reminder! and shock...

29 September 2012

A reminder that my flash giveaway of a copy of The Second Empress by Michelle Moran is still running up until tonight at 12!

And shock that a surprising number of winners I've e-mailed for my 600 follower giveaways haven't responded in a week...hmm...I've sent out e-mails to new winners so hopefully I can get these prizes out of my hands!

review: shadow of the wind

28 September 2012

book info:
ages: 15 and up
grades: 9-10 and up
years: 11 and up
on sale: NOW
copy from: library
pages: 487

title: The Shadow of the Wind (el cementario de los libros olvidados)
author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

OK, I read this a month ago, so this review is long overdue. I find it hard to review books that I really love, because I end up just rambling on why I love it so much. But I've read the sequel to this, and it made me SO HAPPY today because it is SO GOOD! AHHH!

review: girl with a pearl earring

24 September 2012

book info:
ages: 12 and up
grades: 7-8 and up
years: 9 and up
on sale: now
copy from: school library
pages: 233

title: Girl with a Pearl Earring
author: Tracy Chevalier

With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer represents one of the great enigmas of 17th-century art. The meager facts of his biography have been gleaned from a handful of legal documents. Yet Vermeer's extraordinary paintings of domestic life, with their subtle play of light and texture, have come to define the Dutch golden age. His portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has exerted a particular fascination for centuries--and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of Tracy Chevalier's second novel of the same title.
Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant--and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model. Chevalier vividly evokes the complex domestic tensions of the household, ruled over by the painter's jealous, eternally pregnant wife and his taciturn mother-in-law. At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic. Still, Girl with a Pearl Earring does contain a final delicious twist.

There's also a second cover that I think will appeal more to teenage audiences. Personally, I prefer the original cover, as it contains the very centre of this entire story. It has Greit, her cap and her earring and that look in her face. This is what the novel is about. But the second cover has an alarming look-alike and shows the more seductive side of this story. I'm glad they don't have her hair showing as well, and it retains the mystery in the painting too...but maids don't wear red...also I pictured Vermeer as being more rosy and blond, and without a moustache. However, yeah still prefer the original!What do you think?
Anyway, on to the review!

flash giveaway: The Second Empress!

23 September 2012

I realised that I still had 1 finished copy of The Second Empress to giveaway to you all, and thought I'd make this one last a week in order to get both winners (one from my 600 follower giveaway) and one from you all!

This time, this is simply to promote this lovely historical fiction novel! It was published August 14, and now being the end of September: you've only one week to enter :)

About the Book

National bestselling author Michelle Moran returns to Paris, this time under the rule of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte as he casts aside his beautiful wife to marry a Hapsburg princess he hopes will bear him a royal heir

After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.

Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Joséphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen—a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.

As Pauline's insightful Haitian servant, Paul, watches these two women clash, he is torn between his love for Pauline and his sympathy for Marie-Louise. But there are greater concerns than Pauline's jealousy plaguing the court of France. While Napoleon becomes increasingly desperate for an heir, the empire's peace looks increasingly unstable. When war once again sweeps the continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise’s family in Austria, the second Empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history—and change the course of her life.

Based on primary resources from the time, The Second Empress takes readers back to Napoleon’s empire, where royals and servants alike live at the whim of one man, and two women vie to change their destinies.

This giveaway is open to US residents only, and will end in ONE WEEK! The only way to enter is to leave a comment on why you wish to read this book :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


21 September 2012

Hello readers!
   You may see that I'm at one of my low points in blogging, and I must confirm your suspicions. It's the last 9 weeks of the semester starting next week, and I need to pull of my dropping grades. Which means no distractions, including:

  • blogging
  • tumblr
  • 9gag
  • reading
  They're distractions, but not bad ones. I'm not saying that I don't like them, but only at this time do I need to think about my priorities. Which are grades. So I'll see how in a month or two, and I'll be dropping by as often as I can so I'm not gone FOREVER for this end of the year. I'll see what best I can do. Weekends will be the only times I'll be able to blog!

 Thanks so much for sticking with me! I hope that over any holidays or breaks and during the summer, I will return full fledged to you all in complete reading indulgences! Until we meet again!


giveaways end today!

20 September 2012

Hi readers!
 My 600 follower giveaways end today and if you haven't entered already, here are the links! (they're found at the top of my page, but here they are just in case you'd like to click from this page)

a copy of Airhead by Meg Cabot and Girl Out Loud by Emily Gale 20/9 (pick your thon!)

Thank you all for helping me achieve this awesome number!

a touch of whimsy

19 September 2012

Hello readers!
In my attempt of contributing to the book blogging world and join society once more, I've made this post:

I'm feeling whimsical. And euphoric. My study schedule was usually just come home, relax and do whatever, and then cram finish my homework. Freshman year, I'd just finish homework during lunch period! But now I've been working right after home, and I have so much to do yet I also have more time because I've given myself time. I have yet to study my maths, but I will soon, promise :)

Now, for a touch of whimsy.
with the help of Tumblr, my latest technological achievement. (I recently got one and shamelessly promoted it on Voyage, a writing/literary blog you should definitely check out, hint hint)

My favourite childhood story: Winnie the Pooh. I love these characters so much. Honestly, I was obsessed in the best possible connotation of that word.
found (my blog, haha)

And this that made me think a lot.
"Ernest Hemingway once won a bet by crafting a six-word short story, that can make people cry. Here it is." 
A powerful writer that I hope to have the privilege of studying soon, once I make the time to do it. What do you all think of him?

review: the city's son

16 September 2012

book info:
ages: 12 and up
grades: 7-8 and up
years: 9 and up
on sale: now in stores!
copy from: publisher
pages: 422

title: The City's Son
author: Tom Pollock

Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen.

But the hidden London is on the brink of destruction. Reach, the King of the Cranes, is a malign god of demolition, and he wants Filius dead. In the absence of the Lady of the Streets, Filius’ goddess mother, Beth rouses Filius to raise an alleyway army, to reclaim London’s skyscraper throne for the mother he’s never known. Beth has almost forgotten her old life – until her best friend and her father come searching for her, and she must choose between the streets and the life she left behind. (goodreads)

Now look at that beautiful cover! I got the not-so-good cover, the one on the right. This book is all about the city of London, the magic, the myth and all the creatures in it. The cover above, the UK edition I believe, is absolutely magnificent in showing the diversity in the book, whereas the US one just looks like a cheap paranormal romance. I like how the first cover's placed importance on the actual book and city and story, rather than this one (the one I received) that just blatantly spits out a few elements from the book like a careless little graphic job. I sound harsh, sorry, but that's what I feel it is, you know?

On to the review!

song: lazy days

Hello readers!
  OK I'm going to be working very hard today to complete and review books I should have done ages ago: so I am on a roll!

 You may already know, but I am a huge Enya fan. She was the first singer, the first song I ever enjoyed when I was young. Before, I never really listened to music at all, but she introduced me to it. The joy of music :D And today reminds me so much of one song: Lazy Days:

From my most favourite album of hers: A Day Without Rain. It's like: my album, me theme songs, my life. Enjoy!

P.S. My 600 Follower Giveaways are still going! Please go on and enter!

topic: brotherhood (and a bit of homosexual-ness)

13 September 2012

(15/9/12): well this is awkward. no comments....:O

Hello all! (warning, this post contains homosexuality (in the literary context, nothing more! So if it'll offend you, please ignore this and go on your merry way!)

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
 Shall be my brother"

The quote accurately describes what I'm trying to say. A relationship with spilled blood is a different one than with one with flowers.

what I'm doing

11 September 2012

Hello all!
  I've remained very dormant with this blog and I really want to write more and do more with it! So I will. Homework and studying isn't an excuse to just leave everyone. So for now, I'll let you know what I'm up to reading-wise.

 I have a fantastic school library that has ALL the updated YA books in the modern world, rather than the public library that has nothing. In fact, my school is doing this wicked Kindle check-out where they check out Kindles to readers! It's the most brilliant idea, and I'm filling out a form to be able to do that, but I'll only use it for books I can't get in the paper edition. I love paper books.

 Currently, for class, I am reading The Epic of Gilgamesh (this version)

A great king, strong as the stars in Heaven. Enkidu, a wild and mighty hero, is created by the gods to challenge the arrogant King Gilgamesh. But instead of killing each other, the two become friends. Travelling together to the Cedar Forest, they fight and slay the evil monster Humbaba. But when Enkidu is killed, his death haunts and breaks the mighty Gilgamesh. Terrified of mortality, he resolves to find the secret of eternal life...
(image and summary from goodreads)

I have yet to write a re-review on The Life of Pi because my thoughts have completely changed for that one after going over it in class. I have a quiz on this book in class tomorrow, so I'll be off to read it soon! For those of you who have read it: what do you all think?

Also reading:
summary here

summary here

They may look boring, but I've just barely gotten through both of them, so I have no opinions at the moment. I don't usually do these "currently reading" posts, but I feel like I should fill you in and repentance for my absence. Thank you all for sticking with me, and remember to enter my 600 follower giveaways!

blog tour: excerpt reveal and giveaway!

05 September 2012


Hello all! Right, it's been a while, hasn't it? So sorry! I have loads to tell you all, and I'll save those for later posts, yeah? :)
I rarely participate in blog tours, but I joined a blog tour website and decided to get more involved with them! Thus, I present to you: The Dark Promise Tour.

photo credit: goodreads
About the Book:
Rylie has it all - great friends, dream boy, loving family. But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, her perfect little world shatters. A stranger claiming to be her real mother appears with a secret: Rylie is a faery whose powers will be unleashed on her birthday. Captured and forced into a new life, Rylie struggles to keep everything she loves and discovers a terrifying truth: some promises cannot be broken

Excerpt Reveal:

The doorbell rang.
I glanced over at my clock. It was nine o’clock at night, kind of late for visitors. I made my way to the top of the stairs, curious as to who it was, and I heard the door open. “Mrs. McCallister?”
“Yes?” my mother answered. I could hear the question in her voice, indicating it wasn’t someone she knew.
“I need to talk to you and your husband about your daughter. It’s important.”
What? I snuck further down the stairs. There was a beautiful lady with long light blonde hair standing at the door. She was young and lovely, and looked like she could be a runway model. I wondered why in the world she wanted to talk to my parents about me.
My father was at the door now. “What is this in reference to?” he asked, his voice all business.
“Please, may I come in? This isn’t something I’d like to discuss outside.” The woman glanced over her shoulder as if looking for someone.
My parents looked at each other, but I couldn’t see their faces clearly, and then my father nodded. “Okay.” They both stepped aside to let her in.
Although this lady seemed familiar, I didn’t know her and didn’t like the fact that she was here because of me. I continued down the rest of the stairs and followed behind them.
My mother led her into the living room. The lady’s piercing green eyes rested on me, sending a chill down my back. My father followed her gaze. “Rylie, do you know this woman?” Dad asked.
“No.” I shook my head slowly. “I’ve never seen her before.”
“Rylie, maybe you should go to your room,” Dad suggested, his gaze demanding I do as he said.
“No. If this has something to do with me, I want to hear it.” I crossed my arms and sank against the back of the couch.
Mom and Dad exchanged a worried glance, but turned back to the lady on the couch. “Please, go on.”
Without taking her eyes from me, the lady calmly stated, “My name is Azura, and I am Rylie’s birth mother.”

DUN DUN DUN! OK that is one tantalising excerpt! Though it isn't the book I'd prefer to read, it sounds bloody good!!

Guess what? I have an e-book of this novel for one lucky US resident! That's right :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, if you're interested in the book and want to find out more, the next stop is at Danielle's blog. I hope I haven't killed you from that intense excerpt reveal, and if you're still alive: have a lovely day!

P.S. The giveaways for my 600 follower celebration are still in motion and this month! I have very few entries, so pleaseee enter? :)

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