Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Name of book: Dearly, Beloved (Gone With The Respiration #2)
Author: Lia Habel
Expected Publication: September 25th 2012 by Del Rey
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Provided by the publisher...

Can the living coexist with the living dead? 

That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.

Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.

Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.

As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Lia Habel’s spellbinding, suspenseful sequel to Dearly, Departed takes her imaginative mash-up of period romance, futuristic thriller, and zombie drama to a whole new level of innovative and irresistible storytelling.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     Before I start, I have to remind you that I was not paid, in any way, to write a positive review of this book. The ideas expressed in this review are my honest feelings, nothing is biased.REMEMBER this review is a spoiler if you haven't read the first book in the series, Dearly, Departed (check out my review here). Now, for the review
Let's get right down to it...
     After facing enemies and fighting for their love, Nora and Bram are finally settling down. Only if you call Nora's father (and the society) breathing down their neck, settling down. They think it's too good to be true, and they are right.
     Evil is lurking in the shadows of New Victoria. A group of Victorians called The Murder ,wear bird-masks and gruesomely kill every zombie they encounter. A group of zombies called The Changed, are using strange ways to provide food and shelter for the poorer zombies. A new strain of the virus is out, much worse than the first. No one  is safe anymore  in New Victoria...
     Who are The Murder and The Changed? Who released this new strain of the virus?  Will this apocalypse let Nora and Bram have a taste of true love? Find out much more when you read this beautifully intriguing, professionally constructed novel, Dearly, Beloved.
     I ADORED this book! Like, truly loved every part of it! As I have said in my review of "Dearly, Departed", the first book, Lia Habel is a pro in writing. She has made zombies charming, emotional and relate-able! Can you imagine how much work should be put in a novel for readers to feel this way? Probably not.
     The world building is exceptional, it's like nothing you have ever read before. Lia Habel throws you into a time machine and sends you into the future. A future that you will never want to leave! 
     The characters are the BEST ever! There are very few authors who make you feel SO MUCH for the characters, Lia Habel was one of them. Nora is sarcastic, funny, and challenging, I love her so much! Her best friend, Pamela  is equally lovable but she has a cute sense of insecurity. These two are very relate-able and realistic. Now, for the boys. OH, the boys. Bram is protective and this jealousy of his, is oh-so-adorable. He is every girl's dream. His friends, Tom and Ren are both three-dimensional and very much like-able.
     I felt like this book didn't concentrate so much on Nora and Bram like the first book. It was much more about Coalhouse (Bram's friend) and Laura (one of The Changed). I truly felt for both of them, and to watch how their love-hate relationship grow was so realistic and exhilarating! I can't wait to see what will happen to them in the next book.
     I know I have made this review too long, and if you have stick with me so far, you are truly AWESOME! 
     This book is much more action-packed and mysterious than the first book. In the first book, this zombie-apocalypse was new and most of the book was about how the characters dealt with it. But in this book (the second book), the characters are thrust into a whirl-wind of action, mystery, and gruesome secrets. It is much more enjoyable that the first, that's why it received 5 stars from me!
     This book is one of the most unique and enchanting books I have ever read! No matter how old you are, if you are 15 or 50. No matter where you live, if you live in New York or in an unknown city in Siberia. No matter what you believe in. This book will be enjoyable by EVERYONE and ANYONE. This series, Dead by The Respiration is one of a kind.
     I would recommend this book to anyone out there who is ready (and willing) to be thrown into a roller coaster of desires, love, secrets, and of course, the undead. 

Review: Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey

Name of book: Brat Farrar
Author: Josephine Tey
Publication: September 2nd 1997 by Touchston
Genre: Thriller
Souce: Borrowed

In this tale of mystery and suspense, a stranger enters the inner sanctum of the Ashby family posing as Patrick Ashby, the heir to the family's sizable fortune. The stranger, Brat Farrar, has been carefully coached on Patrick's mannerism's, appearance, and every significant detail of Patrick's early life, up to his thirteenth year when he disappeared and was thought to have drowned himself. It seems as if Brat is going to pull off this most incredible deception until old secrets emerge that jeopardize the imposter's plan and his life.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I borrowed this book from one of my friends, the blurb looked interesting enough. Although the cover is the pretty average cover of the old times, just the name of the book, the author, and the publication. I had mixed feelings,  50% by 50% of this book.
     Brat Farrar is an average man living a plain life, until the day he meets Alec Loding on the street. Alec convinces him to impose the personality of a boy who has died many years ago and pretend to be him. The boy, Patrick Ashby is the heir of an estate and a large sum of money but Patrick jumped off a cliff many years ago and has been declared dead ever since. Brat doesn't want to this but he is convinced by the darkly intelligent, Alec.
     Brat learns that Patrick had a twin named Simon, who will be the heir of the estate when he turns twenty-one. When Brat becomes the new owner of the estate, Simon is enraged but he knows that Brat is not really Patrick. Brat realizes that he is in for much more than he bargained with.
     Why is Simon so sure that Brat is not Patrick? Will Brat blend in with his new life? Might he finally get a chance at love? Find out much more when you read this mysterious tale of desires, greed, arrogance, and family connections, Brat Farrar...
     I liked this book. The storyline is mysterious and intriguing. But the novel is a bit slow, I felt like it only picked up at the very end. Plus, the characters were not very three-dimensional, I felt like they lacked emotions and cravings. But still, I loved Brat and I loved to hate all the villains in this novel. The end was too abrupt for me and I didn't get the point of why the book ended like that.
     I didn't enjoy this book very much, it just wasn't my type. But since everyone is different and we all have different ideas, you might like this book. Who knows? This book might just be your favorite cup of tea!

Tour Stop & Giveaway! Desert Rice by Angela Scott

Name of book: Desert Rice
Author: Angela Scott
Publication: 13th August, 2012 by Evovled Publishing
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the author/tour host

Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl—but no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all part of her older brother’s plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister, including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.

Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.

-- My Rating --

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review.*

-- My Thoughts --

     Did you read the blurb? If you did, didn't you find the idea, captivating? Just imagine, a girl disguising as a boy, how hard can that be? I liked the story-line very much. This book is unique and intriguing to the very core!
     Samantha Jean, is a pretty 12-year-old girl, but nobody can see that. Ever since her mother died, she and her brother, Jacob are running from town to town. If anyone finds them, they will end up separated in foster care. Samantha is growing up and getting more girly, so Jacob cuts her long blond her and gives her his clothes; so she can look  like his brother, not sister. Samantha doesn't want this; but she doesn't want to be separated from her brother, too.
     It's pretty hard for a fifteen year old  boy and a twelve year old girl to find a place to live. Specially if they have so little money with them. Jacob and Samantha  fight through the obstacles and make new friends, but what awaits them in the future,  is not what they would have expected AT ALL.
     How has Sam's mother died?  What will happen to Jacob and Samantha? Will they ever have a real family? Find out much more when you read this heart-wrenching, thought-provoking story of self-discovery and hidden traumas. 
     I liked this book  a LOT. It was definitely not what I expected. Angela Scott has a really beautiful writing style, it's simple and straight-forward. Most of the characters are three-dimensional and believable. I loved to see the world through Samantha's eyes and to watch her grow and go through puberty. Although I didn't like Jacob as much as Sam, he was so BOSSY but he was protective of his sister so I loved him for that!
     The plot of the story is unique and character development is very well executed. If you wonder why I gave this book 4 stars,  it's just that the book wasn't one of the books  I would usually read but it was WONDERFUL! This book is recommended to all lovers of contemporary YA and contemporary, in general. Trust me, this is great! I will definitely be reading the sequel to this book,which is called Desert Flower.

-- Giveaway --

Here's what Angela Scott has generously provided for YOU
-- About The Author --

     I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels.
     However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.
     I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. I can’t spell, and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.
     As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I’ve been writing that long. It has only been the past few years that I’ve pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded individuals, and determined to make
a career out of it.
     You can find me at my website, where I blog obsessively about my writing process and post updates on my current works. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook, but be forewarned, I tweet and post more than a normal person.

Twitter - @whimsywriting

Review: Frozen by Mary Casanova

Name of book: Frozen
Author: Mary Casanova
Publication: September 1st, 2012 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Provided by the publisher

Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn’t said a word in eleven years—ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.
Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn’t know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother—and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary.

One day, Sadie Rose stumbles on a half dozen faded, scandalous photographs—pictures, she realizes, of her mother. They release a flood of puzzling memories, and these wisps of the past send her at last into the heart of her own life’s great mystery: who was her mother, and how did she die? Why did her mother work in a brothel—did she have a choice? What really happened that night when a five-year-old girl was found shivering in a snowbank, her voice and identity abruptly shattered?

Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I love unpredictable things, unpredictable books, unpredictable movies, unpredictable answers; anything, really. So, when I read the blurb of this book, I couldn't predict anything from it, so I gave it a shot. This book was really unpredictable, but not all in a good way.
     Sadie Rose has lost her mother, eight years ago. She only remembers glimpses of her past life, the life when her mother was alive. She has lived with the Worthingtons ever since her mama died. Mrs. Worthington seems to care about her, and Sadie Rose loves the two servants, Aasta and Hans. That should have been enough, but is it?
     When Sadie Rose discovers some photographs of her mother in the Wothington's house, she's shocked and determined to know the truth about her mother's death. What helps the most, though; is that Sadie Rose is beginning to remember how her life was like before, her glimpses are becoming more of memories.
     So, Sade Rose starts on an unpredictable adventure to find the truth about her life, and to remove the covers on the lies she has been told her whole life. On her journey, she meets many new friends: Tiffany , Victor, and the lovable Owen. She also discovers many secrets about her life, and about her true family.
     What has her family been hiding from Sadie Rose? What will she discover on her quest? Will she find true love in a hopeless wreck? Find out much more when you read this heart-wrenching story, Frozen...
     I liked this book very much. Mary Casanova has written a story about self-discovery, betrayal, and the power of families. This story has a beautiful premise, the storyline is that of uniqueness, but I felt like the author missed some points in the book. Like: The descriptions were too overwhelming, they covered far too much of the book, and left no room for imagination.
     Most of the characters were realistic, but some were two-dimensional. I felt like most of them didn't have true motives or reasons for what they were doing. Plus, I didn't like Sadie Rose very much, I didn't relate to her. I had no real idea why she were doing what she was doing. It was unaccounted for.
     Although this book was unique and touching, I found a few aspects that weren't to my liking. This book might appeal to fans of historical fictions and contemporary romance. You will never find out if you like this, if you don't try it first. So go ahead, and grab a copy!

Duet Reviews #1: Choose your next read, in only 5 mintues!

We, as book bloggers, love to read and review books. But what we do (which is reviewing) is not a chore. We do it to have fun, express our opinions, and help other book-lovers choose reading-worthy books.
We are not supposed to review EVERY book we read, but since I love you so much! I decided to do a cool double review, whenever I can.
Duet Reviews will be featuring two books every week with a very short review of each, to let you choose your next read in only 5 minutes!

Name of book: The Call of The Wild
Author: Jack London
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Borrowed

'Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and . . . he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire, and to plunge into the forest.'

Half St. Bernard, half sheepdog, Buck is stolen away from his comfortable life as a pet in California and sold to dog traders. He soon finds himself aboard a ship, on its way to Northern Canada. Surrounded by cruelty, Buck's natural instincts and behaviour begin to emerge as he works as a mail carrying sled dog, scavenging for food, protecting himself against other dogs and sleeping out in the cold snow.

Sold to a group of American gold hunters who are inexperienced living in the wilderness, the dogs are treated badly and as misfortune besets them, Buck is saved by John Thornton. Indebted to his new master, Buck remains by Thornton's side, saving him from drowning and protecting him with fierce loyalty throughout their time together. However, Buck can not deny the strong lure of the wilderness around him.

Exciting and action-packed, THE CALL OF THE WILD explores the timeless relationship between man and dog, and the inevitable draw of primitive instincts that pull Buck away from civilization and humanity towards the lawless and harsh wilderness.

Rating: 2 Stars out of Five
     I borrowed this book from a friend. I'm not a very good fan of Jack London. But I have to say that I LOVED his other novel, White Fang. White Fang was exceptional, emotional, and captivating. But The Call of The Wild was not for me, it was just boring. If you are a paranormal or contemporary fan, you should try this! It will be very different from anything you have ever read before...

Name of book: The Lady In White
Author: Colin Campell
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Source: Borrowed

Is it coincidence or is he losing his mind? While researching a new program, John, a successful television producer, comes across a story about a ghostly hitch-hiker. Soon he realizes that the story of the Lady in White bears many similarities to part of his own life. Returning to London from a holiday in Ireland, John begins to ask himself some uncomfortable questions. 

Rating: 3 Stars out of Five
    I am a HUGE fan of horror. I just love how my skin tingles and my heart pounds when I read those scary, horror novels. Just like every human being should have a daily dose of humour, he/she should also have a daily dose of horror. My favorite horror author is  Edgar Allan Poe, he is the KING of horror.  No one can write as well as Poe, not even Colin Campbell. But still, The Lady  In White was SCARY, literally! I loved the idea, the storyline is very well developed  but the end was just not meaningful! The end was not satisfying at all. But if you want a  darkly enjoyable read, this will be the one!

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Name of book: Dearly, Departed (Gone With The Respiration #1)
Author: Lia Habel
Publication: October 18th, 2011 by Del Rey
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Borrowed

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? 

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. 

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I had been accepted to read and review "Dearly, Beloved", the second book in this series. That's why I had to read the first book too, the concept is very lovely and imaginative, loved it!
     Nora Dearly,  teenager in the New Victoria, is left in the care of her aunt, when her father suddenly dies. Her life was close to normal, until she opened her curtains one night, and a herd of lifeless zombies started chasing after her.
     Nora is saved by a bunch of "good guys", the group of zombies who supposedly don't consume human flesh, and don't eat brains! They take her to their compound, where she struggles to cope with the fact that she is surrounded by hundreds of people who might want to eat her flesh. And then, there is the dark, enchanting and dead Bram. But whatever she has been through, will not prepare her for the news she is about to get or the fight she might face.
     What has happened to the New Victoria? What will happen to Nora and her friends? Is there a chance that she might be falling for a zombie? Find out much more when you read this breathtaking and exhilarating novel, Dearly, Departed...
     I loved, loved this book! Every aspect was professionally crafted. There are many zombie novels out there, so the storyline is not very unique. But the author has been able to create a magical world in the 2100s, a world that is based on the Victorian Age. It is beautiful, how the people dress in gowns and boys should not publicly touch girls. But there is still technology, like digital diaries that people write their notes in. The world building is a unique concept, indeed.
     I loved the characters! Nora is a straight-forward, head-strong young lady whom I adored and respected. Her best friend, Pamela is lovely and vulnerable, I loved her sincerity! Bram is so protective, touchy, lovely, adorable! That's the thing with the author, Lia Habel. Zombies are supposed to be scary flesh-eaters who tear their victims apart, but Lia Habel has strangely made zombies adorable, magical, funny and sarcastic! I loved all of the "good" zombies, Chas, Tom, Sam, Ren, etc...
     The characters develop throughout the book, Nora changes from an insecure, scared young girl to a head-strong, stubborn lady. I think Pamela has done the most development, she gets all so courageous at the end, I loved her character! The romance between Nora and Bram is not insta-love but not a love-triangle either. It is slow-moving connection between them, to watch their love blossom is indeed something beautiful to read!
     I will definitely be reading the second book in the series as soon as I can. I can't wait to know what will happen to Nora and Bram, will there love succeed?  I just can't wait If you want an enjoyable, intriguing , light read then Dearly, Departed is the one for you!

Review Copy Cleanup Update

Hey, insomniacs!
As you know, I have entered the REVIEW COPY CLEANUP since August 5


So, let me tell you about my progress:

3- Review of Florence by Ciye Cho

I have finished 8 reviews to-date! What do you think about my progress? How is yours?

Get a grip on it! - The WIN-WIN Giveaway

Since I love my awesome followers, I have decided to hots a win-win giveaway of....

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

One lucky winner will win an e-book copy of the NATIONAL BESTSELLER, and the soon-to-be movie, The Host

And if I have 200 followers by the end of the giveaway, I will add another winner :)

Just fill out the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn

Name of book: Rebels By Accident
Author: Patricia Dunn
Publication: August 16, 2012 by Alikai Press
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the kind author...

A Troubled Teen Sent to Cairo Finds Revolution is Everywhere, Including in Ourselves

When my first party ends in jail, I think things can’t possibly get worse. But then my parents send me to my grandmother in Cairo, and I’m sure my life is over. My sittu is Darth Vader’s evil sister, and I’m sure the only sites I’ll get to see in Egypt are the rooms in her apartment.

Turns out she’s not so bad. We ride camels by the pyramids and ice skate at a mall.

As Sittu says, “Sometimes a moment can change your life.” But it can change the life of a country too. When a girl named Asmaa calls the people of Egypt to protest, I find myself in the middle of a revolution, running from tear gas and guns.

Oh yeah, and I meet the cutest guy I’ve ever seen. Fall in love for the first time. And have my first kiss.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     Beautiful and touching, one of the books that touched my heart and left a spot there that will never be erased. I loved this book, it is set in a time that was truly phenomenal and rebellious in the history of the World. This review will be REALLY long, since I have a lot to say, please stick with me.
     It's Mariam's second trip to the police station, but this time she is arrested because she was in a party with drugs and alcohol. It was her first party, but it looks like it's her last, too. Mariam can't even begin to expect her parents punishment, but to live the next 5 months of high school with her grandma in Egypt, talk a jail sentence. Mariam doesn't even know how to be a Muslim. At least there is a bright side to this, she gets to spend the 5 months with best friend, Deanna, she is coming, too!
     Well, it looks like her grandma, Sittu  (Grandma in Arabic) isn't so bad. They get to climb one of the pyramids and ride on a camel's back. There are even cute guys here, like Hasan which Deanna seems to be head over heels in love with. But the conditions in Egypt are not very good right now, the youth are tweeting and posting about a rebellion and a demonstration. Suddenly, Mariam is caught in the middle of a rebellion, that's not only in the country, but also in ourselves.
     How will Mariam survive the guns shots and the tear-gases? What will she learn from this trip? And will she maybe, finally get the boy and her first kiss? Find out much more when you read this touchy, superior-crafted, realistic read, Rebels by Accident.
     I loved this book! Absolutely every part of it. This story really hit the core of my heart since it was set in a true setting. Me and my family spend months last year and even now, watching the news, witnessing the rebellion in Tunisia, Egypt, Libia. How people in those countries were finally done with their stupid, cruel unfair regimes and brought down every so-called president.
     The rebellion is still going in Syria and hundreds of people are killed and tortured every day, just watch CNN or BBC. There was even a small rebellion in my country, but the government managed to "shush" the people quickly, by torturing them and killing dozens. It was horrible, and heart-breaking, me and my parents prayed for those people to find their place in Heaven and for this cruel regime to end.
     Another aspect of this novel that I loved, is the development. When Mariam comes to Egypt, she doesn't even know Arabic or anything for that matter.But the way she learns is beautiful. They way Patricia Dunn, the author, makes readers understand the nature of Muslims. Many Muslims are prejudiced all around the world every day, people think that we are all like the gun-carrying murderous assassins who call their massacre, "Islam". And we are not all those pure, un-educated people who know nothing about the world and the technology.
     We are all like you, our souls are not the clothes we were, or the things we do. We are free here, females are free to do whatever they do, there is no rituals or rules that we need to stick to. Even if we wear cloaks or scarfs around our hair, we are just the same as you. We all make this world they way it is, we ARE the
     That's what Mariam learns trough this story. Nothing is shallow or superficial in this novel. Every characters have their deep levels and personalities. Deanne, Mariam's best friend is such an open-minded, easy learner, she is just so courageous and lovely. Hasan is the greatest guy you could meet. Sittu,
Mariam's grandma is so wise and touchy, she is really breath taking. Even Mohammad is one the most courageous guys I have ever seen.
     Patricia Dunn has truly sewn this story of pure silk; it is soft, beautiful and touchy. It really portraits what was happening the Arab countries last year and even now, she has built a realistic story that will stick with readers, young and old, alike. If you want to open your eyes to the world, and keep your mind wide open, but still enjoy a tale of self-discovery, then I am pretty sure that this book will make it to your favorite reads of ALL TIME.

Shuffle It Up! A Should-Try Form of Entertainment


I decided to do something TOTALLY different and UNRELATED to a book blog. Hey, a girl can try her hand at something different, right? 
So, I was browsing some blogs, and I came across this CREATIVE and funny activity at Totally Neevie, where you put your ipod (or mp3 player) on shuffle and answer the questions with the song titles that appear relatively. Let's start!

Are you male or female?
Fallen by Jason Derulo (I guess the ipod thinks that I am a fallen angel or something :P)

What do people feel when they are around you?
Real Love by Massari (I am a real LOVER :P)

Describe your current relationship status
Both of Us by B.O.B & Taylor Swift

Where would you like to be right now?
The Other Side by Bruno Mars (ha.ha.)

How do you feel about love?
Addicted by Enrique Iglesias (I’m a love addict. Yeah, right)

What is your life like?
Rolling in The Deep by Adele (Wonder what that means :O)

What would you wish for if you only had one wish?
Only Girl in The World by Rihanna (I am the only girl in the world. Ha Ha Ha. “wink”)

Say something wise
Love The Way You Lie by Eminem & Rihanna (real, REAL wise.)

How would you describe yourself?
Things I’ll Never Say by Avril Lavigne (that’s my own little secret :P)

What is your life's purpose?
Escape by Enrique Iglesias (only God knows what this means :()

What is your motto?
Don’t Stop The Music by Rihanna (oh, yeah. Great motto)

What do your friends think of you?
One of Those Girls by Avril Lavigne (…………what?)

What do you think of your parents?
Disgusting by Miranda Cosgrove (No way. No way.  No way. I love them!)

Who do you think of very often?
My Baby You by Marc Anthony (oh, yeah. Baby :P) 

What is 2+2?
Gotta Be You by One Direction (no comment)

What do you think of your best friend?
Mine by Taylor Swift (ohhhhh, sweet! Love you, my BFF)

What is your life story?
Not Like The Movies by Katy Perry (true…)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Whatcha Say by Jason Derulo

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Troublemaker by Akon & Sweet Rush (ha.ha.ha. I will do my wedding in a bar or a disco :P)

What will they play at your funeral?
I’ll Always Remember You by Hannah Montana (oh, how sweet mourning!)

What are your hobbies and interests?
Off The Chain by Selena Gomez

What is your biggest fear?
Last Kiss by Taylor Swift (………?)

What is your biggest secret?
The Diary of Jane by Breaking Benjamin (creepy)

What do you think of your friends?
Tragedy by Christina Perri (just great.)

This was so much FUN.
If you try this, link me up in the comments! I would love to see your song choices, LOL
Until next time…

Review: Florence by Ciye Cho

Name of book: Florence
Author: Ciye Cho
Publication: July 1st 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Source: Won

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

      Well, when I entered the giveaway for this book, I didn't know what to expect. Since the cover was incredible, don't you think so? Just look at the blend between the colors and how the face covers almost 3/4 of the cover. The cover is very unique, the girl is a resemblance of the main character and the cover is an illustration not a photograph. It's not just some girl with a fluffy dress and a tiara or some boy walking through a damaged pitch-black world, it's beautiful. The blurb is captivating but brief, so I couldn't help but start building HUGE expectations for this book.
     Florence Waverly lives with her uncle, she's not an outsider but she's not  popular either. Just your average normal girl. On a school trip, Florence dives down into the sea, trying to catch some moments with her camera. She wasn't prepared for some merman catching her and bringing her back to his world.
      Thrust into Niemela, she is treated with hostility but at the same time, she becomes Yooli's (the princess of Niemela) friend and guest, and gets to know Yooli's two brothers: the cold, arrogant Prince Rolan and the caring, gorgeous king-to-be, Prince Kiren. In a world that she knows nothing about, Florence must learn many things about Niemela and about herself. But not everyone in Niemela are as honest as they seem, even the two charming Princes are each hiding something, something from the past, and something that will change the future.
     What are the secrets of the two Princes? Will Florence ever be able to fit in? And who will she choose: Rolan or Kiren? Want to know? Why don't you read this breath-taking,, under-the-surface, romantic adventure, Florence...
     I loved this book! Let me tell you why. First, the world building was brilliant. This book had one of the most developed world-building I have ever seen in a YA book. Every detail was taken care of, nothing was too superficial or shallow. Ciye Cho created a magical world but still spread his own touch on the novel. I spent days thinking about Niemela even after I finished the book, it was so magical and captivating.
    Second, I loved the characters. Florence is very very easy to relate to, she reads books, takes photographs, she is so cool and put-together, I want to have a friend like her! Kiren was handsome, caring, and lovable even after what happened (I don't want to spoil anything) Rolan is very cold sometimes, but he has a reason and he holds Florence deep in his heart, I loved loved loved him! Yooli is a very good friend, she is very funny and adorable, a great company.
     But yet still, none of the characters, not even one of them are one-dimensional, every one of them have their motives, reasons, and background stories. Ciye Cho is a great writer. I also loved how the characters develop through the book, how Florence changes from being an insecure teenager to a mature, strong young woman.
     Although there are stories about mermaids and mermen, this book definitely stands out. This novel is original to the very core.  Florence is magical and mesmerizing, I will surely be waiting for a sequel to this, but I am not sure if there is one. Please, please, let there be a sequel. If you want an enjoyable, heart-wrenching read that is different from anything you have read before, then read Florence, you won't regret it...

Review: Paraglide by Peter Anthony Kelley

Name of book: Paraglide
Author: Peter Anthony Kelley
Publication: January 9th, 2012
Genre: YA Thriller, Fantasy
Source: Kindly provided by author...

For siblings Jim and Erica Winters, a summer vacation to London promises adventure and a bit of freedom from their overprotective mother. But once they arrive, they end up with more excitement than they bargained for. Their mother is kidnapped and her captors demand the one thing they can’t produce – their long-absent father.

Unable to trust the authorities, Jim and Erica set off in pursuit of their father, racing across Europe and fending off mysterious assailants. As the trail of clues dries up, help arrives in the form of a raven-haired beauty. Is she the answer to their prayers or a romantic distraction?
With the kidnapper’s deadline looming, the truth about their father’s shadowy past is revealed. In a last ditch effort to save their mother, Jim and Erica must climb high into the Swiss Alps where a perilous choice confronts them. Can they trust their father who has repeatedly betrayed them?

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

     I was so intrigued when the author asked me to write a review, just look at the cover! It's such a beautiful illustration, the colors, how the characters are blackened out, it's really unique. And the blurb is captivating, so I had to give it a try and it was adventurous!
     Jem and Erica's father has been missing for months, and they don't have any idea where he is. On an unexpected  trip to England, their mother is kidnapped by a group of men. These men want Jem and Erica to do the seemingly-impossible, find their long-gone father and tell him to give the jewels to free their mother, the jewels that he has supposedly kept hidden for a very, very long time.
      From England, to Italy, to Interlaken, Jem and Erica try to find the only person who abandoned them in the first place, their father. They make new friends and fight cruel enemies, but what will happen in the end?
     Will Jem and Erica find their father? Will their father give up the jewels to the men? And why does their father have the jewels in the first place? Find out much more when you read this thrilling mystery, Paraglide...
      I liked this book very much. I didn't exactly expect this book to be like that, but it was very different from the things I have read before. Since I am a fan of thrillers and mysteries, this book was very enjoyable. It was fun and entertaining to try and find out who is the person who kidnapped their mother, it was really unexpected!
      The only complain I have, is that the characters are not developed very much. They almost look like stereotypes, but altogether, this book is an enjoyable roller coaster ride with many intriguing twists and turns. You better try this out and see for yourself!

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Name of book: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Publication: October 18th 2007 by Razorbill
Genre: YA Contemporary (not sure!)
Source: Borrowed

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

-- My Rating --

-- My Thoughts --

      One of the most emotional, the most captivating, and the most realistic books I have ever read. Jay Asher has truly written a story that will grip the readers' hearts and never let go, it is that much captivating!
     Hannah, a junior in high school ends her life by committing suicide, but it wasn't just teen angst, she has her own reasons. Hannah had recorded 7 cassettes and the people who are mentioned in them, 13 people (overall) , are the reasons why she killed herself.
     It appears that Hannah sent out the cassettes by order of who is mention first, then second, then third, then... We get the narrative of Hannah through the tapes, but the actual person who is listening to the tapes is the ninth reason (person), Clay Jensen, so it is a two-way narrative. But Clay has no idea why he is on the list.
     Who are the other 12 people that led Hannah to kill herself? And what has Clay done to Hannah?  Find out much more when you read this touchy, heart-breaking story of teen suicide, Thirteen Reasons Why....
     I abso-freaking-lutely loved this book, every paragraph, every page, and every chapter! The pace was quick and there was never a moment of boredom, Jay Asher has one of the most lyrical, descriptive voices I have ever read, just look:
" The swaying treetops disappear. The breeze against my skin, the fading pain in my fingers, the sound of this tape winding from one spool to the next, reminds me of everything I’ve heard over the past day.
My breathing begins to slow. The tension in my muscles starts to relax" - Clay
     This book is a very touchy subject to many teens, after I finished reading this book, I started reading other reviews of it. Many of them claim that a teenage girl has no right to take her life so foolishly and that Hannah's motives were not good enough. But I totally disagree, the pressure pressed on teens, the social prejudice and bullying that they experience everyday is hard enough to rock them to the very core. When we are teens, many of us don't realize how our actions (good or bad) affect other people, we don't realize that people get hurt whenever we say a harsh comment. If this story was real, the 13 people mentioned should be thankful to Hannah for making them understand how their self-absorbed actions affect people.
     This book is definitely an thought-provoking and emotional read. The story is centered around Hannah's emotions, how her emotions led her to kill herself, how her emotions changed the lives of the 13 mentioned, and how Clay deals with the emotions that overwhelm him after every tape while he listens to Hannah's voice. This book is heart-breaking and realistic to the core , but it also is a brilliantly executed peace of fine literature that I would recommend to everyone on this globe... (Although, I am pretty sure that aliens will like this too, just sayin!)