Review: Water Song: A Retelling of “The Frog Prince” by Suzanne Weyn

725806Blurb from Goodreads

Young, beautiful, and wealthy, Emma Pennington is accustomed to a very comfortable life. Although war rages abroad, she hardly feels its effect. She and her mother travel from their home in Britain to the family estate in Belgium, never imagining that the war could reach them there. But it does.

Soon Emma finds herself stranded in a war-torn country, utterly alone. Enemy troops fight to take over her estate, leaving her with no way to reach her family, and no way out.

With all of her attention focused on survival and escape, Emma hardly expects to find love. But the war will teach her that life is unpredictable, people aren’t always what they seem, and magic is lurking everywhere.

Paperback, 194 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Simon Pulse
edition language: English
genre: Historical, Retelling, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I never read nor watch the movie of The Frog Prince before, but I get the idea of what it is all about. When I picked this book up, I wonder how the author will tell and transform the hero into the frog. To be honest, reading a frog prince is not that appealing for me. I’m more curious of the way the author retells it, which brings me to this book.I really like how it feels like a new story for me, despite that I’ve already known (a bit) the story. I also liked the historical setting which takes place during the WWI. It feels like the fairytale isn’t that far away with our world. And the author provides the historical background quite well, I think.I liked the main characters, Emma and Jack, they are strong will and brave in their own way. Although at first there is prejudice between them, I cannot help not to love their banter and wit. It’s so good reading their dialogues, they can make me smile or even laugh with their wit.

However, I want more about Jack’s magic. I think it doesn’t describe well, at least not as descriptive as I want to. It’s like it’s so natural for Jack he hopes I, as a reader, can understand it without him describing it. And there are also things that I think too easy for the characters. Jack’s magic that feels too convenience for their own good.

All in all, as my first The Frog Prince retelling I think it’s a good and enjoyable story. It feels too short though. I wish there is more story about Emma’s father, Jack’s family and his magic.
Result: 3 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #18
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Read books I never thought I’ll read.
– Popsugar: A book set in a different country (in Belgium)

Reading Anywhere: Comics


He read: One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
Place picture taken: in a public transportation
Date picture taken: March 8th, 2013
Camera: iPod Touch 4th generation.

I find it’s quite hard to find people read in public places but it’s harder to find adult read comics in public places. I don’t know why people (at least people that I know) think comics are only for children. I did use comics to make my little sister loves to read. I think it’s more appealing for her since there are more pictures than words. It was just the beginning though. Now she mostly read novel, though she is still a fan of comics too.

My first experience with comics was when I was in junior high school. My friend retold a comic series she just read every night for a whole month. I became curious of the story and wanted to read it by myself. Hence my love for Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi began. I collect the series, still have it in my bookshelf and reread it whenever I miss Usagi Tsukino & Co. To be honest, I’m not that into comics. At first, I found it’s confusing to read it. I didn’t know whether I should start it from the back or the front book, or which one I should read first and then after that where should I go? And it’s too short for me.

Aside Sailor Moon and few series I read when I was young (Tintin, Asterix and few Japanese comics), I never read comics anymore. However I’m thinking to give it a try now. I’m going to start it with the Sandman series and/or its spin-off Death by Neil Gaiman. What do you think? What is/are your favorite comics? Do you have any recommendations?

Review: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5, Fairest by Marissa Meyer

22489107Blurb from Goodreads

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Hardcover, 222 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
edition language: English
series: The Lunar Chronicles
genre: Dystopia, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones

This is a story about love, a love that causes jealousy, hurt and madness. Levana craves love; from her parents who never able to show it to her, from her older sister who is cunning even in earlier age and most importantly from a man that attracts her from the first time she met him. She has love she’s willing to share yet she doesn’t have anyone to share with.

Levana as all we know is an evil antagonist in The Lunar Chronicles. So evil I want her to meet her end in a very hurtful way. But somehow, I can guess that there is a story, her reason, why she acted the way she did. I’m glad she has her own story, as I know her more well now. I think it’s a sad story, as sad as Disney’s live-action Maleficent. I feel sorry for her, but it doesn’t mean that I forgive her for all of her cruelty. What she did is beyond reason and unforgivable. But that’s the best thing about this book. It can make me sorry for her as much as hate her at the same time.


As a bridge between book 3 and 4 (or is it a prequel of book 1?) I already knew most of the things in the story. Reading it is like putting the puzzle of who is who and what they will become in next books, one by one. I think it’s good because it means that it intertwines with a whole Lunar Chronicles books. But in a way it’s also kinda boring. There is a time when I wish I get surprise from the story, just so I feel like I get something else something different in the story. So it is good Levana is a strong character. She can make me bear a bit of boredom and turn it into engaging story.

Although there isn’t much happens here, at least not much if I compare with other characters in Lunar Chronicles’ story, I think Levana’s story is stronger than Cress’ and probably more complex than Cinder and Scarlet’s story. Now I can’t wait to read the final one, Winter.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #17
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish at least 5 series I’ve started.
– Popsugar: A book based entirely on its cover

Review: Crush #1, Just a Little Crush by Renita Pizzitola

22606645Blurb from Goodreads

Brinley Dawson doesn’t drink, she studies—and despite the accusations of her alcoholic mother, she’s still a virgin. But if Brinley’s life is so put together, why is she freaking out to be going to college with the gorgeous, green-eyed jerk she kissed on a stupid dare in high school? Ryder Briggs can have any girl he wants . . . and the rumors say that he does. So why, after publicly embarrassing Brinley four years ago, is he suddenly acting like he’s interested?

Ryder never forgot Brinley. In fact, those perfect seven minutes permanently raised the bar for what a kiss could be. The truth is, Ryder doesn’t dare get too close to anyone. He knows how that worked out for his parents. But when his roommate takes a shot at Brinley, Ryder can’t contain his jealousy. Now he must do the hardest thing he’s ever done: forget about sex and convince Brinley his feelings are real.

Brinley isn’t sure whether she believes Ryder, but for the first time, her body isn’t playing by the rules. Then she discovers that she’s an unwilling part of a cruel game, humiliating her all over again—and Ryder might be to blame. Has Brinley’s little crush turned into a huge mistake . . . or has she found the one guy worth trusting with her heart?

Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Flirt/Random House
edition language: English
series: Crush
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
There is time when I feel like I have to stop reading New Adult contemporary romance. I don’t remember when the last time I got 4 stars reading. But silly me, I keep thinking that I might find a good one if I keep trying. I got this book from a recommendation after my not-so-good NA contemporary romance, and it is still not-so-good for me.

It has everything I usually read and is so predictable I was questioning the main character, Brinley, for not guessing it. I don’t know whether she’s that clueless or just ignorant or is truly naive. Let’s say she’s a naive-clueless nineteen years old, but what happened with her in the past should be a lesson for her. So it seems she didn’t get her lesson well. It’s so frustrating knowing that your main character falling to the same hole again, even when at the end of the day, it isn’t quite the same hole. But still I want her to get her lesson.

Reading her personality is not-so-good either. She says that she’s shy but she doesn’t seem that shy. I don’t find her shy enough as a shy person. She slut-shaming her roommate while she doesn’t know her at all. She also says that what Ryder did to her 4 years ago made her angry and caused her as an outsider at their school. But the first time she meet him again, she’s weak and all from his gorgeousness. I feel like I want to shout to her and demand her answer of where her anger and hate go? I think four years as an outsider in school is quite a long time to hold grunge, but suddenly it goes nowhere in the first sight at their second meeting. I don’t buy it.

And Ryder, is just typical I’m-not-good-for-you-so-stay-away-from-me-but-I-can’t-stay-away-so-I-keep-knocking-on-your-door kind of guy. His hot and cold attitude is so annoying I want to smack his head and tell him to make up his mind.

All in all, it looks like I’m still searching my perfect NA contemporary romance. And this one is far from it. So the question is, like Adele says, should I give up or should I keep chasing pavement?

Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #15
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Read books I never thought I’ll read

Review: Taking #3, Collide by Melissa West

16032329Blurb from Goodreads

Military legacy Ari Alexander has survived alien spies, WWIV, and a changing world order. But when the new leader of Earth uses Jackson—the only boy she’s ever let herself care about—to get to her, Ari has no choice but to surrender.

To free Jackson, she agrees to travel to the national bases to train others to fight. What she discovers is a land riddled with dying people. Ari has the power to heal by turning the fighters into aliens—half-breeds like her. If she succeeds, together, they have a chance at overthrowing the alien leader, Zeus. But if she fails, everyone she holds dear will be wiped away forever.

Once again, everything Ari’s come to believe is thrown into question. In a world of uncertainty, loyalties are tested, lies are uncovered, and no one can be trusted. If Ari and Jackson have any hope at survival and at preserving a life for the future, they must fight the final war with their eyes wide open.

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published February 9th 2015 by Entangled: Teen
edition language: English
series: Taking
genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

When book 2, Hover, didn’t live my expectation, I don’t except anything to the final one. But that’s when the best thing for the series happens. This book is the best among the three. I think it’s perfect as the last book.

Ari doesn’t lose focus anymore here, instead she’s so determine and clear of what she wants and what she has to do. She’s more badass which I liked, by the way because she doesn’t waste her talent into some wishy-washy thoughts like in book 2. Her romance with Jackson is also spots on. And it doesn’t shadow the action. But then again, it’s one of things I like from the series. There is romance but never shadow the story of the human versus the alien.

I couldn’t agree more with the tagline of the book, The War is Imminent. You’ll find more action and tension here, more than in book 1. It’s like Ari and other characters are always in the run and danger as the war approaches. But my favorite thing is Zeus’s mind game. It’s so good I keep wandering which one is real and which one is not. When I read it, I think I know when Ari dreams but then I’m not so sure anymore. I liked the feeling when I read it. It’s confusing but in a good way, if you know what I mean.

But if I have to point out one thing I’m not quite satisfy, is Ari’s POV makes some scenes aren’t not clear enough for me. Her POV limited few things I really want to know more. It’s just my preference, though. This book is still the best of the series.

Note: Is it just me or do you feel like there is a potential of sequel or spin-off of the series?

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #15
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.

Review: Everything Has Changed by Mia Kayla

24356312Blurb from Goodreads

Imagine finding the love of your life at the age of six.

Bliss Carrington did.

Bliss has known Jimmy Brason since first grade. He took on the role of the big brother Bliss never had, breaking Bliss out of her shy shell, encouraging her to have fun in high school, and pushing her to live her life to the fullest. They have always been friends—until one day, Bliss wanted more. Now seeing women everywhere swooning over Jimmy, head quarterback of the New York Cougars, is enough to drive her to madness.

Jimmy has been in love with Bliss forever, but she doesn’t know and she can never find out. In all the craziness of his fast track to fame and money, Bliss is the one person who has kept him sane. He firmly believes that history repeats itself and with his tainted past, he’s afraid that he’s fated to hurt her if he allows himself to follow his heart.

Bliss has watched Jimmy grow from a boy into a man, and it’s not fair that someone else will get to keep him when she knows in her heart that he only belongs to her.

When they tiptoe on the edge of love, can their friendship remain intact with both of them ignoring the rumblings that’s threatening to explode?

Everything Has Changed is a story of love, loss, and longing for the one you grew up loving.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 16th 2015 by MAM Books LLC
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

This is another case where the book has perfect formula but somehow I just missed it and think that it isn’t the one for me, while it has things I usually like.

So Bliss and Jimmy is best friend for forever. But somewhere along the way, Bliss feels something different. She falls in love with Jimmy while he is a I-don’t-do-relationship kind of guy. As a famous quarterback, of course there are women around her that makes Bliss feel even more insecure of herself.

From the beginning I can sense that this one is an angsty story. I don’t mind angst, I even like it. It’s my guilty pleasure. So I really like first couple chapters. I think it captures Bliss feeling for Jimmy well. I feel bad for her when it seems he doesn’t see her more than a BFF. And I understand her insecurity. At the same time, I know that Jimmy’s feeling is mutual but for some reason he doesn’t want her to know it. This causes problems between them. And it goes on and on and on in more than half of the book.

The thing is I can bear and understand their conflict as it can make the drama to the story, and yes the angst that I like. But if it happens more than I can count and it’s like they are running in circle, it’s frustrating me! Even Bliss feels it too. She tells me herself. There is nothing much in 70% of the story aside that they talking the same things over and over. Reading it is just exhausting.

I also don’t like the way Bliss keeps telling the same things over and over. Not just in the way she describes her feeling, it also when she describes something. She sounds like a song in repeat to me. Jimmy isn’t much better either. He keeps hurting Bliss while he says that he cares for her. If he cares for her, he won’t hurt her all the time and makes her the only one who fights for their love. At this moment, I didn’t know which one I most dislike. Bliss who cannot move on and letting him hurt her for countless time or Jimmy who hurt her in most of the story and doesn’t have a backbone to pursuit their love?

My excitement to Bliss and Jimmy story soon replace with boredom. And when they finally tell each other feeling, I lost my interest and just want to finish it as soon as I can so that I can move on to another book.

Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #14
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.

Review: Rebel Wing #2, Storm Fall by Tracy Banghart

23556036Blurb from Goodreads

In the action-packed sequel to Rebel Wing, Aris battles for life and love . . . and not everyone will survive.

Aris Haan gave up everything to join the Atalantan Military: her family, her boyfriend, even her identity. In the end, though, it didn’t matter that she was a war hero. When the all-male Military discovered that she was actually a woman, she was sent home and erased from history.

Now she has a chance to go back to the battlefield—as herself. But as hard as it was to be a soldier in disguise, it’s even more difficult now. The men in her unit undermine her at every turn. The Safaran army has spies everywhere, perhaps even on Aris’s stationpoint. And she’s falling for her mysterious superior officer, Milek. But their relationship is forbidden, just stolen moments between training sessions and missions. There’s no room for love in war.

Then Aris discovers that Safara’s leaders have set their sights on her, Atalanta’s hero. And she must find them before they find her . .

Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published December 16th 2014 by Alloy Entertainment – Powered by Amazon
edition language: English
series: Rebel Wing
genre: Dystopia, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

I think this sequel is much better than Rebel Wing. In Rebel Wing, half of it was boring, but here there isn’t any single dull moment I can find. It’s so engaging I read it in one sitting. It’s fast-paced from the beginning to the end.

I have to admit that the idea that Aris has to struggle (again) in the military made me doubt the story. Although I have a high hope to this book, I also think that it can be repetitive as Aris has to do the similar things as in book 1, though for different case. She’s indeed struggle for her position again, but the author write it well to avoid the similar things happen twice. And for that I’m so happy. It’s so good reading her struggling and determination throughout the story, as well as her hide and seek relationship with Major Vadim.

However I still don’t like reading Ward Neko and Ward Vadim relationship. In fact I couldn’t care less of their romance. For me, as leaders, especially Ward Neko, they don’t bring much contribution to the war their dominions have to face. I see him as a weak character. Maybe he’s meant to be that way, but his regret over his past love doesn’t give any good to his dominion. And reading it is so annoying. I rather read about Dysis relationship, or even Pallas story. So I think it is good they don’t take much in the story.

This book is still action-packed. Not just from Aris’ flying ability, but also from the nightmare that she has to face. It’s like the tension is all over her and she doesn’t have anything to avoid it.

On a side note, I think this book still has unclear things, just like in book 1. 1) I’m wondering where Theo goes? He’s the one who recognize Aris flying talent but he still doesn’t show up in the story. It’s like the author forgets him. 2) The invisible wingjet. It is invisible not only from the outside, but also from the inside of the jet, as in the pilot cannot see its nose and all. Does it make sense? I mean if it is the case, doesn’t it dangerous for the pilots for not being able to see their own jet? I know there are these kinds of military jet in our world, stealth jet, if I’m not wrong that can invisible from the radar and all. But I don’t think it’s truly invisible as in there is nothing that can see it, including its pilots. 3) Similar case with Theo, where does Aero Contas go? He’s an ass and is being station to another stationpoint, but I thought, well I assumed, to be honest, from his talk to Aris that he will appear again in the story. But until the last page, he doesn’t show up anymore.

All in all I really liked this sequel. I’m enjoying it more than book 1 and is as good as I expected. It still has things I dislike, though. But it doesn’t mean that I won’t read book 3, in fact I cannot wait to get my hand on it!

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #13
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.