Friday, 28 October 2011

The Fashion Diaries - Simpleton and the Little Black Dress


One of my friends was getting married and I congratulated him, all enthusiastic, only to have him tell me tartly that he was getting married 'alright' but he wasn't marrying Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Though the words were passable, the tone would've better suited a mourner at a funeral. I have always seen pictures of Audrey Hepburn tagged with headings like 'the woman who made the little black dress popular'. It is something people still like talking about with a sense of wonder. And so I thought to myself, if it is something that still has people's awe; it must be worth seeing.


A woman emerges from a taxi, her legs long and shapely in a black sleeveless dress with her breakfast in a paper bag, she wears a tiara on her polished head of beehive hair, fitted black gloves that reach up her elbows, strings of beautiful pearls around her slender throat, carries a thin cigarette in one hand and big black sun-glasses that are perched atop her tiny, pert nose. She peers in at the display windows of Tiffany while having her coffee. Never before, had black looked so good.


It was one of the most iconic moments of fashion. The "Little Black Dress" from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's." At the risk of offending a school of psychology *who argue that there is a fine line between youthful and mature* and English Scholars *for pairing up words and adjectives forcefully* I think the little black dress instantly puts to mind an image of a charmingly beautiful, maturely youthful and sophisticatedly elegant Audrey Hepburn. The dress, designed by Givenchy was a sensation to the point of being insane. Something about the way Audrey was, fashionable and sensual, powerful and bold makes women sigh out their long suffering sighs while their husbands look saucer eyed in slack jaw amazement at the highest probable extent of class personified. I have to admit that Audrey looked damn classy and I would give away my fashion degree just to be like that for one day! 


The craze *read woman redefined* that was born with this little black dress in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was highly impactful. Women wanted to be like Audrey, she was portrayed as a carefree, easy living girl who tries to climb the social ladder by seeking out wealthy, fun, suave and handsome men. She lives a life of luxury, parties every night and moves in elite and influential circles. And did I mention the suave and handsome men? I am not trying to imply that women want to be gold diggers or anything like that! No. No, don't get me wrong *incase some female chauvinists happen to come across my article and bring out their amulets, cloves of garlic and burning stakes to my dark lair*. She also epitomized power, beauty and brains. There was a polish, a glimpse of gentleness, a fierce love for stray cats and a lot of fashion too. Who would not want that? Call me a dreamer but you see I am a big fan of fairy tales, knights in shining armour, frogs, enchanted household items, glass slippers, and of course prince charming. If I were to give my opinion, I would say that the whole aura of the film greatly appealed to me. For a moment I devoutly wished I could turn back time and experience the different living of those days when there were no cell-phones to distract you. But only for a moment *my cell phone beeps and I hurriedly snatch it, trying to see who's got the latest gossip at this time*


Anyways, the aura was beautiful, meaningful and yes so serene. In those days, fashion was pretty, innovative and nice. Perhaps the biggest factor for its appeal was that fashion was not accessible to everyone back then. Most of us could only watch it on the big screen. It was like a fantasy, something to be admired from afar, almost surrealistic. Maybe that's why those moments are still considered iconic. It was simple and classy unlike this monster race between big fashion houses and retail companies that we have today. It's not like I have something against the competitive approach, it is great for the industry and anyone who's related to this field. What we have now is high end fashion that is no longer something to be watched on television or adverts. Everyone can have a taste of the dream that previously, only belonged to fiction characters in movies or A- list celebrities. One can glam themselves up and eat their breakfast whilst standing outside the display window at Tiffany's. The dreamer inside me scoffs at the idea and I wonder, would fashion be as magical as it was some decades earlier? Perhaps not, but let us be fair to the modern day and age. Although it may not have the same charm and fairy tale feel of the "Little Black Dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, it is bolder, dynamic and as artistic as ever.

What Anime/Manga have taught me...

I tend to read shoujo manga a lot more than any other genre and here's what my observations are:


- Your nose can gush out extreme amounts of blood whenever you clap eyes on a extremely hunky/gorgeous person.
- Libraries are built for making out and there's hardly anyone there.
- The popular guy always takes a liking to the weird, odd unpopular girl.
- Sometimes, your best friend is out their to screw your life.
- The girl/guy is always home alone at the wrong time.
- Kidnapping is normal, so is being stalked by random people.
- The rich spoil rotten deligents are always misunderstood.
- Anime girls are capable of forgiving anything and everything.
- Anime girls are gluttons - what's more they don't gain weight.
- Beware while joining the school club because you might end up joining the dark occult one.
- Your little sister/brother hates your happiness most of the time.
- Lack of napkins and table manners are the way to initiate a kiss!
- The most cheerful guys/girls actually have very sad lives >.>
- The parents/siblings/maids/butlers all conveniently disappear when the hero falls sick leaving the girl to take care of the invalid and cook something for them and it's always soup/porridge.
- Butlers are devilishly handsome and the maids are phenomenal beauties.
- It's normal and legal to get married before you're 18
- 15 year olds can make exceptional wives.
- The boy/girl genius can always outsmart their professor.
- For the rich guys : There's just no pleasing their parents.
- Handmade chocolates are preferred anyday over store bought ones no matter how bad they taste.
- Try talking to your stuffed toys, you'd be amazed at what they've got to say.
- Little kids are freaky and there is no limit to their evil plotting.
- The more bandages one has, the better and stronger they seem to appear.
- Heroes/Heroines never have scars.
- Anime girls are very clumsy and have a tendency of falling over the guys all the time.
- Vampires have a lot of emotional baggage
- There's always an island or a beach house you go to with your friends because your rich classmate's father owns it.

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2



Sins of the Heart By Eve Silver
Bookshelves: Heroes I love, Mythology, Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance


Synopsis

Half human, half god, Dagan Krayl is the Underworld's most powerful soul reaper. When one of his brothers is murdered, Dagan must use every ounce of his power to hunt down those responsible for his brutal death. But he must move swiftly—and carefully—if he's to have any chance of resurrecting his brother.

Yet that resurrection could wreak havoc on the mortal world. As an Otherkin, Roxy Tam has sworn to protect the human race, and it's her mission to stop Dagan. But when she sees him face-to-face, she realizes that she has seen him once before—a meeting that changed her life forever.

My Verdict

Dagan Krayl *sighs* where do I start? Okay, maybe I shouldn't start with him right away. [Saving the best things for last]


It's the first time for me, reading Eve Silver, and I quiet enjoyed her crisp and spunky style of writing. It was fresh, contemporary and compelling. Eve Silver has what I call the magic for telling stories, and her plot was pretty incredible - it was refreshing. It's also my first time reading fiction based on Egyptian Mythology and I think it's one area that is seriously underrated.


So in this darkly wonderful world of Eve Silver, there's the underworld and the topworld. Now let's talk about the more interesting underworld. Here, a multitude of gods reside from Hades, Osiris to Seth, each having their own territories, own powers and minions. Sutekh, a powerful dark god who has sired 4 sons that are part human and therefore completely human in appearance. Now Sutekh is a self centered, strict, heartless god with a penchant for blackened souls. He has a warped sense of benevolence where he grants favors to dying souls by granting a special wish to their loved ones and putting both their souls up for collateral. He detests any kind of humanity in his sons and has brought them up to be tough, able to withhold any kind of calamity...literally.


This story is more about the eldest son Dagan, who's a soul reaper. His main job is to hunt down vile, blackened souls and take them as dinner offerings for his father. Now he has such a bad ass way of killing these foul humans. You see, he literally rips the heart out and he does this with as much ease as I would in picking up....I guess I don't pick anything with such ease. This man is strong, capable, kind, powerful and delicious looking. And he's cold and uncaring [thanks to his father's cruel upbringing]. It all changes when one day he has a weird encounter with a young girl named Roxy Tam. As he prepares to take the corrupted soul of the rapist, he can't help but want to protect this strange behaving girl [the rapists next victim] who's scared beyond belief but still managing to keep her head. They have a brief conversation, where my instant dislike for Roxy's offending way of talking is born.


And it's just not her talking, I find her whole personality abrasive. But at least she's courageous and not like the swooning type, so I probably have some reluctant admiration for her too. Anyways, the story is fast forwarded to 11 years where we see a much different Roxy. The 19 year old girl has become a major ass kicking woman and has acquired even more foul manners by this time. Given her history - she's an orphan who was tossed from one foster care to another in her early years, it's understandable why she's put on such a hard exterior. Still, she craves for feelings of attachment and love. She also has been unable to forget about that mysteriously freaky soul reaper who had saved her life that day.


So let's talk about how exactly she kicks ass. She's joined forces with The daughters of Aset [despite Dagan's warning 11 years ago], a group of supernatural beings that feed on the life force of other supernaturals. The daughters of Aset also happen to Seth's sworn enemies, primarily because of Seth's treatment towards their father Osiris. Lately, a soul reaper has been murdered and there's a rumour circulating about. Seth and his minions want to resurrect the reaper while the daughters want to prevent that. Then there's this child named Dana, who is probably a supernatural too. The murderers want her too. What is the connection?


Dagan on the other hand has been unable to forget that strange girl either. What's more he's had some awfully disturbing dreams about her too which is saying something since soul reapers don't dream normally. He is shocked when his youngest brother, Logan is murdered, his corpse broken down in pieces to prevent the resurrection. Together with his brothers Alistair and Mal, he's determined to hunt down the murderers and bring his brother back. It is this tragedy that finally brings Roxy and Dagan together. And there are sparks flying everywhere, only Roxy can't see them...as yet.


I loved their bickering for most part, sometimes I thought Roxy was a bit too much. I loved Dagan, his patience and endurance, specially when handling Roxy. That man deserves a medal. Thinking the worst of each other [since they are on opposing teams] they come to realize the fallacies and facts and eventually join forces. But there's a lot more than meets the eye, there is just too much dirty polluted politics in the underworld, every god is suspect. Who can be trusted?


Roxy's kick ass image takes a beating when she faces beings far superior than common variety supernaturals she's used to bullying. By this time she's become quite the same female who needs the hero around to save her pretty neck. Never mind that. Why say no to a chance of reading Dagan in action? Being cast as the wonderful hero? Through out the book, I liked Dagan more and more as the pages flipped.


Logan's soul is lost somewhere in purgatory without knowing how to go back. By this time I have my own suspicions but I have a feeling the conspiracy is much more complex and what's given in this book is only the tip of the iceberg.


I wonder if I've officially ranted about Dagan as yet? I don't think so. He's the guy to love! He's fierce, possessive, passionate, romantic, really, the kind of guy who'd walk through hell to save the woman he loves. I thought I couldn't love him any more than I did when I read how he defends Roxy and literally has his hand turn to ash to save her. How he sticks out his neck, and even trusts her, knowing full well she's the enemy.
And then when she gets stabbed in the chest. Oh God! The guy feeds her his blood and tends to her injuries with infinite care. Roxy Tam is one lucky woman.


I could've done without the smutty scenes to be honest. When a story is this elaborate with a strong plot and all, I don't think it needs much steamy romance scenes specially when the super-hot hero's steamy kisses can suffice. Anyways, I'm glad those two decided to follow their hearts in the end. I'm definitely going to read the other novels to find out what happens ahead.

Good Morning!

Morning everyone!

didn't wake up with the best of my moods this morning. Ah well, I can only hope I feel better as the day progresses. Anyways, going to continue with my book reviews for today. There might be a few movie reviews too.

As for last night, I didn't read any book but end up watching friends instead. Love that show!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

So that was quite fun!

Okay, taking a break from posting reviews though I actually thought of doing all of the Vampire Academy series in one go. I'll put up the next 3 books tomorrow. I guess.

Meanwhile, I'll probably talk about what I might read tonight. Well Like reading one of the classics tonight. But I'm not sure if my mind is up to it. Well,l guess we'll figure out soon enough.

I recently came across these books by Eve Silver based on Egyptian Mythology. I am so crazy about ancient Egypt and mythology is a big part of it. Imagine my delight when I read the about the gods of the underworld and  the chaotic darkness they bring forth. It's a 4 or 5 book series I think, based on 4 sons of the god of the underworld. What's more, they're beautiful demi gods, and they're bad ass soul reapers. Intrigued enough? I was! Will review as soon as I read finish reading them.

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Shadow Kiss {Vampire Academy #3] By Richelle Mead
Bookshelves: Heroes I love, Favorites, Vampires, Young Adult


Synopsis
Is Rose's fate to kill the person she loves most? It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason's death, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can't concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even bigger secret .... She's in love with Dimitri. And this time, it's way more than a crush. Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever...

My Verdict
I was still coming to grips with Mason's death from the previous book and this one had me reflecting on all the characters. Tragedy has surely made them age a great deal. The whole book has a somber note to it. We see Rose dealing with a fresh problem. She keeps seeing mason at the most unexpected time. Is it her imagination? Or is she suffering from post traumatic stress? The doctors at the infirmary surely thinks so. But what does Rose think? Is she going crazy? 

All our regular characters return for this book with Eddie leaping into the limelight as well. I never gave much thought to Eddie before but I certainly liked him a lot in this book. He was responsible and such a great guy. The joys of having Adrian around! Too bad Rose finds him such a nuisance, I always thought his dreams were nice too. 

Christian is impressive, specially with his pyro kinetic skills. I quite liked his super melting action in book 2 and we got some major kick ass action from him later on in the book. 

Rose learns to build up her self control in this one, specially her ability to just flay someone alive at the spur of the moment. We're taken outside the academy as well to the Royal courts where there is an interesting encounter with a gypsy or fortune teller. She tells Dimitri he's lose the thing he values most. How nice, I could already feel the knots in my stomach. This can't be good. I guess despite my fondness for Adrian, I wanted Rose to be with Dimitri - they both seemed right for each other. I think Adrian deserves someone even better than Rose! 

But things arne't looking hot for any kind of couple at the moment. Anyways, back to the academy, Rose keeps on dealing with the ghost of Mason she keeps seeing. There is a special connection between her and the underworld as we find it, since she's been shadow kissed. 

And finally! we get some sweet moments when Rose and Dimitri finally get together. Waited long enough! Ah, but all good things are short lived and this was probably by far the shortest. The poor couple doesn't even get to spend a day as a couple when the strigoi attack their school. Fresh horror! The gypsy's words loom in my head and it wasn't a happy feeling. 

Rose and Christian are like an invincible strigoi slayer team. These two were kicking ass right and left, top and bottom! I was holding my breath the whole time, thinking someone will die...just about now. Whew! It never came, what a relief! Or was it? 

We find the Strigoi have taken some of the students and guardians along, as free snacks for later. Rose, of course doesn't want to give up, because Eddie [Yes! the wonderful gem of a person] has been taken away too! My mood is surely bad at this point. Luckily for us, Rose gets help from Mason and she finds out the hiding spot. 

>>>Spoiler Alert<<< 
A team of guardians descend on the strigoi to kick their pale asses. They manage to rescue most of the moroi and dhampir but something goes horribly wrong and Dimitri gets attacked AND left behind! My heart just fell down a 30 story building it seems. In this moment, I come to like Rose like I've never before. She's vulnerable, something I've never seen before, she's broken...but she's not ready to give up. She wants to go back to get Dimitri. We see Lisa and Rose in the church and I've never hated Lisa as much as I did back then. How can she be so blind and self centered? To not know her best friend was crazy about Dimitri all along? and how can she, ever the most compassionate as to not even let a Raven die without giving a try, give up on such a wonderful person as Dimitri? 

It's beyond me, really beyond me. I was enraged! Enough so to shake my fist at something or someone but since that wasn't possible, I just decided to glare at the book I held. 

I was angry, and upset. Of course, there was a 0.00001% chance that Dimitri might still be alive and a Dhampir but I clung on to that. Give me a straw, stick, anything. I so wanted him to be alright. The search party eventually brings news. Dimitri's body couldn't be found. What could this mean? I was afraid I knew the answer already. 

It's confirmed later on as Rose asks Mason. His nodding and shaking really killed me but the woes! Thankfully, Rose's interaction with Adrian restored some of my spirit and I realized not all was lost. This book ended at such a sad and bitter note. But I loved it none the less since it made me so emotional. 

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Frostbite [Vampire Academy #2] by Richelle Mead
Bookshelves: Paranormal, Vampires, Young Adult

Synopsis
Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…


It's winter break at St. Vladimir's, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy's crawling with Guardians—including Rose's hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn't bad enough, Rose's tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason's got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.


But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…


My Verdict
This was a definite improvement, both in terms of writing and story. Somehow, Rose becomes a lot more bearable [I guess being around Dimitri helped] and what's more she's given a chance to Mason [who's pretty crazy about her at this point] but inside, she still can't help the cloud of warmth that envelopes every time she's around Dimitri. She's also met her mom [someone she has special hatred for in large quantities] and somehow managed to find a bit of a connection. This will only lead to Rose being better in the long run. God knows she needs all the help she can get and a years worth of behavioral therapy. 


Back to Dimitri and Rose. Despite their mutual likeness for each other they have decided to part ways because they can not be together for a couple of reasons. 


1. Dimitri is too old for Rose [Poor guy is ONLY 24! I see young girls complaining he's so old in the same tone they'd discuss their fathers. Please girls, show some mercy, I'm almost 24 and I don't want to be old] 
2. They both will be future guardians to Prince Lisa [having a relationship will only distract them both, quite altruistic of them to put Lisa's interests first] 


And the most important! 


3. There are 4 more books to write - which makes me immensely happy, I can wait a couple of more books..unless someone far more interesting comes along the way.


This book didn't consist much description either but I guess I stopped caring and decided to do my own describing. We see lots of new characters here and there, one's Christian's not-so-old Aunt Tasha Ozera who's very good friends with Dimitri and probably has the hots for him too. Most definitely so. 


In Rose's eyes, they're just 'I do' away from getting married or something. Really, teens - it's such a dramatic period in your life. Anyways, finally I get to read about Adrian - a character talked about often whenever there's a VA discussion. This guy is, wait...let me put out a list:


Mysterious 
Green Eyed 
Carrying some heavy baggage with all the drinking and smoking 
Notorious 
Royal 
Good looking in Rose's eyes. [Still no descriptions] 
Spirit user 
Rich 
Knows how to spoil a girl 
Thoughtful


So check all those and we have my favorite character :D Plus, he's just so lovable. Mason and Rose felt fake and phony, more so than Dimitri and Rose and this guy...was so interesting. I could feel Rose might end up with him after all. I liked Adrian a lot, not only because of all the above mentioned traits but because he wasn't like the other royals. There was not a single pompous or mean bone in this guy's body. He was just so wonderful and so misunderstood. A gem about to be discovered. I just hope someone has the good sense to see for what he's worth! 


Anyways, through out the book my emotions were pretty much as wretched as Rose's. She didn't love the guys who were willing to love her and she couldn't forget about the one who wasn't. Ah, love is cruel but the last twist had me forgetting everything. I just wanted everyone to survive and Oh my God. 


I couldn't believe Mason died. The horrors!! By the time the ordeal was over, I had tears clogging my throat. What a mess! It's always the nice guys who get hurt and die in the process. Rose's reaction to Mason's dying was even more heart breaking. But I was so glad I could quickly went on to next book. 

Book review: Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy # 1 ) by Richelle Mead
Bookshelves: Vampires, Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Young Adult


Synopsis
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . . 


My Verdict
I've heard a lot about this series and I wasn't sure what to expect. I was a bit disappointed but not because of the story. I thought the story was very interesting but the writing was weak. I just don't like the 1st person perspective and in this case, the story is told through Rose's eyes. I dislike these kind of stories because it doesn't give as much depth to the characters as would a non narrated version. Then, we can focus on each and every character, and their very own thoughts and not Rose guessing whatever she wanted [even though she might be correct most times] And most importantly, I'd have loved to read what other people thought of Rose. We got none of those things in this book. The only other person's thoughts we had access to were Lissa's, every time Rose went into her head. 


Also, it was confusing. I'd read a good amount of portion and there still was no description or explanation as to what strigoi were and why they did what they did. It came so much later. 


I disliked Rose a lot in this book [I hope he get's better as the story progresses] She was juvenile, unreasonable, out of control, and a bitch to boot, also kind of smug and arrogant with all the I'm very pretty I know bit. Ever heard of humbleness, Rose? I guess I liked very few characters in this book. I didn't like Lisa initially either, I mean I loved the bond Rose and Lisa shared. Kind of reminds me of my own sister but I hated the fact that Lisa was so helpless and weak. 


I don't know what to say about Dimitri - He's an awesome character but again, no depth because all I got was Rose's awful, awful description. Every other guy was either cute or hot. That's how she described them. Or she'd just say, he had brown eyes and brown hair and he was so hot. You've got to give us a few more words than that missy. Christian had the same problem. Any person who wasn't too expressive or actively vocal like our foul mouthed Rose here, I felt no connection with them. The others I could hate [Mia] or like [Mason, typical flirt not to be taken serious guy] but it didn't really matter because they were secondary characters. 


This problem was quite a damper. I usually love my characters and this book had a lot of characters I'd normally love. But because there was just do little to them, I never felt a connection. 


Dimitri and Rose felt forced and Dimitri sounded awfully boring. I do like boring guys but yes I want to read more about whatever boring stuff they do and think. I just want more description. Period. Don't just stop by telling me what kind of jacket he wears, create the whole personality. 


I could've done with a few less dorm scenes, Mia's annoying bitching, Rose's outbursts of temper and all that. But I guess all these things kind of made it an enjoyable read and balanced out the seriousness of the book. 


Victor was a prime suspect from the beginning. He was just so weird so no surprise when he did what he did. But I do believe that Richelle Mead worked a lot to create that special bond these two girls shared and it was wonderful indeed. I loved every bit of it, no matter how annoying or insufferable Rose was or how I felt towards Lisa being weak and what not I couldn't help but feel wonder for the kind of emotions they shared. Those were expertly created and felt.

Book Review: Mischief becomes her



Mischief becomes her (Sunshine Girls # 2)  by Kasey Michaels  
Bookshelves: Crime, Mystery, Romance, Contemporary

This is the first book I've read by this author. Not bad at all, the plot was engaging and I thought it was a nice blend of romance and crime solving. The characters were nice and wholesome, Jessica in particular. She's charming, smart, witty and compassionate, I was also vaguely interested in Jade and Court's story but perhaps not enough to read the next book. I might though because the cases haven't all been solved yet.

I always loved conversations between Matt and Ernesto. I also loved the humour Jess and Matt shared. The ending wasn't much to my liking, I thought it was too cliche - too fluffy and immature. Matt was a lot of things but I didn't know he was capable of the hopelessly cliched ending we got. A ring and flowers, really? A proposal on national television? A little too dramatic but a happy ending none the less.

Book Review: Flowers from the Storm


Flowers from the storm by Laura Kinsale
Bookshelves: Favorites, Heroes I love, Romance, Historical

I loved this book! It was a wonderful, heart rendering story. It's all really about Christian and I love his character. The author has indeed done an amazing job creating Christian. This book took me on an emotional roller coaster and there were times I wish I could go in there and help Christian. How he suffered! specially in the initial asylum scenes. 


Just reading it clogged my throat with tears, because my mind kept going back to the time when he was in his prime, basking in the success of his mathematical equation, being charming and intelligent and so confident and I couldn't help comparing. His plight was great indeed, thank God for Maddygirl [as Christian fondly called her] 


Having said that, Maddy still annoyed me a lot. I know she was portrayed as a strong, independant young woman but her sense of priority was so messed up. I hated her hesitations and her habit of doing things half way and not comitting out of her fear and beliefs. 


She hurt Christian too many times, even though she loved him and he was so in love, so in need of her. Sometimes I wished Maddy could hear what he prayed and thought in his head. Half of the time she was oblivious to how much he needed her support and affection. 


Christian's family was another shocker! I can't imagine the pain and suffering of someone who's lost their sense of speech and coherent thought and basically their whole life but has to deal with the nastiness and heartlessness of his very own flesh and blood. I only liked his Aunt with her no nonsense attitude. 


It was all made good in the end because she did come to her senses. Though I would've liked that too happen a lot sooner, their moment of shared bliss and utter contentment was too little for me. Nevertheless, I loved reading their wonderful story and was really sad to see it come to an end.

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Book Review: Charming The Prince



Charming the Prince by Teresa Medeiros 
Bookshelves: Historical, Fairy tale, Humor, Romance


My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Oh, I enjoyed this one a lot! What made this book wonderful was of course the gang of lil brats Lord Bannor the 'Bald' had. The opening scenes were comically priceless - the most feared warrior of all England quaking in dread at the sound of chaos and mischief. Very comical indeed. I loved every bit of Mary, Margaret, Meg, Peg, Edward, Hammish, Desmound....and who ever else I've missed. 


The conversations Lord Bannor had with his Steward and friend were funny and engaging and just put such a light mood on the overall book I hardly took it seriously. Even the romance, I could've happily done without it, really but it added a sweet touch to the story. Plus romance is expected of a fairy tale. 


So this fierce Lord Bannor finds himself wifeless and father to this bunch of rowdy rebellious children. To top it all, he's the last person on earth to know anything about parenting. Wanting little to do with the upbringing of his kids and wishing to return to things he's used to [battle, fights and what not] Lord Bannor decides it's time to wed! 


And wed he does, the beautiful Lady Willow - who's happy to finally get away from her poverty stricken home where not only is she mistreated but bullied to boot by a bunch of spoiled rotten siblings. Her happiness is...err...shortlived. Imagine her delight when she finds out that by marrying Lord Bannor she's traded in her siblings for a bigger, wilder, brattier bunch of Bannor's kids. 


Lord Bannor isn't all happy either. He takes one look at Lady Willow and barely restrains from killing his steward. With her beauty, her high spirit and her stubborn nature, Willow is a far cry from the domesticated humble wife Bannor wanted and the last thing he needs. All he wanted was peace and quiet but now he's got his yearnings to control as well. Such irony. 


He devises a new plan and let Willow be the target for his children's merry mischief. A lot of comical scenes come forth as we see two parties being formed, the rebels vs willow. 


Little does he know, Willow is exactly the woman his household needs. Not only is she compassionate and brave but determined to discipline his children. And more importantly to teach him how to shower them with fatherly affection. Willow's sister Beatrix or Bea as she is fondly called is another favorite. This feisty little girl not only provides comedy, but gets along rather well with the other ruffians. I also quite liked the development of Bea and Desmound's relationship. It was kind of sweet. 


This was my first reading from the author and I'm planning to read a lot more of this wonderful story teller.

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2



Madam, will you talk? By Mary Stewart
Bookshelves: Suspense, Mystery, Crime, Romance


I'd give it a 3 and a half hearts, it was an enjoyable read. A nice balance of suspense and thrill with some adrenaline pumping moments. I felt the author didn't really make charity known to us in the most thorough manner. I wanted to know more about her story, her life in general - her past mainly. But it's probably my preference to have characters that come with long detailed pasts and life stories. 


I found the romance between Charity and Richard a bit unnatural though. I mean, it's one thing to give a man framed for murder a chance, even care for him and feel his misery but coming down to love so soon? Specially from Richard, that was so unexpected. I was actually surprised when I read him saying so. I can imagine an instant attraction or beginnings of a romance maybe which would have gradually led to a wedding in the future but not this instant kind. I thought Charity was a bit mature for that. But then again, we are all fools in love. There is just no explaining our actions, is there? I guess what disappointed me was the absence of Richard and Charity's story together. I felt cheated to be given their beginning and the ending. Where was the middle bit? 


But it all ended well I guess. Good for David, he finally gets a home and Richard too!

Book Review: Conversion



Conversion by S.C.Stephens
Bookshelves: Fantasy, Vampires, Romance, Heroes I love

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I really enjoyed this book. What I loved about this book was the idea of vampires who were just ordinary and wanted to be that way. Most vampires I have come across are either sparkly or too bad ass. So it was a pleasant change, I liked Emma's narrative.


And I loved Teren and his family. The just had a much more interesting story than Emma's family.


[I don't know if it was just PMS or what but I actually blinked back tears twice while reading. Yes, there I said that. The first time was when Emma discovers that Teren's going to die in a few months. Imagine the horror of falling in love with a wonderful man and realizing they have a few months to live. I'd never thought of vampires from this angle because generally they're not made out that way. Teren was just so wonderful, I felt his pain, his fear and I couldn't like him enough. 


I was of course wrong.


By the time they get kidnapped, my stomach was in the pits and I was so apprehensive but thank God they made it. Teren proved to be more in control and almost human despite dying [made me like him all the more] and I thought Emma was just so wonderful by doing what she did to save him. But I cried still, because I thought Teren died too soon, and that too without having a decent shot at having a baby. But I still hoped.


I liked their relationship and how they sounded more like an old married couple that likes fighting and teasing each other.


Loved the ending really. It brought a smile to my face and I really want to start reading the next one. I hope their wonderful story stays the same way and gets better over time. 

Book Review: Always The Bridesmaid



Always the Bridesmaid by Whitney Lyles
Bookshelves: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance, Favorite Book Covers

My Verdict ♥ ♥

Every time I watch a chick flick that is based on a book I think to myself, when will they stop ruining perfectly good books and giving us such emotional cliched plots? Reading this book, I felt like I was watching a chick flick. 


It was a trifle disappointing to find that out, it wasn't a bad book though. Not at all, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I found the plot redundant and Cate didn't really shine out as a strong character to me or someone I'd actually care about. Both Cate and Paul. 


There were some great characters in the book however. Jill for one, that girl was something. I was always eager to read whatever Jill did/said/looked/reacted. Ethan was another, who can't help but love such a goodhearted, caring guy? There were some interesting scenes in the book, Beth's wedding for one, I found Leslie's emails amusing and also all the dress fittings and ugly garments she imposed on her bridesmaid. The horrors! I was actually thanking the Lord that things are different in my country. The bridesmaid here are free to chose their own dresses. 


Coming back to Cate. I don't know what was up with that girl seriously. The opening scenes had me intrigued [when we got to see a bitchy side in Cate as she locked the drunken ex boyfriend in the restrooms] and then she comes back to let him out, guilt ridden and feeling for him. She presented an interesting character but soon gave way to the dull Cate who had problems with Paul that we had to tolerate throughout the rest of the book. 


Don't even get me started on Paul. The book tried telling me He was handsome, he was smart. He was caring when he wanted to be. He was interesting and definitely marriage material.... I didn't feel that AT ALL. Paul was definitely the most boring, dull, shallow guy ever. I feel sorry for him actually. The author really didn't like him I suppose. Well, neither did I.


The book was very predictable but then I suppose it's because I've watched way too many chick flicks to know how the plot usually goes about. It's either your best friend, long lost child hood friend, your next door neighbor, any other person who's invisible to you before you break up with the jerk of a guy you thought cared for you. Pretty simple. I have to admit I skipped a lot of pages and towards the end I just wanted to finish the book. 

I'd give it 2 hearts.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A lot more reviews to come.

Okay, so I just posted 3 back to back reviews. Will be posting a couple more tomorrow. There's a lot of reviews to write here and too little time I'm afraid.

I recently read a great set of books.

Daimon and Half blood
Paranormalcy and Supernaturally
The Vampire Academy series.

So I'll be posting those reviews soon!

Book Review: Entwined


Entwined by Heather Dixon
Bookshelves: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ 3/4

This book didn't start in the most appealing manner for me. I have to admit, the story telling wasn't too great. It kind of fell flat and a tad dull most times. It felt rushed, with vague details. I like stories which give descriptive details of characters, the surroundings and such. This book had me guessing a lot of things, leaving gaps for my mind to fill [which isn't too good when it comes to characters]. 


I stumbled a bit with the story before it caught my attention but once it did, I enjoyed it. The reason I gave it more than 3 stars is solely on the story. I loved it. It was like falling into a world of fantasy, revisiting fairy tales from my childhood by taking a walk through the secret entrance into the dark pavilion and dancing away the night in the presence of the most handsome man you've ever set eyes on. So intriguing. Most assuredly too good to be true. 


It's hard not to like a story which reminds me of beauty and the beast [magic teapots and all] and Alice in Wonderland with the right amount of darkness added on top for a perfect finish. 


I loved the 12 princesses, they shared a lovely bond and a lot of fun and adventure I suppose. Come to think of it, having 11 sisters is like having a sleepover with your girl friends every night. 


This book actually put me in a festive mood [despite the seriousness of it] the mentioning of yuletide and Christmas - it also made me want to dance which is saying something because I'm not the dancing sort.

Book Review: Bloodmaiden



Blood Maiden by Christine E Schulze
Bookshelves: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult


My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ 1/2

Remember how back in your childhood days you'd often lay awake in bed, conjuring up an epic fantasy in your little head? Well, I certainly did. I thought of dragons and mysterious kingdoms, sprites, feisty little creatures, magical guitars and weird folk. Imagine my delight when I came across all those while I read Bloodmaiden! 


I have to admit the initial few pages had me doubting the enjoyment factor I'd get from this book, because of the first person narrative - It's not the style I'm used to reading or particularly fond of even. It felt a little odd but that odd sensation soon passes away as the story picks up. 


The story is Crisilin's narrative, who's the 'chosen sacrifice' or Quelda for the kingdom of Tynan, as part of the yearly 'blessing' the kingdom receives from the dragons ruling it. Now this kingdom is grim indeed for much tragedy falls on it's people at the hands [claws?] of the tyrant dragons, pushing them farther into the darkness. Now Crisilin faces a terrible fate, she is to get married to a partner and be sacrificed - to be consumed by the blood lusting scaly beasts. Does she dare defy the dragons? Is there any hope for a future together with the childhood friend she loves? And more importantly, how does she manage to restore some semblance in her own kingdom? 


This book has some fantastic descriptions. I reveled in the rich details of each kingdom and the scenery. I usually like my books to have such details. Each kingdom had it's own wonderful setting, it's own tale to tell. The characters were strong, nicely etched. My favorites have to be Brydon and Pan. They were such complete opposites as to strike out each others' personality totally and just seeing the two interact was vastly entertaining. Mokuolu was another colorful character, one I enjoyed every time I read about. 


Crisilin didn't particularly strike me as a very strong individual but then I had to constantly remind myself of the horrors she'd prepared herself for and of how tender an age. Same goes for Chalom, though I think he was plenty brave for doing what he did. Such devotion isn't oft seen among men. 


Most of all, I liked how the journey progressed and yes, even though the ending became obvious halfway I still enjoyed the vivid scenes and the bonds formed during the entire book. I'd give it a 3.5 and recommend it to everyone who likes dragons and epic fantasy.

Book Review: Nevermore



Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Bookshelves: Fantasy, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Young Adult, Favorites

My Verdict ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I guess I can't gush enough how much I loved this book! Lately, I haven't read much books with High school settings and to be honest I thought I was no longer interested in High schoolers but this book proved me wrong. It had me glued to every page! 

A perfect blend of gothic, eerie and fantasy - such a darkly beautiful story! Isobel seems like a typical pretty blonde cheerleader who's got everything going for her. The popular boyfriend, a lovely set of friends, and she's happily enjoying the pretty shallow life she leads. I liked the fact that Isobel really isn't your typical cute cheerleader, she's a lot deeper than that and we see her growing into so much more as she befriends the mysteriously dark somewhat freakish Varen Nethers.

I don't think I've particularly cared for goths before but I did for this one. Something about the way he was described, so very compelling. I wasn't too overly found of his lip piercing but it was a slight thing to overlook really. I think it's stupid people go on and on, ranting about how ugly the faces are on the cover [seriously people. It's a book that gives you descriptions. Go ahead and form images to your liking. Don't go ranting if your mind isn't creative enough to come up with something satisfactory] I loved every bit of Varen, his character was intriguing, deep and soulful - with the disturbingly right amount of creepy. and let's not forget Poe! ♥

This book had me hooked from the first page, the composition startling and the concept unique and interesting. I just love everything to do about the unconscious mind, dreams, different realms and such. I loved the detailed descriptions, the words were never dull and the story was perfectly paced. Towards the end, there was so much thrill, adrenaline pumping frenzy really. And my stomach fell into a bottomless pit when Reynolds return Isobel home and the policemen arrive. Dear Lord! It was like my heart was shrinking.

The ending made me feel so many things.

Sad.

Hopeful.

Melancholy.

Rage.

Impatience.

Ah. I could go on and on, I'm really looking forward to the next installment of the series. Can't wait for the release next year! 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Where did my day go?!

wow! seriously. I have no idea where the hours flew by. I like days like today though. When the unexpected happens and I get to do some retail therapy.

Turns out, today wasn't so crappy as I initially imagined it to be. So yay! I went out shopping, bought a bunch of stuff and now my wallet is all empty. *stares guiltily at her bills*

I've got so many reviews lined up to post on here. I guess I'll get to it tomorrow.

Looking forward to tonight. Going to read some awesome books I scored through net galley and also cooking my favorite dinner.

A little morning sweetness!

Good morning everyone! Well, it's almost afternoon to be honest. Anyways.


I woke up craving something sweet today. This delicious slice of cake above was not available though so I settled for honeyed Cheerios. Haha.

I actually get high on sugar so feeling a bit elated for no good reason right now. Back to the divine chocolate cake, I wish I could bake half as good as I do now. I pretty much suck at it, can't even make tasty cupcakes *hangs head in shame*

I always blamed the recipes for my failure before, and as years passed and my baking ability was below mediocre I came to the realization that baking wasn't my thing. Anyways, I've been thinking to give it a go once more. I'll look up some super easy and really delicious recipe for mocha cupcakes ♥

So much for movie watching!

I spent this entire time fussing over my blog layout. I can never settle for one look. Meh.

Guess, I'll stop for now. I do like my blog banner though. It's my own artwork - the text isn't the most catchy in my opinion. Hmmm.

And I'm still hungry. I got caught up in all this design detailing.

I suppose, I shall read a bit before going to bed now.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A little night rambling

So here I am again.

Just heard on the telly, tomorrow is a holiday. There was a time I'd have been thrilled to hear these magic words. Today is not it. No sir, I am royally highly every-other-word-that-ends-with-ly pissed. Had big plans for tomorrow [for once!] and a few important appointments but why should I care about getting my blood tested and not being able to give an interview when I have a holiday! Yatta! *heavy on the sarcasm*

Come to think of it, this pissing me off sure drains one's energy. I'm suddenly feeling quite hungry. Hmmm.
Time for a snack, but what really? *stares guiltily at the weighing machine*

I suppose I could do something fun. I feel like watching a movie today. All that trailer watching on imdb surely got me craving for some epic kind of movie.

Now that is a dilemma.

Finding.

An.

Epic.

Movie.

Something along the lines of Lord of the Rings ~ I might end up watching it if unable to find any decent one.
Browsing through my movie collection now.

Nine - some musical, hmm...maybe.
Legion - there's something about this movie that makes me not want to see it *confused*
Dear John - Is this a weepy one? I won't watch it if it is.
London Boulevard - some gangsta. might watch
Mail order bride - Eh, where'd this come from?
One day - a Jap/Korean movie. Sorry, don't know which for sure
RocknRolla - Guy Ritchie. Hmmm..

Oh well, I'll watch something out of these listed. But first, got to fix me something to eat! ♥

MOVIES I CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH!

Was just browsing imdb and saw some awesome clips!


Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. ftw! I've always read and loved Sherlock Holmes, and it came as a big surprise to me when I thoroughly enjoyed the movie even though it was as different from how I perceived the book as can be. Perhaps, my fondness for the movie has got more to do with these two wonderful actors above all else. Can't wait for December!
                                                                   

I remember having a very prolong discussion with my friend on this very controversial theory in Lit class. I'm quite eager to see what reasons and theories this movie explores. I might give my friend a call and invite her over. So, there's Shakespeare, conspiracy, historical and even an Earl involved! What's not to like about this one?

 

I can never rave enough about Johnny Depp. It's always a treat to watch him play any role, and one thing is guaranteed - You'll enjoy his character immensely. No one brings individuality and acting better than this man does. Plus, the movie clip seems kind of hilarious. So looking forward to this! ♥

And of course, there's Dark Shadows [Johnny Depp + Tim Burton = EPIC WIN]. I'm expecting a deliciously gothic, dark, twisted vampire tale! But got to wait for May next year ¬¬

My Verdict: ♥



Halo by Alexandra Adornetto   
Bookshelve[s]: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Favorite book covers



My reaction to this book was very lukewarm. I just didn't really care to love or hate this book. Firstly, I was assuming to read some great kick ass action scenes while the angels and the dark forces clashed. 


Well, I waited and waited. And waited, till the end. The whole book is basically about an angel trio [Gabe,Ivy and Bethany]. Now these three divine beings are sent down on earth for a very specific mission - to restore semblance to the little town and battle dark forces. It would be a good thing to remember this mission. Because this is the only time you'll read about it. 


So, there's a lot of description in the first few chapters which I didn't mind in the least though again it was the first person perspective that i'm coming to detest. 


Gabe was an archangel and Ivy a seraphim. I was simply awed and couldn't wait to see their awesome powers but these angels turned out to be pretty domestic. The book sang praises of Gabe's wonderfully beautiful manly physique and his culinary skills, and Ivy's ethereal beauty and her ability to be a charming hostess. It was so disappointing that the characters were so poorly done. One would expect angels to be a tad more interesting and skilled than the ordinary human. 


I had so many complaints with Bethany. She came of as a spoiled rotten, juvenile and dumb little monster. Remember the important mission I talked about earlier? Apparently, angels descended to earth to save humans. NEWS FLASH - that never happens. In fact, something far more comical does - the main mission in the book is to save Bethany. Really, I thought an Angel's first and foremost concern were the humans? So anyways, the lowly humans end up saving the worthless neck of Beth a couple of times. She's such a disgrace. *wrinkles nose in disapproval* 


And don't get me started on Xavier and Bethany. Their couple bored me to tears, I skipped all and every scene that involved these two weirdos. I skipped all the horrible prom scenes too. Jake's arrival in the book sparked my interest for like, 5 seconds? But Jake barely got space in the book, coming so late and by then it was already a love novel between Xavier and Beth - NOTHING ELSE. 


So, in the end it was all about the pretty unique Angel falling in love with the boring school captain. I would've liked Gabe and Molly more to be honest. At least, they were interesting. And the horrors! Beth gifted with love or whatever - God help the people who'll come in her path. She's so stupid and dumb, I don't know what havoc she's going to wreck with all that love of hers. It irks me to no end. Through out the book, she decides against the wisdom and wishes of her elder siblings, rushes off somewhere, does something reckless, screw things up and then comes bawling to them. I can't stand such people, even if their skin is luminous and sparkly. And what crap about those paper like wings? I thought the human form must be a bit more impressive than that. What kind of loser angels are these? 


My main objection is that the story took off in another direction i.e the sappy love life of Bethany the Irksome brat rather than the actual purpose for the angels visit. And why oh why would the divine power object to modern technology? The very great thing which could've helped them snoop around better and find the dark forces - Though i don't think demons run around posting pics on face book and tweeting but apparently they did - to gather a horde of little minions. Well, what can I say. The dark forces are smart. The divine forces? Not so much. 


Jake Thorn is a pain and just a teensy weensy dark force. I wanted some kick ass action. And we couldn't have asked for a more cliched villain. He disappointed like all others. He's supposedly been searching for the annoying Beth for CENTURIES and all it takes to vanquish him is a bit of love. Blah! Skipped so many pages during just to finish this book. 


The little scroll note with the annoying font [I couldn't even read half of what was written in there, all the cursive and calligraphic - for a minion of hell, Jake sure spent time around practicing his writing. Yeah, back to the note, such a meager excuse to make us read the next book. Offensive really. 


There were probably a bunch of other complaints but I've honestly forgotten them. I still might read book 2 just for the heck of dissecting the book in my review. I hope there's some good dose of angel vs. devil combat. 


Hearting Legend

♥  It was totally blah, I'm only being generous
♥ ♥  It had potential, I liked plenty of things but some things I just hated
♥ ♥ ♥ I liked it a lot. Probably loved 1 or 2 characters in there too. Fun read but will probably not reread.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I loved it. Big crush on the Hero too [probably] Just how I like my books. Worth rereading.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Favorite! Moved me in ways I can't put into words. Worth memorizing, most of the time. Thoroughly enjoyable. 

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Ok..here goes

So, my first post on here. I wonder if it has to be something profound?

I'll stick to a few simple words since it's awfully late here [2.19 AM] and I'm hunched in front of my laptop, gazing at the bright screen with tired, stingy eyes, typing away in my not so rare or uncommon fit of insanity. *evil laughter*

I also can't seem to change the template at this moment -.-
Sadia, can you ever be smart with these things? *muses*

I've decided to retire for the night, the template not changing got me all sulky. Haha.
Good night to whoever reads this! :)

PS: the image on the right looks terrible, doesn't it? Will have to fix that first thing in the morning! ;)