Reading Anywhere: Non-fiction book

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Second picture in Reading Anywhere is here! I took it on June 27th, 2013 in the morning on my way to the office, with camera from my iPod Touch 4th generation. The girl who read it was in the same public transportation as mine.

First thing that catch my attention, aside that she’s reading a book, was the cover. It is pretty eye catching with that pink heart on the cover. And I think her nail color suits the cover really well. Couldn’t help not to notice it 😀

The book is in my language, Indonesian. I haven’t read it yet. But from the blurb I can tell it’s about relationship from Islam perspective. So it’s a non-fiction book. I don’t know whether I’ll read it in the future as I rarely read non-fiction. It has high rating on GoodReads, though.

How about you? do like reading non-fiction book?

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Review: The Last Kings of Sark by Rosa Rankin-Gee

18404267Blurb from Goodreads

My name is Jude. And because of Law, Hey and the Obscure, they thought I was a boy.’

Jude is twenty-one when she flies in a private plane to Sark, a tiny carless Channel Island, the last place in Europe to abolish feudalism. She has been hired for the summer to give tuition to a rich local boy called Pip. But when she arrives, the family is unsettling – Pip is awkward, over-literal, and adamant he doesn’t need a tutor, and upstairs, his enigmatic mother Esmé casts a shadow over the house.

Enter Sofi: the family’s holiday cook, a magnetic, mercurial Polish girl with appalling kitchen hygiene, who sings to herself and sleeps naked. When the father of the family goes away on business, Pip’s science lessons are replaced by midday rosé and scallop-smuggling, and summer begins. Soon something surprising starts to touch the three together.

But those strange, golden weeks cannot last forever. Later, in Paris, Normandy and London, they find themselves looking for the moment that changed everything.

Compelling, dark and funny, The Last Kings of Sark is tale of complicated love, only children and missed opportunities, from an extraordinary new writer.

Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by St. Martin’s Press (first published November 7th 2013)
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Adult
My Thoughts
DNF at chapter 12 (30%)

ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

The blurb intrigued me to read this book, that’s why I requested it from NetGalley in the first place. Somehow I was kind of wish that I’ll get Jane Eyre-esque story, a beautiful-romantic with mystery kind of story.

Sark island interesting enough with its mysterious vibe. I think the author did a good job describing it. However it was hard for me to connect to the story and the characters. I really tried but up to the end of chapter 12 I still couldn’t care less with both of them. Jude, the main character and narrator of this story described most of everything but I got so little thing about her. Her co-worker, Sofi is an interesting character but I feel like she talked too much and her character overshadows Jude. It made me think why didn’t give her own POV, instead of Jude since I got her story more than Jude. She came to Sark to tutor a boy, Pip, he is supposed to be an interesting character too, but he feels flat to me. It was like he was there just so Jude has someone to tutor while she even rarely tutors him. Esme, Pip’s French mom, she’s the one I thought could make the story more mysterious, but the way Jude describes her make her isn’t mysterious enough for me to know what her story is. And Eddy, Pip’s dad, he disappears a lot from the story I didn’t get much about him.

And there is also something off with the way Jude tells her story. Maybe it’s just me being a reader with English isn’t my first language, maybe it’s because I’m still learning it so I don’t know much about it. But one thing for sure was I have problem reading her story. She likes using ‘later’. It’s kinda kill the element of surprise for me. I think I already know who or what will happen long before it happen or he/she enters the story since she tells me one step forward. Hence when a character enters the story and/or some things finally happened, it didn’t interest me anymore. I also quite difficult to differentiate when and where she talks about something. I feel like she talks about one thing and then in the same paragraph it turns to other thing. I think the flow doesn’t go smoothly.

All in all, I think this book has potential but I just couldn’t connect to it and there weren’t much happened till 30% of the story. To be honest, I tried a few times to pick this book up again and again in a span of 8 months. I feel bad I couldn’t finish it, maybe it just isn’t my cup of tea and it will work differently for other readers.

Result: since I did not finish it, I didn’t give it any star
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #6
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book written by an author with your same initial

Review: When by Victoria Laurie

24460603Blurb from Goodreads

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one. Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client’s young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie. Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 13th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
edition language: English
genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.This book somehow brings out memory of my teenage life when the only thing I read is suspense-detective kind of books. I love detective stories I thought I’ll only read them for the rest of my life which is not likely happen as I grow old.

Now, reading this book with my older eyes and mind, I can say that I still love this kind of books. And I really enjoyed this story, though I also realize that there are things that feel unbelievable and far-fetched. But I can shrug it off and think that Maddie is just a teenage girl. So it’s understandable when she’s a bit naive and doesn’t take a second thought of what older people suggest her to do. When she puts her mind on something, she’ll do it. No matter what. In a way I admire her bravery. On the other hand I feel like I want to tell her to be careful. The story also contains with things that are too easy for Maddie and other characters it seems they are often be at the right/wrong place in a right/wrong time. And much for their inconvenience it seems to help/make the situation worse for them. But then again, I can still bear it as I like the characters.

For one thing, though it’s kind of predictable, there are still things that surprise me. And the pace is so good it’s so engaging I want to keep reading it. There are moments when I feel my heart beats fast as much as when I can’t help not to smile because of Maddie and her bestfriend, Stubby’s coversation or his unique personalities behind that shyness and awkward boy. And I really like their relationship. They a bit remind me of Amy and Hawkeye, a pair of teenage detectives from Can You Solve The Mystery? series I fell in love with long time ago.

And then as I reach the final page, I realize I don’t want this story to end. It has perfect ending, I really liked it but I also feel like I can read more of Maddie and other good characters in the future.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #5
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish all of ARCs (Advance Reader Copy) I have by the end of 2015.
– Popsugar: A book with a one-word title

Review: Starbound #2, This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

13138734Blurb from Goodreads

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

ebook
Published December 23rd 2014 by Hyperion
edition language: English
series: Starbound
genre: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I really like the first few chapters in this book, though Jubilee and Flynn remind me of Legend a lot. It’s so engaging. Jubilee, is kickass heroine and so does Flynn. Those chapters attract me I even felt like this is so much better than These Broken Stars. But then unfortunately it’s falling slowly into the boringness.

My biggest problem was Jubilee and Flynn back and forth feeling regarding their role. They are meant to have a star-crossed kind of relationship, I know that, and I understand when they feel conflicted but when it happens so many times, I cannot avoid feel bored. Add it with the push and pull relationship between both of them. And how things often come too easily for them I ended up skipping pages, mostly in the middle of the story. I just felt the story was going nowhere while I was so eager to finish. And when I skip pages or just skim the book it never a good sign for me.

On the other hand, I think Jubilee and Flynn’s story is more interesting than Lilac and Tarver’s. It’s more complex and has more actions, though maybe it’s because there are more characters in it than in These Broken Stars. I really liked how the authors connect Jubilee and Flynn with Lilac and Tarver. It makes the story intertwine each other and become a whole series. Something that I never thought when I knew that book 2 of Starbound series isn’t about Lilac and Tarver anymore. I also like how Jubilee’s past plays role in her present. And I did like the way she tells her past, though it’s still unclear for me.

Although this series isn’t that impressive for me I can’t wait to read the final book. It has to be epic since there are big things that still left unsolved.
Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #4
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish at least 5 series I’ve started.
– Popsugar: A book set in the future

Review: Reclaiming The Sand #2, Chasing The Tide by A. Meredith Walters

21914535Blurb from GoodReads

Bully and Victim

Friend and Lover

Past and Future

Ellie McCallum and Flynn Hendrick’s story was as painful as it was devastating. But they were able to find within each other an unlikely yet beautiful love. Despite the obstacles that tried to keep them apart.

And together they rose out of the ashes of their tragic history.

Now years after their life changing reunion Ellie is back in Wellston, having just graduated from college and ready to start her future with the man who taught her how to love. However, returning to a town that held so much bitterness and anger was the last place she wanted to start over.

But for Flynn, who is now an art professor at the community college and firmly rooted in the place that gave them their beginning, she’d do just about anything.

Yet it’s difficult building a life when you’ve only just learned how to live.
And love, no matter how strong, doesn’t always conquer all.

Ellie and Flynn must learn how far they are willing to go to stay together. Or whether the ghosts of the past will consume them both.

Because finding a happily ever after is harder than it seems. Particularly when you’re fighting against the one thing that could destroy you.

Yourself.

Kindle Edition, 254 pages
Published December 14th 2014
edition language: English
series: Reclaiming The Sand
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
I love Flynn Hendrick and Ellie McCullom I felt like I’m not ready to say goodbye by the time I reach the last page of Reclaiming The Sand. And since then I’ve reread a few times, or just skimmed it to my favorite parts whenever I need to let me out from reading slump. And boy does it work every time. So you can tell how happy I was when I knew there will be another Flynn and Ellie’s story.

This time is mostly about Ellie’s life. I love I got to see more of her past life here, from her childhood to her college life. The author didn’t tell Ellie’s past in much description. It’s only in two or three pages in each chapters but it tells a lot about her. I think that way I can understand her better while at the same time it didn’t overlap the main story, her relationship with Flynn.

Their relationship is still hard, sometimes harder than in previous book. I really like when characters have to struggle and fight hard to get what they want, just like Flynn and Ellie who push their limit to make their relationship works. But I also felt the middle part of the story was a bit drag on and was kinda repetitive. I understand that Flynn needs consistency and routine but when I read the same thing happens I have to say that it was quite annoying and boring. So Ellie doesn’t want to be in Wellstone then her dislikes of her town effects Flynn’s mood. They yell and mad to each other and then she realizes that Flynn is all she needs. I know it means to show how hard they have to work for their relationship, with their own issues. But I think maybe their struggling can be in a different way to avoid the same thing over and over.

I still think that this is a nice story though, more than nice, to be honest. And I still love Flynn and Ellie and am still not ready to say goodbye. That’s how much I love them and their story.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #3
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Finish at least 5 series I’ve started.
– Popsugar: A book I can finish in a day

Review: Up in the Air #1, In Flight by R.K. Lilley

16134782Blurb from GoodReads

When reserved flight attendant Bianca gets one look at billionaire hotel owner James Cavendish, she loses all of her hard-won composure. For a girl who can easily juggle a tray of champagne flutes at 35,000 feet in three inch heels, she finds herself shockingly weak-kneed from their first encounter. The normally unruffled Bianca can’t seem to look away from his electrifying turquoise gaze. They hold a challenge, and a promise, that she finds impossible to resist, and she is a girl who is used to saying no and meaning it.

Bianca is accustomed to dealing with supermodels and movie stars in her job as a first class flight attendant, but James Cavendish puts them all to shame in the looks department. If only it were just his looks that she found so irresistible about the intimidating man, Bianca could have ignored his attentions. But what tempts her like never before is the dominant pull he seems to have over her from the moment they meet, and the promise of pleasure, and pain, that she reads in his eyes.

Kindle Edition, 263 pages
Published October 20th 2012 by R.K. Lilley
edition language: English
series: Up in the Air
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
My Thoughts
This book is kind of new for me. I never read about BDSM before. Yes it means that I never read Fifty Shades of Grey which some readers say there are lots of similarities with this book. I didn’t even have reason why I picked this book up, except that I was curious about it, to be honest. And after this one, I think I’ll read FSoG sooner just for the sake of my curiosity

As my first experience, I’d say there is nothing new in the story, except that it has lots of BDSM sex scenes and is predictable. I bet you can guess what will happen at the end of book even if you skip the middle of the story. There is insta-actraction between the main characters, Bianca and James, though thank goodness it wasn’t an insta-love. I liked both of them enough to keep reading their story as much as I didn’t quite like their other side. It was kinda hard for me to connect to both of them. James is so moody and selfish I was so annoyed with him. While Bianca is so naive I can’t believe that she is that naive. But I think I can still manage them since their past story was what I mostly interested. And it’s quite good, I think. In a way it made me glue to the book.

But my favorite character here is Bianca’s bestfriend, Stephan. I liked her relationship with him, though at first it was quite hard for me to believe that they don’t have any romantic feeling. In the end, I liked that they have sibling relationship and have each other all of the time.

I think this is an okay book. When I first picked this book up, I never thought I’ll read its sequel, but now, with the way it ended I feel like have to read it.

Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #2
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Books I never thought I’ll read. Book #2
– Popsugar: A book by an author I’ve never read before

Review: The Fowler Sisters #1, Owning Violet by Monica Murphy

22747260Blurb from GoodReads

I’ve moved through life doing what’s expected of me. I’m the middle daughter, the dutiful daughter. The one who braved a vicious attack and survived. The one who devoted herself to her family’s business empire. The one who met an ambitious man and fell in love. We were going to run Fleur Cosmetics together, Zachary and I.

Until he got a promotion and left me in the dust. Maybe it’s for the best, between his disloyalty and his wandering eye. But another man was waiting for me. Wanting me. He too has an overwhelming thirst for success, just like Zachary—perhaps even more so. He’s also ruthless. And mysterious. I know nothing about Ryder McKay beyond that he makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.

One stolen moment, a kiss, a touch . . . and I’m hooked. Ryder’s like a powerful drug, and I’m an addict who doesn’t want to be cured. He tells me his intentions aren’t pure, and I believe him. For once, I don’t care. I’m willing to risk everything just to be with him. Including my heart. My soul.

My everything.

ebook, 400 pages
Published December 2nd 2014 by Bantam
edition language: English
series: The Fowler Sisters
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
My Thoughts:
I liked One Week Girlfriend series I was excited to read Monica Murphy’s latest series, Fowler Sisters with its first book, Owning Violet. I can say I still like her writing but I cannot say the same thing for the story and also the characters.

From the blurb I can tell that I usually like this kind of story. There is nothing new in Ryder and Violet story, I know, and is predictable but I think it makes room for drama and angst, which is my guilty pleasure in contemporary romance. However I didn’t enjoy Ryder and Violet’s story as much as I thought I would.

Ryder uses Violet to make him reach higher position in Violet’s father’s company and to take revenge to Violet’s boyfriend. He keeps telling her that he is mean and is a bad guy with dark past. Problem is I didn’t see and feel it. Yes he uses her for his benefit but so does her boyfriend, Zachary. I’m sure everyone will use her for their benefit, if they have a chance. It doesn’t mean that he is mean, not mean enough for me to tell him that he is mean, at least. And about his dark past? I’ve read lots of that kind of “dark” past before, so yeah his dark past is nothing as dark as I thought he had when I read first chapter.

As for Violet, I’m confused by her personalities. Ryder keeps telling me that she’s shy and in some occasion she indeed seems a shy introvert girl. But then she can do things that are far from her shyness before she backs to her quiet personality. For me, most of the things she does aren’t believable. Maybe she can switch her personalities that easy because of Ryder which she claims change her in so many ways, but still I found it’s hard to believe when she does things that are out of her personalities.

And for the story, there are things that left unclear and feel like it comes out of the blue. Maybe they are meant to be in the sequels but I still feel like they are there just to make me wondering about it and maybe glue to it. While in reality it is kind of an epic fail because it’s just annoying me. And not to mention that the story is so drag on I’m bored most of the time and the ending felt rushed and too easy. I think I’ll still read the sequels though. So I’m waiting for Rose’s story now.
Result: 2 out of 5 stars
Reading Challenge:
– GoodReads: Book #1
– YA Buddy Readers’ Corner ♥: Books I never thought I’ll read. Book #1
– Popsugar: A book with a color in the title