love with her. 

Grief-stricken and determined to grant Finn’s last request, she rushes to leave immediately. But she only gets as far as the driveway before running into Rusty, Finn’s best friend since third grade and his polar opposite. She hasn’t seen him in ages, thanks to a falling out between the two guys, but Rusty is much the same as Honor remembers him: arrogant, stubborn . . . and ruggedly good-looking. Neither one is what the other would ever look for in a road trip partner, but the two of them set off together, on a voyage that makes sense only because it doesn’t. Along the way, they find small and sometimes surprising ways to ease their shared loss and honor Finn--but when shocking truths are revealed at the end of the road, will either of them be able to cope with the consequences?
I remember seeing/reading exalting reviews for this book from other bloggers, and wanting to read it so badly. So when I finally got my own copy I was static to read it, I even stopped what I was reading to read it. But I’m sad to say, In Honor was a big disappointment for me. Instead of doing review, I thought I’d just list the reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as other bloggers seems to do.

1. I wasn’t able to connect with both characters, Honor and Rusty. I felt for both for losing their loved ones, but other than that I didn’t like them.

2. There is no romance in this book. I saw reviews saying the romance in this book is great, but to be honest I didn’t see any romance in it. The way I see it, Honor’s and Rusty’s relationship is kind of sister/brother relationship. She cares about him, and he cares about her. That’s it. That’s what I got from this book, in the romance aspect of the book. It was deal breaker for me, since I’m huge, huge fan of contemporary.

3. The road trip wasn’t as adventurous as I thought it’d be. I wanted more than a car breaking down in the middle of nowhere. I liked the beginning of their trip, but after 50 or so pages later, the road trip became bickering trip.

4. The ending? What was that? The ending is the only reason why I gave it 2 stars instead of 3. I’ve never read contemporary book that ending I dislike this much. It irritates me. I wanted to know more about what was next for Rusty and Honor. I did not like the ending at all. Well, except the last two pages.

Overall, In Honor wasn’t my cup of tea. If you want to check it out, more power to you. I hope you enjoy it more than I did.

Rating: 2/5 ( Try it,  but borrow it)