Book Review : Enrule by Holly Sparks

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I remember waking to the scream.
I remember calling my sister’s name.
I remember seeing the blood smeared along the staircase.
I remember the creature’s green eyes.
They say there’s a cure. They say there’s a way to stop this madness, a way to stop the hunger.
I think they’re lying.
My name is Ella, and this is my story. x

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Ella is one of the very few survivors after the zombie virus invaded their neighborhood. They were taken to a place called Underground where they are trained to fight and defend theirselves against the zombies. Saving the other survivors who were trapped outside is their main objective. Just when she thought that everything is finally getting better, a shocking incident happened that made Ella and her new found friends to take a very dangerous step.

I want to start with what I love about Enrule and obviously, it’s the gorgeous cover. I haven’t read the book description so I had no idea what the story was all about. I thought it’s a fantasy novel with warriors or magic on it. I was totally surprised that this is about zombie apocalypse which was so perfect because I’m a zombie fiction fan.

Ella is the main character in this book and honestly, I didn’t really like her that much. She can be really stubborn and sometimes, annoying. She made me roll my eyes especially during those instances when she meets a new guy. But I do admire her braveness, dedication and willingness to save and protect her friends and other people.

Zoe is definitely my favorite character. She is a certified badass. Just like Ella and the others, I was also amazed by her assassin/ninja-like skills. Sadly, I wasn’t able to connect with the characters because I didn’t get to know much about them. I hope we’ll get to see more about their background stories on the next book. There is romance and probably a love triangle but I didn’t care much about it. I was more intrigued with the mystery part of the story.

Action-packed! This book has a great deal of well-executed fighting scenes and I love it. Aside from the engaging story, the writing is easy to understand and it flows smoothly which made this book a quick and fun read.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Enrule. This is perfect for zombie fiction lovers out there and for those of you who wants to read something which is outside your comfort zone. I’m pretty sure that you’ll love this.

A very outstanding debut novel. Congrats to Ms. Holly and please don’t let us wait too long for the second book. 😀

3.5Enrule by Holly Sparks
Series : The Enrule Series #1
Edition: Paperback (283 pages)
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing
Platform (December 9, 2015)
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Zombie Apocalypse


*Disclaimer: A physical copy was sent by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

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Book Review : Honey Girl by Lisa Freeman

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Honey Girl is set in the 1970s California (and Hawaii) beach scene. After the sudden death of Nani’s father, her mother decided for them to move from their house in Hawaii to California. One of Nani’s goals, aside from giving her father a “proper” burial, is to be a part of the lineup – aka “the mean girls” – of the State Beach.

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Book Review : Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover

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image1 (2)When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?

Maybe.

Maybe not.image2 (1)I just randomly started reading Maybe Not (on my Kindle) when I was in bed and I had no idea that this is about Warren and Bridgette. Warren was my favorite in Maybe Someday so a book, even just a novella, about him made me so happy. In case you didn’t know,  Maybe Someday was my very first read from Colleen Hoover and I ended up not liking it that much. You can read here why.

Maybe Not follows the story of Warren and the mean Hooters’ waitress slash roommate, Bridgette. If you’ve read Maybe Someday, you know that these two have a weird (and crazy) relationship. And in this novella, we get to know how it all started, including Warren’s addiciton. Also, you’ll recognize some scenes because the story takes place at the same time as Maybe Someday, only in Warren’s POV.

Warren is an unforgettable character. He is funny, open, a loyal and caring friend and most of all, a true lover. I didn’t like Bridgette that much in the beginning because she is very very mean. I understand that she went through or having a tough time but it doesn’t mean that she has to be rude the whole time to all the people around her. But Warren sees something special in her and that’s enough for me to like her at the end. Honestly, I enjoyed these two characters more than Ridge and Sydney.

“I don’t want you to change Bridgette. I’m not in love with who you could be, or who you used to be, or who the world thinks you should be. I’m in love with you. Right now. Just like this.”

This is absolutely a fun and fast read. There were steamy scenes (but not in a way that you will feel uncomfortable reading them) and also funny moments. I enjoyed the sarcasm, pranks and their visit to Warren’s sister (I was laughing hard with this one). Minus .5 because I want more. I also want to know Bridgette a lot more. Hoover’s impressive and brilliant writing style combined with interesting characters and delightful story made her one of my favorite authors. Yep. It’s official, she’s now included in my list.

If you want a quick and fun read (and you’re 18+), I recommend you to read this book. I was in a bit of a reading slump and this helped me a lot and it made me write a review. (My last review post was in April 8). lolimage3 Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover
Series: Maybe Someday 1.5
Edition: Kindle (130 pages)
Publisher: Atria Books (November 2014)
Genre: New Adult, Novella, Romance, Fiction

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Book Review : Sunday’s On The Phone To Monday by Christine Reilly

“So, this won’t be a love story. Nobody is trying to tell you something about love. This will be a story about a family.”

Claudio and Mathilde Simone, once romantic bohemians hopelessly enamored with each other, find themselves nestled in domesticity in New York, running a struggling vinyl record store and parenting three daughters as best they can: Natasha, an overachieving prodigy; sensitive Lucy, with her debilitating heart condition; and Carly, adopted from China and quietly fixated on her true origins.

With prose that is as keen and illuminating as it is whimsical and luminous, debut novelist Christine Reilly tells the unusual love story of this family. Poignant and humane, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is a deft exploration of the tender ties that bind families together, even as they threaten to tear them apart. x

Mathilde Spicer, an aspiring actress and Claudio Simone, a record store owner, meet in a party and fall in love instantly. Within a year of dating, Claudio proposed and they get married. They raise three wonderful and unique daughters namely, Natasha (the eldest), Lucy (who is suffering from a rare heart condition) and Carly (adopted from China). Dealing with both physical and mental illness, the Simone family continues to overcome life’s changes and challenges and continue to stay strong for each other.

The book is divided into two chapters with siwtching POVs and short chapters. The characters are very interesting and real. Although I felt like I didn’t get to know them better, I still enjoyed reading their point of views. It didn’t really affect my reading experience so it’s okay. The thing that got my attention was the author’s writing style. It is different but in a beautiful way. I have to admit that I struggled in the beginning but later on, as I got used to the style, I couldn’t stop myself from reading. Each words/sentences are perfectly crafted and reading this book feels like reading a long poem or lyrics of a song. I highlighted quite a lot of passages. Music plays a big part of the story so it’s a big plus for me. Some random facts, the book’s title is from a Beatles song. The author also did a great job on presenting some serious issues like same-sex marriage, mental illness and racism.

I’m so glad that I ended up loving this book. I was reading it in bed and I got so emotional I fell asleep crying. I cried while reading the last few chapters because I was expecting for a different scenario. But just like in real life, you’ll never know what will happen. You just have to accept it and move on.

“Some things don’t get better, said Mathilde. But you can make yourself better.”

Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is a very compelling story with a unique style of story-telling. Kudos to Ms. Christine for an amazing debut novel.

4stars Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday
by Christine Reilly
Edition : eBook (336 pages)
Publisher : Touchstone (April 5, 2016)
Date Read : April 2016


Disclaimer : An e-copy was sent by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review : Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

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I finished this fantastic short story collection of The Lunar Chronicles yesterday and I feel like I want to read the series again. Each of the short stories are unique and outstanding. My favorites are The Queen’s Army, The Princess and the Guard, and Something Old Something New.

The Keeper

This story is about Michelle Benoit and the great role she played in Princess Selene’s life. I immediately became curious about her when she was mentioned in Scarlet. In this short story, we get to know more about her, her love story and why Scarlet idolizes her so much. Also, the little Scarlet is so adorable.

Glitches

This is a short prequel to Cinder. I read this right after I finished Cinder last year. Here, we get to see the arrival and adjustments of Cinder in her new family. We get to know about her stepfather, how her relationship with Peony and Iko started, and where Adri’s hatred is coming from. This just made me love Cinder, Iko and Peony even more.

The Queen’s Army

This tells Z’s (Wolf) heart wrenching story and his transformation (or should I say modification) from a 12-year old boy into a big bad wolf. We also get to see his family, how the tension between him and his brother started and how he became an Alpha.

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Book Review : Even The Moon Has Scars by Steph Campbell

Two strangers.
Two broken hearts.
One night to set each other free.

I have to admit that I bought this book because of its lovely cover, plus the title caught my attention. I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t read the summary and this was my first Steph Campbell read. I’m so glad that I enjoyed it.

Lena is a walking miracle. She was born with multiple heart defects and had a surgery when she was still a baby. She’s now seventeen years old but her parents are still keeping a very close eye on her. They never leave her alone even she’s just at home until an unexpected incident happened.

Gabriel (Gabe) is the opposite of Lena. He can do whatever and go wherever he wants but there are still things missing in his life. His mother is more concerned with her public image than her family. His father left after his grandfather died. He only have his grandmother but she is also starting to forget him. After an incident involving his ex-girlfriend, Gabe ended up in jail and has been “exiled” by his mother to his grandmother’s house.

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Book Review : Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin

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image2 (1)How much do you know your mother? Are you often mad at her because she’s irritating? Does she always ask you to do some household chores? Or are you considering her as the witch in your own fairytale?

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin is about the disappearance of an illiterate and elderly mom in a crowded Seoul train station without his husband’s knowledge. Her family, including her four adult children, is desperately trying to do everything to find her and as they continue searching, they realize how little they know about their mother, like they don’t even have a recent photo of her, and they starts to blame themselves for giving her less attention.

The novel is divided into different parts and each one was narrated by the family members including Chi-hon (the eldest daughter and a novelist), Hyong-chol (the eldest son and the favorite one), the neglectful husband and mom herself. Mom’s background reveals through flashbacks as the novel continues. All her sacrifices for her children, how she handles her unfaithful husband and her generosity not only towards her family but also to other people.

“Mom was the kitchen and the kitchen was Mom. You never wondered, Did Mom like being in the kitchen?” – p. 60

The participation of the reader is present by the author’s way of using “you” (second person) in this novel and though it’s quite perplexing in some parts, it still works well. It demands us to ponder and ask ourselves if we are also like one of mom’s children or the husband. Shin has done a great job on reminding us the importance of honouring not only our mother, but also the people who have done a lot of selfless things for us. The changes of the woman’s role are also present by showing how different mom’s life before compared to her children who are living in the present time. (On the last page of the book, I wrote a short letter for my mom.)

A certified Korean tear-jerker. I had a hard time to finish reading this novel because it’s hard to read when your eyes are filled with tears. From what I’ve read, Shin has won countless awards in her homeland for her works and Please Look After Mom won the Shadow MAN Asian Literary Prize 2011. This book is also her first novel to be translated into English. And I personally would like to thank Chi-Young Kim for expertly translating this amazing novel so it can be appreciated by readers, including me, from different countries.

I recommend this to those who are into deep emotional stories (like me) and also if you are interested in learning about some Korean cultures like The Full Moon Harvest.

image35starsPlease Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin
Original Title : Omma rul put’akhae (Korean)
Edition : Paperback (272 pages)
Publisher : Vintage (2012)
Genre : Fiction, Contemporary

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Book Review : Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.x

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Book Review : Black Crow White Lie by Candi Sary

First of all, I would like to thank Ms. Candi Sary for sending me a copy of her book. ♥

Black Crow White Lie is a story of Carson, a young boy who has a magical gift of healing, living in Hollywood motels together with her alcoholic fortune-teller mother. She tells him stories of how great he was in his past life including stories about his deceased father as a war hero. During the absence of her mother, Carson finds out the truth about his identity and is confused on what to believe in. Does he really have the ability to heal? Or is he just imagining it the whole time?

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Book Review : A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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I picked up More Than This (also by Patrick Ness) first, then I decided to read A Monster Calls at the same time because I got curious after watching the teaser trailer. I finished this in two days and I really loved it.

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Note : This would have been Siobhan Dowd‘s fifth book but unfortunately, she passed away and wasn’t able to finish it. Patrick Ness never got to meet her but was asked to finish the book and I can say that wherever she is, I am sure that she’s proud of this masterpiece.

A Monster Calls is a story of a 13-year old boy named Conor. He is going through a rough time. His mother has cancer and he is having consistent nightmares since his mother started her treatments. One night, he wakes up to find a monster outside his bedroom window. The monster is there to tell Conor three tales and Conor must tell the fourth. He doesn’t know if the monster is real or not but one thing is for sure, the monster wants to know Connor’s true story.

Let me start with the breath-taking illustrations. Jim Kay, who is also the one behind the marvelous illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, is truly a talented artist. His works are stunning! I can’t help not to gaze at them, checking every details, and run my fingers on the pages. I love that the illustrations in A Monster Calls are on black and white because it added more to my reading experience.

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Book Review : A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I am happy that I spent the last days of 2015 reading this awesome book. It’s my very first from V.E. Schwab and she is now officially on my favorite author list. Actually, she’s already on my list right after I bought this this book and after she liked/retweeted my post. She’s so nice and I love her.

A Darker Shade of Magic introduces us to Kell, a guy with a cool coat who can travel back and forth between different Londons – Grey London (magic-less and boring city), Red London (city where Kell is from), White London (city ruled by the flawlessly evil twins) and Black London (the dead but not forgotten city). He is the ambassador and adopted prince of Red London. He also has a dangerous/forbidden hobby and because of this, he got into a huge trouble. While he is in Grey London, he runs in to a thief named Lila Bard and that’s when their adventure begins.

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Book Review : The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it. x

Gillian Flynn became one of my favorite authors after reading Gone Girl because I love how dark and twisted it is. So when I saw The Grownup on bookstagram, I just know that I have to buy it. And boy, I’m glad I did. This is also my first read for 2016.

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Book Review : The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I honestly didn’t have any idea that The Girl on the Train was named as “the next Gone Girl”. I read Gone Girl around September last year and I really enjoyed it even I was disappointed with the ending (my review here). Yes there are some similarities because I kept on thinking Gone Girl while reading TGOTT but believe me, this book is unique and twisted on its own way.

EVERYDAY THE SAME

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

UNTIL TODAY

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see ; she’s much more than just the girl on the train… x

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The story was told from the POVs of three different women who you may or may not find likeable. If you’ll ask me, I didn’t like any of them (including the men) but I was symphatetic at times. I understand their reasons and most of them are unacceptable. Each one of the characters has their own flaws, unique personalities and deep secrets to tell. Kudos to the author for doing a great job on giving the characters their own voices. I was able to identify easily who is who.

The writing style is compelling. A bit slow in the beginning but not in a way that you want to put it down. Just in case you did put it down, please pick it up and start again. I liked that the flashbacks and alternate POVs didn’t confuse me. Also, I personally like reading books with first person POVs and written in journal type style so it’s a plus for me. As for the mystery part, I didn’t guess who the real culprit was. Not even on my top three. The big revelation towards the end made my heart beat fast. I didn’t see that one coming.

Not a perfect five because I have some questions or doubts about Rachel’s blackout issues. Also, the last few pages were intense but felt a bit rushed for me and a little out of character. But all in all, I’m satisfied with the ending.

This was an amazing novel. I highly recommend this book whether you liked Gone Girl or not. Like what I’ve said, The Girl on the Train is unique and twisted on its own way.

No wonder why this book won the Best Mystery & Thriller in Goodreads Choice Awards 2015.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Edition : Paperback (316 pages)
Publisher : Doubleday (January 2015)
Genre : Mystery, Fiction, Pyscho-Thriller

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Book Review : Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Can I say that Nick Bateman made me read this book? I was debating with myself on what to read next and my choices were Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover.  I fell asleep on the couch and I dreamt of Nick so I took it as a sign.tumblr_nk4lek4mXO1sbyh11o7_250Tate Collins meets Miles Archer in a very odd situation. She is a registered nurse studying for her masters and he is a pilot who happens to be a good friend and neighbor of her brother. When they’ve both realized that they have something in common, they make a “friends with benefits” kind of arrangement and Miles has two rules for Tate: 1) Never ask about the past and 2) Don’t expect a future.

First of, let me say that I love the cover of this book. I kind of figured out what the cover is all about but not the title. It’s simple yet it has a deep meaning and it’s really perfect.

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Book Review : Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

September 3, 1940.

Ten peculiar children flee an army of deadly monsters.

And only one person can help them – but she’s trapped in the body of a bird.

The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom.

Hollow City picks up right after the end of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Jacob and the group travel to London, the peculiar capital of the world, after being informed about a cure for Miss Peregrine. Aside from avoiding and surviving the wights and hollowgasts, they also have to make it on time to save Miss P.

I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children in 2013 and I totally loved it. The idea of writing an exceptional story together with selected vintage photos is simply amazing. I love the idea because it makes my reading experience more exciting and fun.

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The character development on this book is superb. I like that Jacob grew up and is more confident. I adore Emma for being bold but she can be annoying sometimes. Almost all of the kids are lovable and funny. My favorites are Enoch, Olive and Millard. The new characters with their “peculiarities” or powers are also interesting especially those from the menagerie.

Mr. Riggs writing style is wonderful. He did a great job on showing us the peculiar world and making me feel like I am travelling with the group. I’m also happy that time travel was more explored in this book. The twist towards the end is really unexpected. It made me read the book until I reach the end and now I am more excited for the next book.

Why I didn’t give a perfect five? This book is quite slow and repetitive at the beginning. I personally don’t care about the “love story” between Jacob and Emma because I only feel weird about it. It’s sometimes disturbing. Also, the photos in this book are not that compelling compared to the first book. The photos in the first book really scared me. I am excited for the third (and last) book, Library of Souls, because it says that it has more than 50 photos.

If you loved Miss Peregrine’s, I am sure you will also love Hollow City. Highly recommended.


MY RATING
4stars
Series : Miss peregrine’s peculiar children #2
EDITION : Paperback (396 PAGES)
PUBLISHER : quirk books (january 2014)
GENRE : YA, fantasy, fiction
DATE READ : OCTOBER 2015
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