Tag Archives: September 2012

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

  • TitleAnna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
  • AuthorStephanie Perkins
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages372
  • PublishedDecember 02, 2010 by Dutton
  • Rating4.5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Before I started reading Anna and the French Kiss, I was in a reading rut. It was so bad that I was practically reading five books at the same time, yet I couldn’t finish even one of them! When I decided to start a new book yet again, (Anna and the French Kiss) I hoped and prayed that I would actually finish this one.

Well, it seemed like I made the right choice.

Just from page one, I was hooked. This light, refreshing read was definitely something I needed, especially since I was sick that day. For hours and hours, I just sat on my bed, hungrily devouring the book and flipping the pages faster than I ever did in a month! I was finally my old self again—and I was glad.

Anna and the French Kiss is a cute novel that speaks of a teenage girl’s somehow clichéd life. Her parents send her off to a boarding school all alone, and she meets a majorly hot (English) guy who sweeps her off her feet just within seconds of seeing each other.

So doesn’t it seem like happily ever after?

The catch is, he has a girlfriend, and Anna—well, she kind of has one back home too. A crush, at least. And to top it all off, her new friend at the boarding school is majorly interested in said English boy, and has been for who knows how long!

Though it lacked a bit in plot-building, this book literally had me on an emotional roller coaster the whole time–giggling and blushing at the sweet scenes and throwing pillows around at the Anna-you-are-so-dense scenes, but mostly I had a huge grin on my face at every page. Anna and the French Kiss was definitely an easy read, one that you can breeze through in a matter of hours without heavy thinking or analyzing. Every part just seemed to fit and every scene transported me back to every teen romance/contemporary novel that I read and loved.

But the best thing I liked about this book were the characters.

Anna was absolutely delightful to have as a first person POV. Her inner voice just spoke to me and I could relate to her completely, even though I have never experienced what she has done. If you have read my other reviews, you would know that I’m not big on character development because my judgment on that all depends on whether or not I sympathized or related to a character or not. I gave Anna a big check on that department because she will definitely be a character who will stick in my mind for a long time. Even in her densest moments, (are all girls in YA books like that or what?) she was an endearing character and still remained a relatable one.

Etienne was the epitome of any real-life guy you could ever want. In the book, he was portrayed as an extremely good-looking guy with an English accent, and the only flaw that was presented (physically, at least) was his shortness in height. (not that it really matters) I took into consideration that little and insignificant flaw because I really appreciated how the author tried her best to make Etienne seem real as a character. Aside from this, however, he is also portrayed as a character who is a little bit afraid of change, as evidenced in the way he acted in the book. He didn’t let this trait ruin his happily-ever-after, though, so bonus points for that, and his mysterious back story that certainly added depth to his character.

All the other characters were nice to read about and I loved the chemistry between the whole gang of friends in Paris. It was your typical high school romance story, only with more drama and a more exotic setting.
Stephanie Perkins presented a seemingly-ordinary story in a much more extraordinary way, with a touch of flair and drama in every page. This book got me out of my month-long reading rut, and is definitely recommended to hopeless romantics out there who love nice, easy reads about relatable characters who will stick with you until after you close the book. Though it was a cliché, it stood out in its own unique way.

Stacking the Shelves (2)


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews wherein book bloggers get to share their haul for the week, be it borrowed, won, given, or bought! :)
For this week, Alyana and Tiffany got:
and
Bought and Borrowed (The books Alyana or Tiffany bought and let each other borrow)
-Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (Review of TIR)
-Firelight by Sophie Jordan
-Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
-Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (review coming up soon!)
-The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
-Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
-Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
…and swag! (welcome packet from Suzanne Lazear)


Not Pictured (Gifted)
-Fully Booked GCs (*sniff* Thank you so much, Alyana. I love getting those on my bday) ;)
-Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith (this doesn’t actually qualify as a book..?)

So basically, that’s our book haul! To be honest, those titles just added to the staggering amount of books on our TBR pile, but they were worth it. Slowly but surely, we are taking out books piece by piece from our TBR pile and adding them to our read pile. :D

What did YOU get this week? We’d love to know your book haul and your thoughts about the books we got too! :) (For all the Iron Fey fans reading this now-we can’t wait for The Lost Prince! Ahhh! <3)

EVENTS

Last week, we also attended the MIBF (The Manila International Book Fair). We were so excited for it that we were outside the doors even before it opened. :)) We got an awesome haul and freebies from there, most which you can see above. It was amazing to see so many books in one place- and even better, at discounted prices as well. x)

What about you? Did you attend the MIBF?

-Alyana and Tiffany :)

Featured Author: Kat Zhang

KAT ZHANG
Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world weaved from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren’t riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat’s quirks today.
By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author (she was rather more confident at twelve than she is even now). Said plans didn’t come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The first book, What’s Left of Me–about a girl with two souls–will be released September 18, 2012.
When she is not exploring the world of her characters, she is exploring her own. To date, she’s had the pleasure of visiting five countries, including more than half of the United States. She hopes to always keep writing and traveling.

~
We are really, really excited to read Kat’s debut novel-What’s Left of Me. Technically, it’s already out in bookstores, (so go buy it now!) but since both of us live outside the US, we’ll have to wait a tad bit longer. ;)

Isn’t the cover gorgeous? You must have seen this floating around in book blogs and/or Goodreads. This is certainly a book you can’t miss out on.

Check it out here-
>Goodreads<
Purchase it here-
>Amazon<
>B&N<
Stalk Find out more about the author here-
>Author Website<
>Twitter<

Farewell and Hello

AUGUST

We featured Amy Plum, author of bestsellers Die for Me and Until I Die! 

AMY PLUM
So, for this month, we’re featuring Amy Plum! She’s the author of the trilogy Die For Me, with the first (Die For Me) and second (Until I Die) international bestselling books already out, with the third (If I Should Die) to be release on May 2013. These books have already been published in seven different languages. 

Amy spent her childhood in Birmingham, Albama before moving to Chicago, Paris, London and New York. You can usual find her in a Parisian cafe, either daydreaming, writing, or both. 

For more about Amy Plum, check out her website! >Amy Plum Bio<



The book review for Die For Me is coming up! Meanwhile, check out the review for Amy Plum’s second book in the Die For me series, Until I Die, written by Tiffany! >Review UID<
QUOTE FOR THE DAY 
The this week’s theme is “Power of Kate”. 
To take a look at them, click the links here! 


The last week’s theme was “All About Jules”.
To take a look at them, click the links here! 





We hope you enjoyed reading to quotes and the page as much as we had fun creating them! 

So now, in the month of September, we would like to feature Kat Zhang! Her new novel, What’s Left of Me, was released in stores on September 18. Check out the Featured Author page for more! 


Feature and Follow Friday (6)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question: 

What hyped up book do you think was worth all the talk?


We have tons of answers for that one! But we’ll give you a few of our favorites- were we to name them all, we would have to stay up all night. x) 

1) The Mortal Instruments (Cassandra Clare)









2) The Iron Fey (Julie Kagawa







3) Divergent (Veronica Roth)   










4) The Infernal Devices (Cassandra Clare


What are your picks for this week? Leave a comment and we’ll stop by your blog! Happy Friday everyone! :))

-Alyana and Tiffany ;) 

Happy Birthday Tiffany!

So… what exactly is this post doing here? :D

Well, it’s Tiffany’s birthday today! *cue music and applause*

Dun dun dun dun duuunnnn!



(I know Tiffany would probably kill— correction, burn me alive later on, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.)

Tiffany’s a few months younger than I am, but since she turned fourteen today, I don’t feel so old anymore. =))) 

And now… it’s time for my speech.
I would like to thank… *choke* I would… *sniffs* I’m sorry, I can’t. It’s just too much for me, ya know? *whips out handkerchief and wipes tear* T—there’s so many t—hings to say. ;)

*pulls out a ridiculously long list and unfurls it*

First of all…

Just kidding! I don’t think you want to read paragraphs and paragraphs of me talking.

But anyhoo…

How to start? :)

Tiff… Hehehe. I can think of soooo many ways on how to do this. But, fine, since it’s her birthday, I swear I will not blackmail her or tease her in anyway. Maybe just a little bit.

Tiffany is an awesome co-blogger/ classmate/ co-debater/ co-fangirl/ treasurer and so much more. :>

(By the way Tiff, if you’re reading this, you won’t ever hear me say this ever again. As we both know, I am much, much, more amazing. Lol, I’m joking!)

She’s also kind, smart, friendly, extremely fast at solving math problems (Can I borrow you brain for the next quiz, please?) apparently *coughs and swallows last bit of pride* approchable and caring.

Lastly, Tiffany is an amazing friend and deep, deep, deep, deeeeep down inside, has a heart of gold. x) 

I’m sure other people will agree with me there.

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

TIFFANY’S DEEPEST, DARKEST AND MOST EMBARRASSING SECRETS

I’m kidding! (Though I think I gave Tiffany a mini-heart attack for a second there.) I’m saving them for later. ;)

Anyways,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIFF!!! MAY YOU HAVE MANY, MANY MORE! GREAT, NOW I WANT TO EAT CAKE.
*launches into a chorus of singing Happy Birthday in English, Filipino, Chinese and… Spanish?—Eh, I don’t know Spanish. Dora only taught me a selected vocabulary.)* >.<

Don’t forget to greet Tiffany on her special day! The comments below/her mentions on Twitter better be overflowing to the point that Tiff will have tears running down her face for joy. XD

Or else.

LOL. C: 
-Alyana X-) 

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews wherein book bloggers get to share their haul for the week, be it borrowed, won, given, or bought! :)
For this week, Alyana and Tiffany got:
and
Bought and Borrowed (The books Alyana or Tiffany bought and let each other borrow)
-The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter
-The Kill Order by James Dashner
-Starters by Lissa Price
-Rapture by Lauren Kate
-The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
-The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
-Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
-Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Borrowed (From the ever awesome Louisse@The Soul Sisters)
-Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
-Rift by Andrea Cremer
-Supernaturally by Kiersten White
-The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa
-Endlessly by Kiersten White
-Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Not pictured
-Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
…and swag! (won from The Soul Sisters)

Yay! (We usually put the GR links but…seeing the haul above…we’re too lazy to link everything. Also, we are in major book hoarding mode. We have annoying cases of reading ruts though books are piled high on our shelves.) *sigh*
Both of us are attending a book fair where we live this weekend, so we’ll be doing a post on that soon! More books! :)
What did you get this week? What are YOU reading? :D Leave a comment!
-Tiffany and Alyana

Review of Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

  • TitleDreamless (Starcrossed #2)
  • AuthorJosephine Angelini
  • SourceBorrowed
  • No. of Pages487
  • PublishedMay 29, 2012 by HarperTeen
  • Rating4.5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
As the only scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out--a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies' cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen's sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

To be blunt, I did not enjoy Starcrossed as much as I first assumed I would. There were huge info drops that led to confusion, and I often found myself getting annoyed with several characters. I finally caved to reading Dreamless because (1) I was rather curious for how the sequel went on, (2) The gorgeous cover and (3) The persistence of my friends. And yes, I’m so glad that I did, and you’ll find out why later on in my review.

First off, we have Helen Hamiltion, also know as the Descender. She’s the main propogantist in this novel. Beautiful, brave and heir of the House of Aphrodite. From the very beginning of the story, Helen was entrusted with a mission—to descend into the Underworld every night in her dreams, something that only a selected number of Scions can do, much less attempt too.

Then we have Lucas Delos, also known as Luke. Handsome, clever and heir of the House of Thebes. He and Helen are in love with each other, however, upon the revelation that they are cousins in Starcrossed, they are forced to keep their relationship a secret. But, Lucas’ father soon realizes what was going on, and tells his son that Luke better end things with her, for what Luke was doing at the moment was just hurting her even more.

Lastly, Orion. Head of the House of Rome, gorgeous, outrageous and a skilled fighter. He has rare abilities that no other Scion has, such as creating powerful earthquakes as well was reaching into another person’s heart- being able to make it fall in love, or break it beyond repair. However, Orion doesn’t abuse his powers. Instead, he uses it for the better and for the benefit for others, which I found quite honorable. His sweet and funny personality caught my eye as well, and he is one of my favorite characters in the story.

The plot was truly well thought out. I never would have thought of it at all! Most of the time, whenever I read books like these, it usually centers on the main character, who had special powers of some sort. But not Dreamless. Josephine Angelini showed us that mortals can play a part as well, and not just be those people on the sidelines, screaming and running around while the propagandist goes off and saves the day. This was a really huge leap from Starcrossed, where at times, I didn’t understand what was happening, and it was centered a lot on Helen and how she feels about Lucas all the time.

The romance was incredibly frustrating, I’ll give you that. But it was something that made the story even more intruiging and captivating than it already was. I was definitely a Team Lucas (Who wouldn’t be?) from the very start, but I found myself wavering between him and the other male propagantist, Orion, as the story progressed. Even up to now, though I’ve decided I favor Lucas, I have a feeling the last book of the trilogy might tip the scales for me again. We’ll just have see what will happen.

I liked how Josephine Angelini made use of subplots- but then in the end, connected them in a way that they formed one, huge intricate plot with tons of twists, turns and surprises. That was something that I enjoyed most, especially how it switches from one character’s point of view to another’s, so that the reader can get a taste of how it feels to be in their position in the story.

A small comment however. At the start of the novel, I wasn’t so interested in Dreamless as I was near the end because there were just paragraphs and paragraphs of explaining why this or that was so. I’m the kind of person who likes to figure out what the cause of one thing was and why this happened. But, I suppose this is also a way that was used so that the reader would be able to understand fully what was happening in the story.

Dreamless is a very interesting and amazing read. Josephine Angelini writes with such grace that leaves the reader breathless and begging for more. I definitely can’t wait for the final book of the trilogy- I’m sure they would be as awesome as the previous ones. Making use of Greek Mythology as well as modern-day Nantucket, Massachusetts, the author has woven an unforgettable tale that I would always treasure.