Thursday, 29 November 2012

Review: A Shimmer of Angels

 A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight, #1)
Author: Lisa M. Basso
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?

"The thing about beliefs? Even the strongest can be shattered by the simplest of things."

People usually freak out when they see unusual things. Well, seeing guys with shiny wings are counted as unusual. Too bad it was too much, it landed Rayna into a mental health clinic.

This was the first book I've read about pretty boys with wings and it was a good start. I loved the book! The plot was definitely new to me but it wasn't confusing at all. I love the mix of making it like one of those 'feel' books despite the original PNR vibe. It wasn't just pure action, or excitement. It made me feel something by letting the Rayna's emotions bleed out from the page. And it wasn't overly done either. It still kept its suspense despite the drama.

With the characters, I love how Rayna wasn't flawless. Some characters might just have some flaws to make them more human but Rayna felt real. She was scarred with her experiences and she was struggling to be okay. I felt that. I felt what she was trying to make people understand.

"Cam would probably Fall to protect me. That was an option I couldn't live with. And Kade? He was either hot or cold, starting trouble or being sweet. I didn't even know who he really was. Except damn annoying."

I know this is just the first book so I'm still holding off my questions. But it was a good start; a really good start for this trilogy. I will definitely look forward for the next books. And without a doubt, I will still cheer and keep my bets on Cam.

"Cam was the vacuum that took the bad away, one person whose embrace felt right."


This copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Review: Outside In

 Outside In (Insider, #2)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Me?

A leader?

Okay, I did prove that there's more to Inside than we knew. That a whole world exists beyond this cube we live in. And finding that led to a major rebellion—between worker scrubs like me and the snobby uppers who rule our world. Make that ruled. Because of me, we're free. I thought that meant I was off the hook, and could go off on my own again—while still touching base with Riley, of course. He's the one upper I think I can trust. But then we learned that there's outside and then there is Outside

And something from Outside wants In.

"Ponife underestimated you. Hell, we all underestimated you." - Hank

Well, holy shit! Outside In just detonated a bomb inside my head. Phew! I'm glad to say that this exceeded my expectation and is so, so, so much better than the first one. Not that the first one wasn't good, it was!

This takes place a few weeks after Trella discovered that Inside doesn't just have four levels. Construction has been made, a committee was formed, improvements were being planned but then there's still that division among the uppers and the scrubs.

"It is when the child is you. No one hurts my little girl and gets away with it." – Doctor Lamont

In the first book, Trella was shown to us (or at least to me) as a determined, stubborn and fearless scrub who's willing to risk her life for the sake of changing their old ways. In this book we get to meet Trella's vulnerable side; being afraid of responsibilities, avoiding familial connection and even intimate ones.

With more characters, this book made me suspicious with everyone's every move! I felt Trella's confusion and also felt stupid after doubting a character who wasn't bad at all. It kept the excitement going until the last page. Also more about Trella's relationship with Riley and her mother gave the book an ability to tap other emotions other than excitement.

A very unique plot that caught me off guard and made me fall in love with it. Amazingly written, mixed with the right pace of events and full-packed action that would keep you on edge every last page of the chapter.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Review: Inside Out

 Inside Out (Insider, #1)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.
I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

"I never said it would be easy. Giving up is easy." - Riley

Inside Out is an interesting book with a different setting compared to other dystopian novels I've read. Having a hard time conjuring up an image that would fit the place where the scene is taking place, I had Inside as a box that caged these people, divided into uppers and scrubs. I imagined the uppers like a hospital, white a squeaky clean. And the lowers surrounded metals for tables, chairs and other stuff.

The story kinda revolved more around Trella, although it was understandable since she was the one narrating the story. But her inability to connect and interact with people made it impossible for us to know more about other characters. Although I like how she developed from being an indifferent scrub to someone who cared enough to risk herself. She seems promising and held my interest until the end of the book.

"You can shoulder all the blame and become a martyr. Provided anyone knows what or who you're martyring for. Or you can accept that some things are important enough to fight for and realize there will be sacrifices along the way." - Riley

The pace of the story was very good, in my opinion and was good enough to keep me on edge and keep on reading. Though some scenes shifted faster than I expected and I had to read back again, the story and its way to climax was like watching a well-planned scheme waiting to unfold. I just wish there was something more about the Travas after Trella and the group gained power during that skirmish in the Control Room. That one felt fast and unconvincing, though I think there's another issue for them to face in the next book. I just had a hard time moving on from Karla because I expected a lot from her.

All in all, it was well-written book, filled with enough suspense and intriguing twists that would keep you on wanting more.

I love Sheepy!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Review: The Boss’s Fake Fiancee

 The Boss’s Fake Fiancee   
Author: Inara Scott
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis: Is she his worst nightmare…

No relationships, that’s billionaire Garth Solen’s rule—especially not with a woman like his new employee Melissa Bencher, who thinks with her heart and not her head. But all bets are off when Melissa tries to make her jerk ex-boyfriend jealous by suggesting that she’s dating her gorgeous boss. How could she have imagined all the trouble one impulsive act could cause?

…or a dream come true?

To protect his ailing grandmother, Garth is forced to play the part of Melissa’s adoring fiancé. Now they’re trying on rings and posing for the paparazzi. The game is clear: for one month, they play the part of an engaged couple, and then they part ways. No emotions. No entanglements. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Melissa’s never been good at following the rules…

"I love the ring, but it's the fact that he knew me well enough to pick it out that really matters. He wasn't showy, or public with his emotions. I'm sure you've heard that about him. But when he feels things, he feels them deeply." - Melissa

Excuse me while I cheer for Melissa and Garth's relationship. This book was amazingly written and has substance. It has interesting characterization despite the familiar plot of fake engagement. I always end up reading books with stories like that but this, though not new, left a good impression.

Although Melissa started as the wounded protagonist, Garth got my interest and held on to it until the end. He wasn't the stoic billionaire who acts stoically on the outside but fierce when it comes to the woman he's with. He was surprisingly aloof with a very thick barrier that surrounds himself. He didn't go caveman and brought Melissa to bed after a few moments. He even acted cold and distant even after their first night. Garth was a flawed character that was amazingly developed as the story progressed.

It was an easy read. Both protagonist had their own personal struggle and it was great how they were developed individually without outshining the other or ruining the story. A very good love story that would make your toes curl.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Review: A Blue So Dark

 A Blue So Dark
Author: Holly Schindler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

"Sanity is a sonnet with a strict meter and rhyme scheme-and my mind is free verse."

In all honesty, I got this book because of the cool cover and blurb but I didn't expect that this would give me a complete emotional roller coaster ride. In the middle of reading it, I had to pause and take deep breaths and let it all sink in. The weight of the story and its characters made me tear up since the third chapter.

The story, the way it was written, the characterization was amazing. Really amazing! Just like in photographs, it seems that Schindler captured every emotion through words and reflected it to the readers. Every scene Aura had with her mother felt fragile. Even I couldn't move in my bed because I might break something precious.

How in the world would a 15-year-old cope up with her schizophrenic mother alone? It was terrifying to think that she's all alone in this struggle to save her mother, she doesn't even have time for herself. The father-issue she had also pissed me, not because of Aura's way of dealing it but because of her father.

Aura's story will break your hearts but will eventually bring back the pieces. It's emotionally gripping, it felt like I was in the water trying to catch my breath. Seriously..

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Review: The Marriage Mistake

 The Marriage Mistake (Marriage to a Billionare, #3)   
Author: Jennifer Probst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Carina Conte has had a crush on her brother Michael’s best friend, Max Gray, since she was a teenager. Now she’s earned her MBA and come to work at Michael’s new venture, America’s fastest-growing bakery empire. But some things never change: her family still treats her like a child. With three drop-dead gorgeous siblings, she’s still the ugly duckling of the bunch. And Max, the company’s new CEO, still barely notices her.

Max knows Carina Conte is strictly off limits. But hot-blooded lust wins out at a conference when the two share a scorching one-night stand—and are busted by her mother! Now, forced by old-world Italian tradition into a marriage he’s not ready for, Max is miserable—and Carina is furious. Her new husband is about to realize that hell hath no fury like a woman transformed…

"A one-night stand just wasn't worth it. Not even with a woman who soothed his soul and made him crave to be a better man."

Is this the last? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah. My favourite book among the three. I wish there's more but this is a cute finale to the series (if it is). Now I think I need to believe with those love spells and Mother Earth voodoo talk.

The previous book gave us a glimpse about Carina and I love how this book showed us her growth to maturity. I love how Probst teased with the sexual tension and didn't immediately jumped into action. I also find Max better than the two guys. I find his character interesting, with all the back story about his father issues.

Also it was fun to read more about the protagonists from the previous books more than they were mentioned in The Marriage Trap. And of course, I love Mama Conte and her impeccable eye for true love.

I like how the characters in this book seem to have a similarity in one way or another with the previous ones but still uniquely different.

I'm definitely looking forward to read more of Probst.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Review: The Marriage Trap

 The Marriage Trap (Marriage to a Billionaire, #2)
Author: Jennifer Probst
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: WIFE WANTED…

Italian billionaire seeks faux fiancée. Willing to agree to anything in return...

In order for his sister to marry, Italian billionaire Michael Conte has to find himself a bride – and fast! When he learns that photographer Maggie Ryan is going to be in Milan, Michael hatches a plan to introduce her to his family as his “fiancée.” Never mind that Maggie is confident, independent, and a control freak. Never mind that she’s everything he doesn’t want in a wife… and everything he wants in his bed!

Convinced that Michael is in love with her married gal pal, Maggie agrees to keep up the ruse if he’ll keep away from her friend. Besides, she’s not attracted to charming, ridiculously hot billionaires who drive her nuts. Once they’re in Italy, however, everything changes – and the sexual tension between Maggie and Michael goes from simmer to naked nuclear meltdown!

But have they found the perfect arrangement… or are they trapped in a make-believe marriage?


I just recently decided to start a routine of Friday Adult Reads and I think I made a great decision by starting that with this book.

After I finished reading The Marriage Bargain, I wished to know more about Maggie and Probst fulfilled it! Yay!

Fierce and strong-willed Maggie enters this faux engagement with one thing in mind: to keep his brother's marriage safe. But that arrangement won't be easy if his faux fiance is the guy she hated the most.

Michael and Maggie, like the previous couple, weren't opposites at all. They both love control and in this arrangement, they fought for it. I enjoyed this book more because of the banters between the two. I love how the build up of their relationship and wasn't rushed at all. It was very well paced and didn't bore me at all. I was satisfied not to find an unnecessary scene that are usually added just to add length. The characters were also great; not just Michael and Maggie but also the others, especially Michael's mother.

It may have lesser steamy scenes but the sexual tension is crackling off the page. Can't wait for next Friday smut: The Marriage Mistake

Monday, 5 November 2012

Why I love YA?

I came across Jen's book blog and saw something that made my eyes pop: Beth Ravis' graphic of her signed YA library giveaway. Yes, signed! And yes, it's a library since it's almost 50 books! Yay! But the downside is, it's only open to US. Good thing I have a friend that agreed that I can use her address for US giveaways, so double yay for that!

There are several ways to join and one of those is to write a post that describes why you love YA. I thought about it and doubted if I could write something as good as others and then said to myself that all I need is to be honest and answer the question: Why I love YA?

I love YA because I can definitely relate to it being 19 years old. Most of the things the characters are going through are familiar to me, some because I encountered them personally. But the thing is, I love YA not just because of my age and the familiarity. I think I love YA because most authors have the power to bring back the best years of my life. It creates vivid images of those memories I thought I already left behind. Though some books can spark up my emotions, most books that hit home were YA books. Authors like John Green, Gayle Forman, Tiffanie DeBartolo and Miranda Kenneally made me feel like I was inside the book; in the same room with the characters. There were also times that I felt like I was the character.

Some YA books also brought me to the peak of my imagination and gave me glimpse of a world I never thought was possible. Those books by Lauren Oliver and Veronica Roth made me experience the thrill of being on a run, and how it feels like to be hunted. I felt like I experienced those exhilarating things they've done and almost felt the wind on my face.

I may have read other books that might have triggered something, but among all of them it was those YA books that made me feel like I was a part of it and not just some bystander watching or reading, waiting for the story to unfold. It made me feel like I actually belonged to the story.

What about you? Why do you love YA?

Don't miss the chance to win this ultimate giveaway by Beth Revis!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Review: Incarnation

Author: Emma Cornwall
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: In the steampunk world of Victorian London, Lucy Weston, a character in Dracula, seeks out Bram Stoker to discover why he deliberately lied about her in his popular novel. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she tracks the creature who transformed her from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy battles her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she makes a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—the true nature of what it means to be human.


"A heart that no longer beats cannot be stilled."

Enter the world where vampires and humans live harmoniously, though some of the latter isn't aware of it. But then, insert the expected villain/s who wants to ruin the peace between the two species.

Incarnation takes us back centuries back to the Victorian era. The poetic description of events and places makes it more believable and compelling to read, especially those who loves to read historical novels set in this era.

Here we meet Lucy, a newly transformed vampire, or shall we say halfling. And among other vampires, she's been the odd one, not having her incarnator with her and not being affected with the sunlight. But aside from those, there's also a bit of history hidden deep in within her very family tree.

At the beginning of the book, I find the poetic/medieval kind of writing interesting but held me back longer than necessary. There were some parts that were overly described thus making it a bit dragging. The action didn't start until the half part of the book which is different from other books I've read. Though the way everything was described, events and places, were thoroughly done and gave a very good mental image.

This is very different from the mainstream trend of vampire books recently. The setting of the book itself gives it a dark and mysterious edge. It gives us an experience of walking at the streets of London and Cornwall did a very good job at it. It didn't feel like it was just written for the sake of the story line. It was like it was really written for the readers experience.

The epilogue gave an impression of a sequel, or maybe the author left it for us to figure out what will happen next. But I really want to know more about Marco and what will happen next. Though I appreciate Nicolas to be there in a conversation with Lucy rather than a narration of what happened after the fight and what's next. It was, all in all, a really good story but it left me wanting more.