Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest Post by Jackson Keene and eARC Review of Sarah Quanli

Guest Post by Jackson Keene, author of Sara Quanli

Having earned undergrad and grad degrees in history, plus having spent a year toward a doctorate in same, I’ve always had a healthy fascination with long ago events and individuals (whether common folk or famous personages), with major trends and traditions, and how such evolved through time.  It’s interesting to dig deep into how people carried on – how they managed – during the great epochs of past; how they lived, loved, survived, overcome, left legacies and lineages to carry on their name and bloodline.  How each generation is beholden to the last, but still tasked with creating its personal stamp for the next generation to come.
I’ve loved the sport of basketball since childhood.  I greatly like Chinese people and China as a country.  In fact, I have several Chinese friends with whom I play pick-up basketball games most every week.  In addition, I’m an evangelical Christian.  I love action and adventure, both in movies and in reading.  I’m a very passionate (romantic) person.  So it almost seems natural I would write an historical novel with romance and danger that combines all these things into a unified story.
In some ways, the saga of SARAH QUANLI has elements of both The Good Earth and East of Eden.  It’s all about the lives and loves of several generations of a Chinese family, begun when a handsome Scottish missionary marries a beautiful Chinese girl.  The newly published Book One covers the time period from the birth of David Adam MacDougall in 1882 to the birth of his first child, a daughter, named Sarah Quanli MacDougall in 1916.  Books Two, Three, and Four – still to come – will take the reader through the brutality and turmoil of strife-torn twentieth century China, and later, concurrently, through the social upheaval of the 1960s and beyond in golden California.      _____________________________


Publication Date: October 26, 2012
Synopsis: The beautiful yet deceitful Rossalyn McDonald had twisted the knife deep in David Adam MacDougall’s big heart. He was extraordinarily handsome: chiseled muscles, kindly soul, thoughtful personality, and totally faithful. Any other lass in his Scottish Highlands village would have cheated her own sister to become his bride.
Now David’s entire being felt broken into a thousand pieces. Now he only wanted to reach the faraway city of Beiping China where he was called to be a missionary. But before arriving in that mysterious mistress of the orient, he would face uncertain dangers.
The year is 1904. The bloody Boxer Rebellion is only four years past. Much of northern China still seethes with undercurrents of resentment and hatred of all things Western. If David can just make it to the ancient city with body and soul intact, if he can just survive, there he’ll find his new purpose, his new home, and his new people.
There, he’ll meet the woman he comes to believe is the love of his life. The lithe, athletic, saucy, highly intelligent and equally independent Xiu Li!


Review:

It's my first time to read a Historical Romance book so it took time for me to adjust to the writing style of the author.

Basically, the book is about David McDougall's journey from childhood to a grown up man. The book thoroughly narrated his experiences as a child and that explained who how he became to be a wonderful, kind and gorgeous man. Someone who seems to have it all- a great family, friends and love of his life; didn't guarantee a problem-free life. He was betrayed by his fiance and he was badly hurt. So he decided to take a journey to fulfill his calling in Beiping, China. 

Let's start with the positive side of the book. I started to like the book when David made his journey to Beiping. It was definitely a long one but still there were entertaining and full of action scenes. The main character is totally likable. I can't see any flaws about him, which can be a positive or a negative trait but I'll consider it a positive one. I also liked how the title came from. I was having doubts as to who Sarah Quanli was, and then boom!NO SPOILERS! 

Then let's go to the "not so" positive sides. First, there are a lot of supporting characters that made me confused at times. I don't know if that's a part of it because it's a historical book. Anyway,there were also a lot of side stories that I think are mostly unnecessary. I would have liked it better if the flow is organized. 

The book talks more about David's life and his religious journey, which made the romance part cut short. Since this is a Historical Romance, I would really liked it if the romance part is the focus of the book.

Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the book! I had fun with it, for the most parts. So if you're a fan of Historical genre, you may give this a chance.

*Disclaimer: The book has been provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. My views and opinions on the book are all my own.*

Rating:

Memorable Quote:

"God is so real. His words are so real. His plan and Purpose for your life is so real. Reach out to him. Reach out, and he will meet you more than halfway, I assure you."





Monday, December 10, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Rachel Mead


Publication Date: August 16, 2007
Synopsis (Goodreads):
St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school-it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's-the very place where they're most in danger. . . . Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi-the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires-make Lissa one of them forever.




______________________________

Review:


Before I go to the review proper, I just want to say, now I know why they compared Pure by Jennifer Armentrout to Vampire Academy. If you haven't read Pure yet, I must warn you. This part may contain some spoilers. 
Basically, Pure is not about Vampires but the construction of characters and storyline are similar. Both main characters have gone away from the academy and when they got back, they were given punishment and had to train with someone. That someone, as the story went on, is their love interest. Also, both characters have the same personality- stubborn,strong-willed and protective of those important to them. One thing that sets them apart is the reason of the main character's existence. Both books are good but I liked Pure better. I don't know if it's because I read it first or maybe just because the flow of the story for Pure was better. 

Anyway,let's go back to the REVIEW part.

______________________________


Rose, the main character is most of the time annoying but there are times when I start to like her then she goes back to being annoyingly stubborn again. She's overprotective of Lissa so she had the tendency to be bad and push people away. What I like about her over protectiveness is that she's being selfless and thinks about Lissa more than herself. I like her strong-willed and outgoing character.

Lissa,a Moroi Vampire Princess and Rose's bestfriend, is kind, beautiful and fragile. It seems she's always the one needs saving but in the latter part of the story, she realizes she also has the power to protect the ones she loves. 

The characters are good but I had the hard time connecting with them. I may have liked them at some parts but I wasn't really into them.

I was a bit confused on the first parts of the book because some terms,like Strigoi or Moroi were not defined as it was first mentioned. I just realized who they are as the story went on. I haven't read the blurb, I just went straight to reading the book so I had no idea. Again, my mistake. 

It has a slow start but as the story went on it caught up with the pace I liked. The story itself is very intriguing and there are tidbits of unpredictability which is good. It wasn't entirely focused on romance so I'm glad. The romance parts are cute and lovely. They made me smile.

Overall, I liked and enjoyed the book despite some issues. I'll definitely read the next book. If you want to read a vampire book which isn't just about the good looks, read this one!

Rating:




Memorable Quotes:

“If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.” 

“Taking a deep breathe, I made one of the hardest decisions of my life.
I walked away.” 


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#11)


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Title: Antigoddess
Author: Kendare Blake
Expected Publication: September 10, 2013
Synopsis:
Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god.

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning.

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out.

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.


Thoughts:
I'm currently reading Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake and so far,so good. Her new book is getting a lot of buzz since it was first reveled. I must say, I love the cover! It's simple compared to her earlier series, but it shows a representation and has an important meaning. The blurb is too long but very interesting. I can't wait to read this too!

How about you? What's your Waiting on Wednesday? Link me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Full Jacket Reveal, Blurb, and Release Date of HOPELESS by Colleen Hoover


"Hopeless" by Colleen Hoover
Release Date: New Years Eve, December 31st, 2012.

BLURB:

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder: A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.


Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She released her debut novel, SLAMMED, in January 2012. The follow-up novel, POINT OF RETREAT, was released in February, 2012. She is currently working on a stand-alone titled FALL TOGETHER. 

If Colleen's life had a theme song, it would be Paranoia in B Flat Major by The Avett Brothers. (Smashwords)

To know more about her, check out her website: http://colleenhoover.com.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#10)


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Title: Haze (The Rephaim #2)
Author: Paula Weston
Expected Publication: 2013
Synopsis:
Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed.
But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive. 
And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.


Thoughts:
I'm fond of angel books and the prequel of this is one of my favorite angel books this year. I can't wait to know more about Gaby's past and what happened to her brother. 
If you want to know my thoughts of Shadows (Rephaim #1), here's a LINK for my review.

How about you? What's your Waiting on Wednesday? Link me.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#9)


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Title: Avow (The Archer's of Avalon #3)
Author: Chelsea Fine
Expected Publication: December 11,2012
Synopsis:
Scarlet remembers. Everything. Her past lives, Tristan, Gabriel, Nate: she remembers it all--including how to get to the Fountain of Youth. But time is running out. 

Heather and Gabriel have been kidnapped by Raven, while the curse that has plagued Scarlet and Tristan for centuries has shifted, putting the star-crossed lovers in more danger than ever before. Water from the Fountain of Youth is the only thing that can save Scarlet and her loved ones. But the water comes at a price.

With lives--and hearts--at stake, Scarlet leads her friends on a dangerous journey to the Fountain of Youth. Where eternal life is possible, but death is certain.



Thoughts:
I love the first two books of the series and I can't wait to read this! If you haven't started the series yet,give it a try!
It's a different kind of fantasy romance novel.

How about you? What's your Waiting on Wednesday? Link me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

If It Fits It Ships [10 books of choice GIVEAWAY] by Evie Seo

Evie Seo from evie-bookish.blogspot.com is hosting an awesome book giveaway! And it's INTERNATIONAL!

If It Fits It Ships!
a box of books (10 picks!)

You can pick from:

- White Lines
- League Of Strays
- Outpost
Surrender
- Of Poseidon
- Time Between Us
- Lies Beneath
- Cold Fury
- Janie Face To Face
- Every Day
- Sapphire Blue
- Touch of Death
- Amarok
- Black City
- Clockwork Prince
- The Unnaturalist
- Venom
Mystic City
- Earth Girl
- A Temptation of Angels
- Timepiece

Check out her video:

CLICK HERE for the LINK.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Reflected in You by Sylvia Day (Crossfire #2)

Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Synopsis (Goodreads):
Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction… my every desire… mine.


My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity.

We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession…

______________________________

Review:
Here's the thing. I really liked the first book of the series so I was so excited to read the sequel. And after reading it, I was speechless! Sorry to say, but I'm speechless in a not so good way. I'm one of the few who didn't like this book as much as the first one.

If you have read the first one already, you'll know that both Gideon and Eva have their own dark pasts. So their relationship- physical and emotional- is complicated. I was expecting that for this second book, I will be enlightened more on their past especially Gideon's. To tell you the truth, I expected A LOT from the book and it's my mistake for doing that.

I was totally disappointed. :( 

If it's about the sex and hot scenes, there's definitely a bunch of them. It's an erotica book so that's a given. But I would have appreciated it more if it was focused more on the storyline rather than the sex parts. It was a bit lacking for me. I don't know how to explain but I weren't satisfied with how it was written and on how the story flowed. The push and pull relationship they have is quite tiring. I really want to like the book but there's just too much was going on. 

Maybe the saving grace of the book was the last parts when I finally understood what was happening. Other positive side that I like is that both characters were able to grow a little bit although I won't even notice that, if it wasn't mentioned in the book.

If you ask me if I would read the third book,my answer is YES! I still want to know the real story behind Gideon's personality and I want to believe it'll get better. But this book definitely tuned down my excitement for the next one. 

Recommended? Not really. 
If you read the first book and liked it, maybe you should read this book and see it for yourself.


Rating:
SORRY. NO GOOD for me.


Memorable Quotes:

"Sometimes love isn't enough. And if it's not enough, what good is it?"

Gideon: "Where do we go from here?"
Eva: "Wherever this takes us. Together."

1,000 Followers Giveaway by The Hollow Cupboards!


Congratulations Chey on hitting 1000+ followers! 
Keep up the good work!

To celebrate this, she's hosting a giveaway for US/Canada and International followers! Isn't that great?
How to enter? Just click this.
Goodluck! :)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

From Books to Movies: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

The trailer for Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is out! 


Thoughts:
I can't wait to watch the movie! It'll be in August and that's 9 months from now. tsktsk! I like the casts except for Jace. I still need to watch the movie for me to be convinced. 

How about you? What are your thoughts?

If you haven't read the first book yet, here's the blurb:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . . 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#8)

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Expected Publication: January 8, 2013
Synopsis:
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Thoughts:
Gayle Forman's duet novel "If I Stay" and "Where She Went" were two of the best contemporary books I've read. I can't wait to read this! And it's another duet novel!

How about you? What's your Waiting on Wednesday? Link me.

Celebrating Debutantes 2012 by Michelle Shouts Random


What is Celebrating Debutantes?

It is all about debut authors of this year who successfully debuted their books after all the hard work. Celebrating Debutantes spotlights the awesome authors behind these successful books. They will talk about the best things that happened after their book was published. The best feelings, unforgettable moments, thoughts about their readers--us--and will share you the details about their upcoming project/s!

Michelle's having some exciting interviews, posts and giveaways!

If you want to know more about the blog event, check out: Michelle's Intro Post

And for her first featured author, it's Jodi Meadows! Check out the interview and giveaway here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

One Year Blogoversary Celebration of The Sparkles and Lightning!

Congratulations Annabelle on your One Year Blogoversary! (Clap!Clap!Clap!)

In celebration of her Blogoversary, Annabelle will be giving away ten books to five winners. So each winner gets two books, with the first winner choosing first and the last winner hopefully happy with the two left at the end.

How to enter? Here's the LINK.


Button: 
<a href="hhttp://sparkles-and-lightning.blogspot.com/2012/11/blogoversary-day-3.html"><img src="http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj610/annabellelovell/Sparkles%20and%20Lightning/blogoversarycelebration_zpse76ad49f.jpg" width="300" alt="Sparkles and Lightning Blogoversary Celebration" /></a> 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#7)


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Title: Covet
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Expected Publication: May 9, 2013
Synopsis:
What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else? 

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. 

Daniel Rush had it all, until a tragic accident took away everything he cherished. A chance meeting with Claire sets in motion a chain of events that will leave three people questioning their choices and dealing with the aftermath of their decisions.



Thoughts:
I read Tracey's On the Island and I loved it! If you haven't read it yet, you should go and pick it up!
Can't wait to see if this one will live up to my expectations. 

How about you? What's your Waiting on Wednesday? Link me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

BOOK REVIEW:Between the Lines by Tammara Webber (Between the Lines #1)

Publication Date: April 29, 2011
Synopsis (Goodreads):

When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.


Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration.

Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.

______________________________


Review:

I luckily won in an ebook giveaway and I chose the book from the choices. I've been looking for a copy of the book for a long time now so I was so happy when I finally have a copy!

The blurb is a bit long and descriptive so most probably, you know what to expect from the book other than how the story flows.

It was narrated in two POVs- Reid and Emma. Reid is the typical bad boy who likes girls, good-looking and with great acting career. He's also somewhat a jerk and he's made some bad decisions throughout the book. On the other hand, Emma is a small town girl who likes to act on stage compared in front of the camera. She's the perfect kind of girl,but shy, who wants to please people. She also made a fair share of some good and bad decisions but she matured and became likable. The other guy in the triangle is Graham. He's kind,good-looking and mysterious. He's a bit reserved which I understood when I read the last parts of the book. Out of the three, he's the best character for me. I wished he I can read some of his thoughts to figure him out. All of them have their own personal issues so just be open-minded when you read the book.

NOT SO GOOD:I'm a bit disappointed on how the story flowed. There were a lot of issues concerned in the story- career,family,friendship and love. I just think that there's a better way of putting those together and most of it were predictable. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed reading the book! 

GOOD: A great thing about it is that I'm not expecting the twist from the book. Before I even read the book, I convinced myself who two of those three will end up together or if there will be a one. And I'm so glad how the first book ended!


VERDICT:If you're into Contemporary YA/Teen Romances, I'd recommend this book to you. Although I have a low rating on the book,I'd still read the sequel! 

Rating:


Memorable Quotes:

“That's how they say it: He loves you in his own way. Well, what about my way? What if I need for him to love me in my way?” 

“What do you say when the feelings don't fit into words?” 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (#6)


“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Title: Fallen Too Far
Author: Abbi Glines
Expected Publication: December 2012
Synopsis:
To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter. 

She is still na├»ve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother. 

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.



Thoughts:
I'm a fan of Abbi Glines so I'm excited to read her next book!

How about you? What's your Waiting on Wednesday? Link me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (Starcrossed #1)

Publication Date: May 31, 2011
Synopsis (Goodreads):
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
______________________________

Review:

I heard about the book but I have no idea what it is about. I had the terrible mistake to just assume it was a mermaid book because of the cover. So I was excited that I finally had my hands on a mermaid book and to my dismay, it wasn't anywhere near mermaids. Oh well. I'm still glad I picked this up because I really enjoyed reading it!

In the beginning, the protagonist, Helen is someone who lacks self-confidence despite being beautiful- inside and outside. She underestimates herself and does everything average. Until one day, she meets a guy who's new to the island and she starts attacking him. She literally tries to kill him and she doesn't know why. This guy is Lucas, one of the guys from the Delos family. Then eventually she learns who she is and what her capabilities are. I did like her because she has a great personality. I accept her flaws 'cause she's still have the right to act like a teenager.

The male counterpart of Helen is Lucas. I don't even know how to describe him because all I can think of is that he's gorgeous,with god-like features. I like him but there were parts where he can't make up his mind that I started getting annoyed with him.

I like the complication of the love story between Helen and Lucas; starcrossed lovers- Romeo and Julietish kind of story. What I didn't like is how both characters responded to the complication. I know the romance is an important part of the story but I like it better if it's turned down just a little bit.

I like all the supporting characters but I especially love Claire, Helen's bestfriend. I love her relationship with Helen. She's such a true friend. She's honest and she was there for Helen through thick and thin. She's so cute, we have the same height by the way, but that's not important. I just like her! She's so funny! 

The Delos family also took a big part of the story. I like how they portrayed the importance of family relationship by sticking together as one and respect for each family member. Everybody else may let you down, but your family won't.

It was narrated in 3 different POV's, I think, but mostly it was Helen's. There were parts where I was confused as to who's narrating and I just realized who after reading some of the lines. 

This is good for a debut novel so I commend the author for that. History, action, drama, romance and humor all in one book!

If you're a fan of Greek mythology, this one's for you! :)



Rating:
FUN and EXCITING READ!

Memorable Quotes:

"She'd just been so busy looking she hadn't thought to feel."

"Is that how tall you are without those ridiculous shoes?" he said derisively. "I think I was born bigger than that."
"I bet you were. Five feet of fat head and two inches of ass," Claire muttered, standing up.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

BOOK BREAK: Music in YOU (#5)


Every week, I will post some original songs from an artist who became popular in YouTube. I just feel that more people should know them because they are very talented and they have great songs that should be heard.

For this week I chose someone who recently became a contestant in The Voice but unluckily, he was eliminated in the battle rounds. Aww.. He doesn't have a big powerful voice but he has his own sound which has an RnB feel on it. He's a Filipino/American singer/songwriter from Anchorage, Alaska. So with no further ado, he's none other than JR Aquino.

The reason why I became a fan:

And his latest cover:

What do you think? He's good right?!