Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Review: The Host

The Host (The Host, #1)
Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.


"After all the planets and all the hosts you've left behind, you've finally found the place and body you'd die for. I think you found your home, Wanderer."

I actually saw this book years ago but decided not to read it. Reason: I was biased on the author. But after I saw the movie trailer, I found it really cool that I decided that not reading it and watching the movie is a crime. It didn't go well at first. I found the first part dragging and I was thinking whether I made a mistake in picking this up. Luckily, I decided to go on.

The Host was definitely written by Meyer. Based on what I've read in the past, I think this author really good in terms of descriptive writing and it was obvious with this book. Unfortunately, there were some parts that had too much description and started to feel bland. Sometimes, there were too much of it that it consumed almost the whole page. But aside from those carried-away-moments, as what I've called them, this was actually good.

The body-snatching aliens weren't that foreign to me. I really think aliens do that since I was a kid. But the way the story went was really good. There were parts that successfully made me shed a tear, especially with Walter and Jamie.

Nyay: the lack of action. I was expecting action because it was a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic novel. There are aliens who invaded the Earth, of course there's struggle. But a lot of things happened inside the cave and gave us little about the body-snatchers. To think that the climax was the part where Wanda made her decision (in my opinion, anyway), made it flop considering its genre.

Having a really good doer protagonist was new to me. I usually read badass ones who aren't afraid and would seriously kick some arse. Good thing Wanda was very likable. Although her softness annoys me sometimes, she manages to defend and stand for her beliefs. There were times when I would back her up but sometimes, I find it annoying when she doesn't listen to Melanie.

With the boys.. Am I the only one who likes Ian more than Jared? Maybe it's because the Jared in the cave didn't actually mirror the Jared from Melanie's memories. And that he was rarely there and most of the time, he was mentioned when he's angry or Wanda looks at him longingly. I understand where he's coming though. Losing Melanie was really tough and the 'soul' who took her was standing in front of him. Well, anyone would definitely lose it. There was more interaction with Ian though. It's like we knew, though not literally, him because of the times he spent with Wanda compared to Jared. I can't even put the Ian who was willing to kill Wanda and the Ian after that, together in my head. It was like two different persons.

I started reading this thinking that this body-sharing will end badly based on what I've read with the same situation. Badly as in, it won't end the way I want it. And I was really worried about it. While reading, I started to form situations where Melanie could come back so she could be with Jared, without actually losing or killing Wanda. I thought it would be about Jared and bringing back his feelings and maybe some of it will divert to Wanda. Well, good thing it wasn't. I don't even think it focused more on their relationship. It actually focused more on Melanie and Wanda's—from being sort of enemies to sisters.

As what I've read all over the internet, Meyer planned this to be a trilogy but doesn't want more character death (which is inevitable in my opinion). For me, it would be nice for her to continue it and add more action, but I also liked how it ended.

I hope the film would show what the 'soul' looks like when it's out from the host's body.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Teaser Tuesday: The Host

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading and slightly altered by Coffee, Books & Lipgloss

Basically a CBL TEASER TUESDAY works like this:
• Grab your current read
• Share 2 “teaser” sentences from a random page or a part you rather enjoyed and post it as a teaser.
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Make sure that what you share
doesn’t give too much away; you don’t want to ruin the book for others!
• As an option, you can give a short snippet of what you think so far... or not. That's optional.
• Share the TITLE and AUTHOR too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.
For this week's Teaser Tuesday: *drum roll*

The Host (The Host, #1)
Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publication Date: May 6, 2008
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

"You can't know how much time we'll have. You don't know if we should be counting in months or days or hours."
Thoughts so far:

I honestly picked this up because of the awesome movie trailer and I don't want to watch the movie without reading the book. So far, it has some good and bad parts. The beginning were a bit dragging. As always, Meyer is good in descriptive writing but sometimes it feels like she gets carried away, that some parts were given too much emphasis when I think that they could be condensed into a simpler and shorter part. The good part is, it's really interesting. The plot is interesting and I love the conversations between Wanderer and Melanie.

To those who haven't read this yet and in doubt whether they should, don't worry. It's much better than Twilight.

You can hop on to the next link for more teasers:

Monday, 25 February 2013

Book Blitz: The Prophecy (Excerpt + Giveaway)

The Prophecy
Title: The Prophecy
Author: Rachel Deagan
Publication Date: February 8, 2013
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: “The cards tell me of the children of the stars.”

Jacey thinks her life is worthless, when she finds herself in a psychiatric hospital after a failed attempt to end her life; her wounds miraculously healed. Devin, who claims to kill on touch, is also there. When Michael arrives, bearing telekinetic powers, he insists the government, and an even darker, more powerful force, wants them dead.

In a desperate attempt to escape for their lives, the three teens find they must confront an even greater adversary, themselves - and with a prophecy forced upon them, they must find a way to accept their fate, or rebel together, as one.


“We need to head down to the lower floor. The crematorium is off of the cell block.” He rolled his emerald eyes at me, with a toying smirk. “Yeah, I know. Figures, huh?” He mock shivered. “Kudos to them on the ominous creepy. They should get a job in some underground Italian horror flick.” 

I gently side-checked Michael with my elbow, giving him a mock glare. I couldn’t believe he was trying to find humor in this. Devin could be cooking alive right now. 

“What, you don’t find it funny?” he asked, and this time the weight of my gaze was real. Michael shook his head, tossing me a weak, sympathetic half smile. “Oh come on. We can’t let them get to us, Jacey, love. It’s how they win.” 

I sighed. “No. I know. I just feel guilty.” 

“It’s okay, Jacey,” he said, bumping me back through his cloak in the arm. “It’s called surviving.” He paused and swallowed. “Devin would want that for you.” 

He turned from me, before I could respond, hitting an elevator button on the side wall. I found the fact that they had elevators in this strange, alien place rather weird, but my focus stayed on Michael. He didn’t look at me until the sliding metal doors had opened and he slipped inside. Extending his arms in welcome, he grinned against the fluorescent lights. “Welcome to Instant Death. For those who may be pregnant or have severe motion sickness, please kindly step to the left so that you may die a horrible death in another way and not on this crazy, insane mission.” He grinned. 

“Did they hurt you?” I asked, my tone a bare slip from usual. . 

Michael stared at me, his arms seemingly frozen in their outstretched pose, as if he didn’t even know how to respond. 

“Michael?” I asked, stepping into the elevator in front of him. The silver doors swished shut behind me, and the lights above our heads flickered. 

“Don’t ask me that.”

About the Author:

Rachel grew up in small town Massachusetts where she spent most of her time writing about strange paranormal creatures instead of paying attention in class. She has always been considered the 'dreamy' one with her head in the clouds. She now lives in Nevada with her two sons, a cat, and a rat named Sam.

Know more about her on her website.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Blog Tour: Black Moon (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Black Moon by Jessica McQuay

Black Moon (Paige Tailor Series, #1)
Title: Black Moon
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Synopsis: "Am I losing my mind?"

Paige couldn't help but question her sanity. What other explanation could there be for her hearing a conversation held barely above a whisper in the back of a classroom full of students? What about coming home to find one of those very classmates lying in wait in the darkness of her home, ready to attack her?

Confused, frustrated and feeling every ounce of her social ostracism, Paige confides in the one person she's always been able to count on: her mom. But when her mom reveals a deeply rooted, unbelievable family secret, Paige discovers her world is filled with more than she ever imagined possible. A world where fairytales live alongside nightmares and secrets are the glue that binds them together. Suddenly no one is who they seem and Paige is faced with more questions than answers. Can she survive in a world filled with creatures scarier than anything she could imagine and where deceit runs as thick as blood? Or will the truth send her over the edge?

Book Trailer:


“Matt, Tommy, I am thrilled to know you are finding the reading so interesting that you’re discussing it among yourselves. Perhaps you’d like to share your findings with the rest of the class?”

“I seriously doubt Matt wants the class to know that he’s been cheating on his girlfriend Samantha by hooking up with Rachel.”

Oh no. Oh no no no no no! How had I known THAT? And why, oh why, did it come from my mouth, out loud, to the entire class?

I know how I knew. Matt’s voice was the one I’d heard earlier. How is that even possible?

I didn’t have time to contemplate; I had a classroom full of people wondering the exact same thing judging by the looks on some of their faces.

“How did you know that, Taylor?”

I swung around and found myself face to face with Matt. I didn’t know if the surprise had time to register on my face before he was leaning down into it, his voice a controlled whisper.

“If I find out that you’ve been spying on me, you little nobody, you will wish you never let my name touch your lips.”

The hairs on my neck and arms came to life, and chills pricked along my skin. I couldn’t look away from his eyes. They’d gone black as night with the exception of the pupils which were blazing gold. My tongue wouldn’t move my mouth was so dry. I couldn’t fi nd my voice and I was starting to shiver just as Mr. O
stepped between us.

“Matthew, get back to your seat.”

About the Author:

There were only three things Jessica loved to do growing up; reading, writing and playing music. She discovered her love for writing at a young age, when she realized she could create anything she wanted with words. Jessica lives in Sacramento, CA with her husband, four children, goldfish named Sparkle and her cat, Talula. When she isn’t working on the next Paige Tailor novel, taking her children to one activity or another, or folding the never ending laundry of a six person family, Jessica enjoys playing her clarinet in the community band or dancing like there is no tomorrow at Zumba.

Know more about Jessica on her website and blog.

Check out other participating blogs:

Friday, 22 February 2013

Review: City of Dark Magic

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

Synopsis: Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.

Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.


"Prague is a place where the fabric of time is thin."

The title and the synopsis is misleading! I was attracted by its cover and synopsis that I expected magic—real magic, mysteries and secrets that would blow my mind. But at the end, I am still asking myself what did I just read..

The mystery of Prague, or at least the gist of it was revealed at the beginning of the story. It achieved its goal to make it feel mysterious and a bit creepy, but the problem is that it was told by the characters not implied in some events that took place. I might have felt the right emotion if it was slowly unveiled by what will happen in Prague. Keyword: slowly.

As mentioned, everything was revealed immediately making the rest of the book dull. I was expecting some big, mind-blowing thing to happen that would top what Alessandro and Pollina said but it was still the same. The climax didn't have a big bang, unlike what I expected. Even a 'bang' would suffice, but none happened.  What's with that freakin threshold? We need more information about it! There were lots of things that were left as it is without any explanation. It had a promising premise but it turned out to be a disappoinment.

As for the characters, I really tried to like Sarah. Her love for music and her talent was awesome. I was impressed at the part where she recalled her lessons with Professor Sherbatsky, but that's it. She was poorly developed and flat. The only change in her that I noticed was her willingness to believe in things that she thought was absurd.

The villain.. Was that senator the real villain of the story? After reading the story, I can't understand what in the world was her real motive. She gave so much effort and harmed a lot of people for what? Her reasons were so petty. For someone who exerted so much effort, the time she was mentioned was wasted in reminiscing instead of plotting.

Another problem is the length. It was long but there were lots of unnecessary and irrelevant parts. Some were thrown in the plot and then left as it is. One example is the death of Sarah's father when she was in fourth grade. It seems to imply that she was intensely affected by the loss but rather than show some profound proof, maybe with her beliefs and the way she lives her life, we were just told that she took it hard and missed him so much, etc. Another is the sex scenes which was obviously thrown into the plot to, I don't know, maybe show some edge with Sarah's character or imply the age group of this novel? But it didn't achieved that. Sarah didn't turned out to be a badass, I-don't-give-a-shit character with some edge. She turned out to be a woman who have a very active libido that would hump on someone who has a stick.

Another thing that didn't helped me in absorbing the story was the format of the ARC. Was it just my copy of everyone had boxes instead of numbers? I hate reading sentences with dates where I have to think of it as blank. I can't even connect some information because of the lack of date. 

If the synopsis didn't mentioned and promised too much about the non-existent 'dark magic' and maybe made loads of revision, this could be better than what it is. I like the part about the music and history though. Maybe this was a good one to others but City of Dark Magic and I don't mix well.


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

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Cover Reveal: Vacant

Vacant [Adult version]
Title: Vacant
Publication Date: February 23, 2013 (via Mayhem Erotica)
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: Ethan Parker gets up every day, surviving the only way he knows how—alone.

Orphaned as a child and forced into the child welfare system, he knows better than to depend on anyone but himself. He’s learned trust is a word used all too often, but rarely earned.

Ethan believes that his best chance for maintaining a simple and solitary existence is to live by a simple mantra: Don’t get involved. Keep things simple.

Take care of yourself!

When a young woman moves in next door, Ethan is forced to reevaluate his beliefs. He tries to keep his distance, but his new neighbor’s infectious smile and outlook on life leave him struggling with the decision of living the life he knows, or taking a chance on the unexpected.

As Ethan develops a relationship with his new neighbor, Emily, he realizes nothing is simple and learns that life is about more than just surviving… it’s about living.

About the Author:

Evelyn R. Baldwin was born in the Midwest and spent her childhood on a horse ranch. As an only child, Evelyn was often forced to entertain herself with the family’s horses as companions, and her imagination the only limitation.

After moving to St. Louis to attend college, she earned a degree in Education. During her Master’s program, Evelyn discovered her fascination with behavior and psychology.

Her first professional job experience was as a juvenile counselor, which led her to venture into other human sciences, eventually making a career with Behavior Analysis. While writing is a hobby for Evelyn, she often uses her experiences with human behavior to guide her characters.

She’s written short stories since childhood but only recently began exercising her real writing muscles. While she does not consider herself a professional writer in any sense of the word, she continues to polish her craft and hopes for success in her writing ventures, even if they are just as a hobby.

Blog Tour: Terra (Excerpt + Review + Giveaway)

Terra (Terrestrials #1) by Gretchen Powell

Terra (Terrestrials, #1)
Title: Terra
Author: Gretchen Powell
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis: In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth's population, humanity is split in two. The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon makes her living as a scav, scouting the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. While on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Fueled by curiosity, her search for the truth ultimately leads her to Adam--a beguiling boy with a secret that has the power to change humanity's existence forever.


The crunch of multiple footsteps sounds in my ears, and I know the unseen speaker is not alone. With achingly slow speed, I bend my knees to pick up my bag and pivot in the direction of the voice.
Three huge men stand about a yard in front of me, lined up in a row. All three of them sport shaved heads, making them almost indistinguishable from one another, save for their differing skin tones. Their long brown coats hang open, revealing bare chests covered with tattoos that creep from below their waistlines all the way up to their chins.


The man in the middle has a chain of thick golden links hanging around his throat. As I watch it bounce against his dark chest, I realize I’ve never actually seen raiders up close before. All that time spent thinking about Lee’s final moments, what his murderers had looked like. Turns out I had it pictured all wrong.

How did I not hear them coming? I always hear them coming.

You can also read the first two chapters here.

"Cause if you don't need anybody, it won't hurt if they leave you, right?"

When I first read the synopsis of the book, I actually didn't expect it to be this good. It sounded like a typical post-apocalyptic novels but the weird, new name of where they got me. Well, good thing it did because I really enjoyed this one.

It has a really interesting and promising premise. The history of how and why they lived in Genesis X-16 was immediately presented at the first part of the book, which helped not to make me feel lost while reading some random facts Terra keeps on mentioning. It also has a good world building that kinda reminded me of The Maze Runner.

The characters were interesting. There weren't much because it mainly focused on Terra, her brother and Adam but it wasn't boring reading all about them at all. The banters Terra and Adam was cute and made me like their relationship despite the sort-of fast pace on that part. Or maybe weeks passed after they met and I just didn't noticed. But it didn't feel insta-love though. It wasn't even cheesy until they sort-of told each other their feelings.

The twist about Adam's identity and his revelation in the end added more questions and made it more unique. At this point, it feels like there's more than one antagonist group in this story. I mean, there's terrestrials, skydwellers and now there's Adam's people; [spoiler]which made me feel like they were the ones who were really humans because of what Adam said at the end of the book. I mean, their coming back, right?[spoiler]

It seems like it's the same as other books at first glance, but definitely different. Oh and I love the kissing scene! I'm a sucker for well-established kissing scenes and the one here was definitely good. It was felt, not just shown, through words. I've read some really good debuts recently and this is definitely one of those. I'll definitely look out for the release of the next book.

About the Author:

Gretchen Powell grew up in far-off places. She is 24 years old, half-Chinese, and the owner of two adorable miniature schnauzers. They wear many sweaters.

By day, she types and types (and types and types) for personal, professional, and cathartic purposes.

By night, she binges on episodes of Doctor Who and sleeps fitfully.

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, she writes a blog, called "Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!" about food, fitness, and her life.

She loves words. And Harry Potter. And especially the words IN Harry Potter.

Know more about her on her website and blog.

It's giveaway time!

Get a chance to win a signed paperback of Terra and a signed book tour bookmark or an eBook copy of Terra. Open INTERNATIONALLY.
Check out other participating blogs:

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