Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Bout of Books 5.0 Goals and UPDATES!

I was doing some blog-hopping this morning and found the Bout of Books Read-A-Thon blog. I am excited to join  this year's read-a-thon and this is my first time to do this type of reading challenges.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 

I've read from past read-a-thon posts that we need to have a strategy for the entire week of the challenge. So basically, because I just got back from a long reading slump, I am a bit slow in reading unlike before. So I choose to read 200-page books and to throw some audio-books so I can listen on my iPod while commuting to and from work.

Time Devoted to Reading

I will be reading a few hours everyday for the entire week. With a day job from nine to six, I can only in the morning (while commuting to work) and at night. 

My Goals

- Read (3) books on my TBR list.
- Read only from the books that I already own.
- One of the books must be an Audiobook
- Participate in a Twitter Chat
- Comment on other participant's blogs
- My Goodreads page will be updated (linked to my Twitter) throughout the read-a-thon. The featured shelf are the books I will be reading during Bout of Books 5.0.

Books to Read

- Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
- The Thief by Meg Whalen Turner


Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books: 1

Read-A-Thon Update: I started reading The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner yesterday and I only finished up to page 36. This is a slightly disappointing progress but I was so dead tired yesterday and only had about three hours of sleep. I promise to make a huge progress today.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book event hosted by Tynga from Tynga's Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your bookshelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, audiobooks and of course ebooks.

For this week, I had received my paycheck early and thought of dropping by Fully Booked the Fort branch to buy some books.

Here are my hauls for this week:

Purchased from Fully Booked

Matched by Ally Condie

YA Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 
Author: J.K. Rowling (Goodreads/Twitter/Website)
Number of Pages: 341 pages
Publication Date: June 2 1999
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
PublisherArthur A. Levine Books
Series or Stand-Alone: Harry Potter Series #2
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Powerbooks


The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.And strike it does. 

For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone - or something - starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself?

Opening Line: 

Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive.


After ten years, I finally caved and started reading the Harry Potter series. I wasn't really into reading the YA genre before when HP became a big hit but I've decided to pick up the book after seeing a few clips of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on HBO.

I've read the first book in the series and totally got hooked. Before picking up the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I've read from some fan forums and have been told by some of my HP friends that the second book had been their least favorite in the series. So I had reservations when I started it and was even expecting that I'll just skim through it to finish.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets chronicles the second year of Harry Potter at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The book opens with Harry at the Dursleys house on Privet Drive being warned by the servant Dobby not to go back to Hogwarts. Though he had good intentions, Dobby's attempts to warn Harry had resulted in our protagonists getting into trouble because of it.

Rowling made a wonderful protagonist in Harry Potter. As a reader, you can definitely relate and cheer for him whether he is at Privet Drive trying to escape the wrath of his Uncle Vernon or at Hogwarts trying to learn magic and solving the mysteries there.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #1: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

I was updating my Book Depository wishlist page when I stumbled upon  My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, the debut novel of YA author Rachel Harris. I am a cover whore and I have to admit that the cover was what initially attracted me to look at this new book. 

Title: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century
Author: Rachel Harris
Publication Date: September 11th 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
: Book Depository | Amazon

Summary (from Goodreads):

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

So what are you patiently waiting for this week?

Romance Review: Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Sugar Daddy
Author: Lisa Kleypas (Goodreads/Twitter/Website)
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: March 6th 2007
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series or Stand-Alone: Travises Series Book #1
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Powerbooks


Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her away from Welcome, Texas-if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger that Welcome, and Liberty is a complication he doesn’t need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than either of them.

When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty is under the spell of a billionaire tycoon- a Sugar Daddy one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family’s past.

Opening Line: 

When I was four, my father died in an oil-rigging accident. Daddy didn't even work for the drilling outfit.


To say that I love this book would be an understatement. I don’t know the right words to choose to express how much I love this book. It blew me away from the beginning until the end. I started reading it before going to bed and once I started it, I knew I had to finish it before I went to sleep. And I did! By the time I woke up in the morning, the first thing I did was grab the book from the bedside table and relived every scene and dialogue that I loved so much.

In my opinion, Sugar Daddy is Lisa Kleypas’ best work so far. Although I’m not really a fan of first person POV, in this book, it didn’t bother me at all. I felt an immediate connection with Liberty Jones. As a reader, I found myself crying with her, laughing with her, and watching her grow up, mature, and triumph in every hardship she had to go through.

I understood what she felt for Hardy because in a way, I had gone though the same thing she had when she fell in love with him (the powerful emotions she felt for him and the beauty of ‘first love’, not really wanting to let go of that wonderful past). I admired Liberty for her courage, bravery, and her deep connection with her sister Carrington.

Although I liked Hardy, I was rooting for Gage all the way. Hardy will always be a special person in Liberty’s life because he had helped her when she was younger and vulnerable. But when Hardy left, that’s when Liberty realized her own strengths. She learned to stand-up on her own, be responsible, and be selfless.

I think Gage was the perfect man for her. Since the beginning of their relationship, Gage accepted her for whom she was, and he loved her unconditionally, without limits. When Gage discovered Hardy messed up the Medina deal, he knew only Liberty could have told him about it but even then, Gage didn’t blame her because he didn’t want Hardy to create a wedge between him and Liberty. That’s when I realized that Liberty comes first, before anything else in Gage’s life and that he truly loved her.

This book made me cry more than any other book I’ve read before. It also made me laugh and think about a lot of things in my life. This book was wonderful, touching, and healing all at the same time.

Sugar Daddy is a definite keeper.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #1: Fire by Kristin Cashore

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

(1) Grab your current read.
(2) Open to a random page.
(3) Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page and BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their To-Be-Read Lists if they like your teasers.

This is my first time doing the Teaser Tuesday Meme so I'm very excited. For this week, I'm actually reading two books, Fire by Kristin Cashore and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I'm lagging behind on The Iron King because I'm totally engrossed reading Fire. Here's one wonderful teaser for everyone:

She asked it very quietly. "Why are you kind to me?" He paused, watching her hands that pulled at the grass. He crouched down to her eye level. "Because I trust you."

~pp.163 of Fire by Kristin Cashore

I'm loving this book so much! I must admit that I get frustrated by the fact that Fire is being wanted by everyone because of her beauty but when Prince Brigan entered the picture, it's a totally different story. Can't wait to finish this book and start Graceling!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your Teaser Tuesdays in a comment here if you don’t have a blog.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

YA Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen (Goodreads/ Twitter/ Website)
Number of Pages: 317 pages
Publication Date: April 2006
Publisher:   Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Powerbooks


Last year, Annabel Greene was "the girl who has everything"--at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf 's Department Store. This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong. Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

Opening Line: 

I taped the commercial back in April, before anything had happened, and promptly forgot about it. A few weeks ago, it had started running, and suddenly, I was everywhere.


Just Listen is the first book by YA novelist Sarah Dessen that I’ve read, and will definitely not be the last.

Just Listen tells the story of Annabel Greeene, a 17-year old girl who has everything. At least, that’s what she portrays in her modeling shoots. But Annabel’s life was far from perfect. On the summer before her senior year, Annabel’s friendship with Sophie ended bitterly and her sister Whitney’s eating disorder had started weighing down her family. Now feeling ostracized and isolated, Annabel retreats into silent acceptance. Until she meets Owen Armstrong and with his guidance, Annabel learned to listen and gains the courage to speak honestly for herself.

I never thought I would read this book, let alone find myself immersed into the story. I love reading Young Adult books but mostly YA-Fantasy like Harry Potter but after finishing Just Listen, I’ve realized it’s more than just a story of a teenage girl going through the typical high school drama. Just Listen tells the story of each and every one of us - our family, our friendship, betrayal and forgiveness, and most of all our own self.

Just Listen is a unique YA novel in such a way that Dessen had written a powerful and inspiring story with themes that can resonate to all of us. Albeit the high school setting, I found myself not only looking back at my days in school but also realizing how parallel it was to the same issues I’m going on with my life. I found the book really very inspiring and it thought me lessons that can make me become a better person.

Its uniqueness also stems from the way Sarah Dessen had written her characters. They were all well-rounded and real, like I can see a part of myself or someone I know in each and every character in the story. Although a lot of readers seem to admire Owen Armstrong, I found myself drawn to Annabel Greene’s. She’s a terrific character and I adored her self-awareness and empathized with her self-consciousness.

The story was not only inspirational but it also addressed a lot of issues like eating disorders, the not so fabulous life of being a model, high school bullying and most importantly family relationships. There were a lot of themes in this book but I give kudos to Dessen because it never felt stuffed and each was given equal attention in the story. Just Listen was told with the right amount of realism and pacing.

I feel like no amount of words can give enough justice to how powerful and inspiring the book Just Listen can be. I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a book that they can enjoy, with characters they can relate to and a story that can inspire and touch their hearts in a way they could never imagine.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

YA Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins (Goodreads/Website)
Number of Pages: 418 pages
Publication Date: September 2008
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young-Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Series or Stand-Alone: The Hunger Games Trilogy Book #1
Book Disclosure Purchased from National Bookstore


Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used to be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Opening Line: 

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.


To say that this book was excellent would be an understatement. The Hunger Games was gripping, in-depth and a pulse-pounding page turner.

In the novel The Hunger Games, author Suzanne Collins had creatively taken the concept of reality television show and added a unique spin to it by portraying it as a gruesome and nightmarish event that threatens the entire population.

Set in a dystopian post apocalyptic era on the country of Panem (believed to be the ruins of North America), twelve districts are treated as slaves producing commodities and serving the ruling city, the cruel and dominant Capitol.

Annually, the Capitol stages The Hunger Games which is a grim reminder to the twelve districts that they are totally at the mercy of the ruling city and the event also reinforces the Capitol’s dominance on the whole country of Panem. Each year, the Capitol draws out a name of a boy and a girl from each of the twelve districts and they are forced to compete in a battle royal to the death where only one will be left standing. The Hunger Games span over a week and is broadcast on national television.

The story unfolds with Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year-old girl living in District Twelve who, after the death of her father in a mine explosion, had taken it upon herself to look after her mother and her little sister Prim. Her little sister meant the world to Katniss so when Prim was chosen in the lottery to be a part of The Hunger Games, Katniss bravely stepped up to volunteer as the representative of District Twelve for her sister’s sake.

I loved The Hunger Games for a number of reasons. Since I started reading the book, author Suzanne Collins had grabbed me from the first page and it sucked me in and didn’t let go ever since .Although the book was a plot-driven novel, one of the primary reasons why I loved this book was the central character of the protagonist Katniss Everdeen. In the beginning she may come to the reader as someone who was only strong, brave, responsible but cold and aloof. But then as you read through you discover the real Katniss, the girl who was intelligent, capable, compassionate and kind-hearted. I loved how Suzanne Collins had used the first person narrative because the readers were given a wonderful insight on what goes through Katniss’ mind and her reactions. Her thoughts and feelings were so vivid and palpable that it paved way for her development as a multi-layered character. As the story goes on you discover that deep inside she has her own inner struggles to fight with, and then at times she can also be vulnerable. As a reader, I can’t help but sympathize for the past that keeps haunting her. The way Katniss’s doubted her ability to survive, and second guessed herself and who to trust made her so human and I think that it was one of the key factors which made me connect and relate with her.

Suzanne Collins had also showcased a wonderful ensemble of secondary characters that were just as interesting and well-rounded as Katniss. I loved Peeta Meelark because he was such a different character. He’s so honest and I admire him because he doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not and he was even man enough to admit that Katniss was stronger than him. I loved the fact that he was so unselfish and that even with death as a consequence, he was even willing to sacrifice his life in order for Katniss to stay alive.

Most importantly, I think that the most remarkable thing about this book was that that the story was simply very well-written. The story was so original and unique that it makes the story so unpredictable and exciting. The Hunger Games had the right blend of action, drama, love and suspense. The ending was clever and unexpected and made me want to know what will happen next.

Suzanne Collins is a superb writer for taking the simple concept of reality television and making it into this wonderful world that is The Hunger Games. She had also utilized every aspect of reality TV (sponsors, interviews, make-up) which added much to the development of the plot. She cleverly mirrored our society’s reaction to reality TV show by describing how the people of Panem have different mind-set with regards to The Hunger Games. How she described the different attitudes of the representatives towards The Hunger Games was a clear picture of that. And although the theme used was a dark one, the book turned out to be a powerful moving story. It was a very human book in a sense that although the book dealt with depression, hunger, poverty, The Hunger Games was also a story of honor, of survival, of love, of compassion and friendship. This gave what might have been a dark and gory story its human touch.

The Hunger Games is simply a wonderful book and has become one of my favorites. For anyone who hasn’t read it, I highly recommend this book. It’s really worth every single penny that you’ll pay for it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

YA Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman (Goodreads/Twitter/Website)
Number of Pages: 320 pages
Publication Date: September 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury (UK)
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Bibliarch


Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family. 

Opening Line:

There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.


Neil Gaiman is a new find for me. I’ve never read anything by this author before but his name kept popping up of my friend’s favorite list so I decided to give his works a try and know what the buzz is all about. I should be ashamed to admit this but I picked up The Graveyard Book purely because of the magnificent cover by Chris Riddell. I was instantly drawn because the illustrations were wonderfully done. But soon, I discovered that there’s more to this book that meet the eyes.

Inspired by Rudyard Kipling's classic The Jungle Book, The Graveyard Book tells the story and adventures of an orphaned boy, Nobody Owens, raised in a graveyard inhabited by ghosts, ghouls and every other creepy creature you could think of. But Gaiman deviates from the concept by cleverly turning Kipling's classic story into a beautifully-written, dark-witty fantasy.

I applaud Gaiman for his brilliant imagination. His imagery and the world he had created in The Graveyard Book were for me, worthy of praise. I marveled at his skill for making the imagery seemed larger than life and for making the readers feel that they were also a part of this strange and yet wonderful place that he had created.

Although the opening scene and the setting might be enough to give some readers the creeps, Gaiman was careful not to focus too much on the dark side of death and even skillfully turned Bod's encounters with the graveyard members as a source of humor. From the comical names to the date of death and reason for their demise, each and every one of those mentioned in the story would surely bring laughter to the readers.

I also give kudos to Gaiman for creating such a wonderful cast. Nobody Owens, is an endearing child, while at the same time, not a weak character. He's brave, sweet and compassionate. With every chapter and adventure that Bod went through, as a reader I saw how Gaiman had used that in order for Bod to grow as a person. Even if Bod grew up in a graveyard, Gaiman was able to make him a believable and well-rounded character, and someone that people could relate to.

The supporting casts are also something to look forward to when you read this book. There’s an abundance of interesting characters and some of my favorites were the witty witch Liz, the fussy Mr. Pennyworth, and the substitute guardian Miss Lupescu. There's also the mysterious Silas who was both a mentor and a father figure to Bod while he was in the graveyard. Each and every one of them had made a huge impact not only in the life of Bod but in the story itself as well. Although they were not humans, you will be able to relate them to the people you encounter in your everyday life.

There’s so much more about this book that I haven’t mentioned but The Graveyard Book is, in a word, a masterpiece. This book is a bittersweet coming of age tale, a classic that is a deserving winner of the Newberry Medal. Fans of Gaiman and those who haven’t read his works would surely be delighted with this wonderful book.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Romance Review: Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Seduce Me at Sunrise
Author: Lisa Kleypas (Goodreads/Twitter/Website)
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: September 2008
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Series or Stand-Alone: The Hathaway Series Book #2
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Powerbooks


Kev Merripen has longed for the beautiful, well-bred Winnifred Hathaway ever since her family rescued him from the brink of death when he was just a boy. But this handsome Gypsy is a man of mysterious origins—and he fears that the darkness of his past could crush delicate, luminous Win. So Kev refuses to submit to temptation…and before long Win is torn from him by a devastating twist of fate.

Then, Win returns to England…only to find that Kev has hardened into a man who will deny love at all costs. Meantime, an attractive, seductive suitor has set his sights on Win. It’s now or never for Kev to make his move. But first, he must confront a dangerous secret about his destiny—or risk losing the only woman he has lived for.

Opening Line:

Win had always thought Kev Merripen was beautiful, in the way that an austere landscape pr a wintry day could be beautiful.


I’m a self confessed Lisa Kleypas die herd fan. She’s one of the few writers whose books I’ll buy on the basis of her name alone. Even the few books written by her that didn’t receive 4.5 or 5 star ratings from me were still at par or even better than some of the historical romances I’ve read.

I was so excited when I heard that Lisa Kleypas started writing another series after The Wallflower Quartet and I loved that the new series revolved around a family of misfits- The Hathways. Although the first book in the series titled Mine Till Midnight didn’t make a lasting impression on me compared to other books written by Kleypas, the little snapshots of Kev and Win in MTM had me intrigued on how their story will go.

Seduce Me at Sunrise tells the passionate love story of Winnifred Hathaway and Kev Merripen. After escaping death from scarlet fever, Win had never fully recovered. She’s weak, fragile and tired of being treated like an invalid. She wanted to embrace life and enjoy the things that a lot of people had taken for granted so she decides to go to a French clinic for medication that, if successful, will restore her full health.

Kev Merripen to put it simply was a very complex man. As a young gypsy boy, Merripen was savagely beaten and left for dead by his uncle, the head of the Romany tribe, until the Hathaway family had taken him in. His past in the camp was haunted by violence. Kev was like a wild animal - who had endured unbelievable cruelties from his uncle and doesn't want any form of kindness and affection from others. He was in the very essence a tortured hero who believed that the cruelties he had done in the past made him undeserving of happiness and true love.

As I’ve written in most of my reviews of romance novels before, I’m a fan of romance stories which revolved around the theme of forbidden love. Seduce Me at Sunrise was a completely heart-warming tale of forbidden love with the perfect mix of tragedy and passion that made the journey to happily ever after more touching. The romance between the two characters was tender, difficult but then at the same time very moving. I couldn’t help but shed tears every time Kev would try to push Win away from his life.

One could argue that Kev and Win are your typical Lisa Kleypas characters, but in my opinion, she was able to delved deep into the mindset of both Kev and Win which made you feel a connection with them. I give kudos to Lisa Kleypas for writing about Merripen’s struggles towards his love for Win because I believe it’s human nature especially after being treated like a savage creature by someone whom you knew as family. The love that both Kev and Win shared was very vivid that even from the beginning of the story, they made me felt each other’s longing for one another.

I admire Win from the beginning of the story because she was a heroine with a backbone. A heroine who was incredibly compassionate and loving and someone who fought for her love until the very end. She was very honest to her emotions that even when she knew that society may frown upon her for loving a gypsy, she didn’t care because what was more important to her was her and Kev’s happiness. I can’t help but admire her determination to fight especially in the face of Merripen’s determination to push her away.

The back story of how Kev and Win first met was for me, very vital in the story because in a sense you saw how their relationship had grown, from learning how to trust one another, to being friends and caring for one another, and then to finally realizing the depth of love that one feels for the other. It made their journey to happiness even more special and I appreciate how Kleypas managed to write it.

Aside from the wonderful story of love between Kev and Win, Seduce Me at Sunrise also reacquainted us with The Hathaway family, the endearing and charming bunch that we all came to love. I loved the depiction of their relationship towards one another because it made Seduce Me at Sunrise, not only about a story of love but also about a story of a family.

A little bonus for me from this book was the character of Leo, Lord Ramsay. From being a total jerk, and my least favorite Hathaway sibling, he had become one of my most favorite Lisa Kleypas character. I savored every moment he was in especially the part where he was talking to Kev who was in the gallows. His emotions while he was talking to Merripen about Laura melted me and I could feel the agony and longing he was going through. The tension and the spark between him and Catherine Marks, the governess, kept me excited and thinking until now about how their love story would go. From Seduce Me at Sunrise, Lisa managed to create a foundation for a potentially wonderful love story between Leo and Catherine.

I would have easily given Seduce Me a Sunrise a five just by the points I mentioned above. However, the weakness of the story came from the villain. I never really had a grasp of Julian Harrow’s motives on why he wanted to marry Win and I thought the book could have been better without him.

Nevertheless, Seduce Me at Sunrise had proven to be one of Lisa Kleypas most wonderful romance novels to date. Kleypas remains to be a master storyteller of romance because despite the story’s weakness, I still found myself happily turning the pages with anticipation for Win and Kev’s happily ever after.

I recommend this book not only to the Lisa Kleypas fanatics but also those who relish reading a good romance.

Monday, July 30, 2012

YA Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter (Goodreads/ Twitter/ Website)
Pages: 284 pages
Publication Date: April 25th 2006
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre:  Young-Adult, Adventure
Series or Stand-Alone: Gallagher Girls #1
Book Disclosure: Purchased from Fully Booked


Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

Opening Line:
I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear.


After a long hiatus from reading, I’ve decided to come and choose I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter as my first read. I wasn’t expecting much from the book considering I haven’t read any Young-Adult book for two years.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You is a chronicle of Cammie Morgan’s life at the Gallagher Academy. Cammie is not your average teenage girl. She goes to Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a school for spies, she can speak fourteen different languages and is capable of killing a man using just about any object you can think of. While she may not be your average teenager, Ally Carter’s writing made it easy for me as a reader to relate to Cammie. Yes, she’s a spy but she’s also going through the same things I went through as a teen: first love, being “invisible” and breakouts.

Ally Carter’s writing reminded me so much of one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. As writers, both women have the ability to put humor into their stories without trying so hard and sounding slapstick. I had laughed many times while reading the book especially Cammie’s comments on her teachers at spy school and her feelings towards Josh Abrams.

I would have given the book a solid four stars but I wasn’t satisfied with the ending. I know there’s a second book in the series but I felt that Ally Carter rushed her ending without really tying the loose ends in her story. As I reader, I believed that the ending could have been handled better. Overall, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You is an enjoyable book. I recommend this to readers who are looking for a light and fun read.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...