Sneak Peek : Unbroken Connection by Angela Morrison

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Angela Morrison, the author of the well-known YA novel, TAKEN BY STORM has come up with a sequel which continues Michael and Leesie love story! Let's welcome UNBROKEN CONNECTION!

Take a look at this awesome cover!


Book Blurb:


Against all odds, the couple that swept you away in TAKEN BY STORM is back. Michael is in Thailand diving his dream. Leesie is at BYU living hers.

And they just can't leave each other alone.

Their romance rekindles, deeper than before. They grow desperate to see one another again. To hold one another again. Michael decides there is only one direction their relationship can go and asks Leesie the ultimate question. Her answer challenges everything Michael is and wants to be.

Can she change for him?

Can he change for her?

Book Review : The Emperor's New Clothes

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Product Details
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Paperback: 27 pages
  • Publisher: MARKS AND SPENCER
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1-84273-944-1

This book is funny and interesting. The thieves have tricked the emperor easily. The emperor does not wear any clothes to the parade because he believes that only clever people can see the invisible clothes. Everyone laughs at him, and then a little girl says that he has no clothes on. The emperor realizes that he has been very stupid to trust the thieves. I think most children will enjoy it as I do.

Rating: 4.500

Reviewed by Aik Johnny, 8 years old, Malaysia.

Book Review : Specials by Scott Westerfeld

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Now Reading
Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Product details
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK, March 2010
  • ISBN-10: 1847389082
  • ISBN-13: 9781847389084
  • Ages: 12 and up

"Special Circumstances":

The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor -- frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.

And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it's easy to tune that out -- until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.


"Specials"...special as the word sounds, it is actually a term used to acknowledge a unique kind of people who are created to aid the Special Circumstances in keeping the pretties stupid, and the uglies out of trouble.

Tally Youngblood is now a Cutter (a special type of Special), and her brain has been altered to capture the slightest imperfection in others. Being a cutter, Tally enjoys the privileges of changing her appearance as she like. However, she is now very sensitive towards the frailties of human nature and cringes at the very sight of Zane's trembling hands. At last, she decides to listen to Shay's order to carry out a seemingly impossible mission and secretly help Zane to become a Special. The one thing that she doesn't know is that the consequences of her reckless actions will endanger others... and maybe lead to their doom.

This book makes a good ending to the Uglies trilogy. It is not a really happy ending, but I enjoyed it fairly well. Even though Tally is now a Special, she still has to go through the many events that are similar to real-life happenings, such as love, life and death of someone close as she chooses the path that leads her to her future. You will discover that peace is one thing which is hard to obtain and hard to maintain. It can only be reached if two opposing forces are willing to make a pact and tolerate one another. In Specials, humanity is brought to a new level with the help of Tally and her friends, and is given a fresh start.

The author delivers a few messages regarding human nature and teenage issues via this book. First of all, there is this "humanity is a cancer" thing. In the book, humans destroyed their own kind because of their selfishness and greed about three centuries ago. This is to enlighten readers about the problems in nature that have arisen nowadays. Secondly, there is this pretty-ugly contrast which reveals the fact that the current society has a tendency to judge people by their appearance over their hearts, admiring the ones who seem pretty and gorgeous and loathing the idea of ugliness. I was horrified when I read the part where Tally and her fellow Cutters practice self-mutilation by cutting their arms with a knife to achieve an "icy" feeling. This is one of the teenage issues in our society. Some teenagers will intentionally injure their body without suicidal intent. Basically, this is caused by mental illness, psychological factors or the effects of drugs. I believe Scott includes these issues so that we can have a better view of some of the atrocious things that some people actually do.

In a nutshell, I'm satisfied with Specials, and I will recommend it to fans of Uglies and Pretties. Even though I have heard some negative comments about Specials, I still enjoyed it nonetheless because the middle part to the ending was really good and fast-paced, despite the flaws that are found at the beginning at the novel. Specials managed to reach my expectations, and I hope to read more books by Scott Westerfeld in the future.

Rating: 3.685

My deepest gratitude to Kathryn from Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a paperback copy of Specials for this review! Thank you, Kathryn!

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Scott Westerfeld was born in Texas, and received a BA in philosophy from Vassar in 1985. He splits his time between New York City and Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Midnighters, Uglies, So Yesterday and Peeps. You can visit Scott Westerfeld's website to know more about him.

Buy Specials (paperback) at:
Simon & Schuster UK :: The Book Depository

Visit the Uglies Fansite
Follow Scott on Twitter

Book Review : Pokemon - Bye Bye Butterfree by Diane Muldrow

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Product Details
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Golden Books (September 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307132668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307132666

I like this book because it is cute and interesting. Butterfree defeats Team Rocket and saves his friends. Ash feels sad because he knows that it is time for Butterfree to leave him and go with his new friend. The pictures in this book are pretty. I will read this book again in the future.

Rating: 4.500

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Reviewed by Aik Johnny, 8 years old, Malaysia.

Book Review : The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

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Now Reading
THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa

Product Details:
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210084

MEGHAN CHASE HAS A SECRET DESTINY— ONE SHE COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.


I have nothing bad to say about this book, really. The Iron King was fantastic! I love Julie's writing style, and I mean it when I say the front part of the book spooked my out. Meghan was a nice, well-liked character, and I was really amazed at how far she was willing to go to get her [kidnapped] half-brother back. She exuded intelligence and unswerving determination even though she had to face various obstacles on her journey to the magical realm to save her brother.

The Iron King is not a book about cute and adorable faeries. In the fey world, Meghan learned that most fey are abominable and that nothing is free. When you request for a help, you must know that you have to return the favour some day.

I thought that the cait sith, Grimilkin was an interesting character. He was earnest in helping Meghan to find Puck in exchange for a small favour, but only when he met Oberon, the King of the Summer Court did I realize that he was actually aiming for Oberon because he knew that Meghan was the daughter of Oberon. However, I don't think he was a bad character. He was just mysterious, elusive and calculative.

Meghan's relationship with her fey-friend Puck a.k.a. Robbin Goodfellow and love interest Ash a.k.a. the third prince of the Winter Court is one of the major aspects in this book. While I was glad that Puck's mischievous, caring and supporting character provided fun and comfort for Meghan, I was even touched by Ash's willingness to trade his life for Meghan's in The Iron King's fortress, even though he did it in the name of his contract with her. I somehow figured out that he was in love with Meghan, and I was hoping he would have a happy ending with Meghan in the future, despite the serious affection that Puck, his sworn-enemy, obviously had for her.

Thumbs up for the great plot! The author inserted a lot of twists and turns throughout the story and it kept me interested the whole time. Each chapter ends with a clue of what is going to happen next or a last line that will will implore readers to read more, regardless of the time. The writing has a constant flow that will make you read with ease and excitement. As the plot builds, you will find yourself entranced by the beauty and danger of the Fey world.

Overall, The Iron King is a wonderful, fascinating depiction of the Fey world through the eyes of a half-fey. Julie presents a strong, solid opening with The Iron King, and I'll definitely be reading The Iron Daughter to see what will Julie present in this second book of the The Iron Fey trilogy.

Rating: 5

Thanks to Chris Fontes for presenting me with a paperback copy of The Iron King! Thank you so much, Chris!

CymLowell



Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

The Iron King is now available!

In My Mailbox {4}

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This afternoon, I came home from Bomba camp, feeling tired and exhausted. But I was very excited the moment I spotted 7 parcels waiting to be discovered. Let's see what I got yesterday:

Won:

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Melissa Marr’s bestselling Wicked Lovely from Crystal Fulcher [My Reading Room]

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Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl from Crystal Fulcher [My Reading Room]

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Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz from Crystal Fulcher [My Reading Room]

Thank you so much, Crystal!

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Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski (signed) from YAthenaeum

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Dark Life by Kat Falls from YAthenaeum

This is my brother's:
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Poetry Speaks Who I Am, edited by Elise Paschen from YAthenaeum

This is for Koey:
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Explorer X-Alpha by LM Preston from YAthenaeum

Thanks to the YAthenaeum team!

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| Estevan Vega | Arson |

Thanks to Shesten from I Heart Monster!

Interchangeable earrings -  2 sets of Swarovski drops on Sterling Silver in Garnet and Amethyst
Earrings - Sterling Silver in Amethyst (left in the picture) from Christina from the beadedtortoise's shop.

Thank you, Christina!

Book Review : Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

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Product details
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK, March 2010
  • ISBN-10: 1847389074
  • ISBN-13: 9781847389077
  • Ages: 12 and up

Tally has finally become 'pretty'. Her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are cool, her boyfriend's gorgeous, and she's completely popular. It's everything she's ever wanted. But beneath all the fun - the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom - is a nagging feeling that something's wrong. Something important. And sure enough, when a message from Tally's 'ugly' past arrives, the fun stops cold. Now Tally has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life...

In Pretties, Tally is back with a brand new look, and a brand new brain. But despite having all the luxuries and fun a pretty can ever wanted, Tally is not content with her current situation. She senses that something is not right, and when someone she recognizes from the Old Smoke comes to her with a message, she starts to find the way to regain her lost memories.

Let's talk about the good things first. I loved the adventures that Tally went through in Pretties. I admired her spunk and courage. Scott had created a fabulous sequel to Uglies. Tally's escape from the New Pretty Town was very dangerous, but exciting at the same time. Pretties is full of unexpected twists and turns, which left me in awe of the author's creativity in writing.

Tally's life seems to be more complicated now. She is involved in a love triangle, with two charming princes --- one pretty (Zane) , and one ugly (David). Tally is not sure whom she loves more, but when the time comes and she has to pick someone, who will she choose? I'm sure readers will have a mix feeling for Tally's temperament, just as I do. Sometimes, I like her while the other times I don't.

"He turned to face her again, his late-pretty composure crumbling. "But you're..."

"Pretty? Think again." She smiled. "I'm Tally Youngbood. My mind is very ugly. And I'm taking your car."

On the other hand, I pity Shay, Tally's ex-best friend. She was once a good person, but she had now turned to a darker side because she wanted to seek vengeance on Tally's previous betrayal. Sometimes, the inability of forgiving others' wrongdoings will only burden oneself with never-ending hatred.

"YOU are like that, Tally. You have ALWAYS been like that! No cure is going to make you any different--you were busy betraying people a long time ago. You didn't need any operation to make you selfish and shallow and full of yourself. YOU ALREADY WERE."

Personally, I think Scott had other intentions when he explained the life of the 'Rusties' in this book. He reflected the damages that was caused by the human race towards nature which finally lead to their own doom. A new minor character called Andrew Simpson Smith (Tally's guide to the New Smoke) was introduced in Pretties. He wanted to kill the 'outsiders' who caused his father's death. Whenever I think of this, I wonder if it is better for the people in New Pretty Town to remain pretty-minded and be forever protected from the harshness and violence of reality?

Then she remembered Dr.Cable's words. Humanity is a cancer, and we are the cure.

I noticed that the author used the names of famous Egyptian beauties to name the places in the Uglies and Pretties, such as Cleopatra Park and Nefertiti Stadium. I wonder if any of Scott's fans notice about this? What does it actually imply?

Even though Pretties is full of adventure and the ending is a perfect cliffhanger, I still have to comment on some petty little things that I disliked while reading the first 3o+ pages of the book. The words 'bubbly' and 'bogus' seems to have a constant appearance in the first 3o+ pages, that is, about 12 times each. It bothered me a little to read the words again and again, but still, that's not a big problem.

Overall, I think Pretties is an enjoyable and interesting read. If you have read (and liked or loved) Uglies, you might want to check this book out. I'm looking forward to read the third book in the series, Specials, as I'm anxious to know what will happen to Tally next!

Rating: 4.000

My deepest gratitude to Kathryn from
Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a paperback copy of Pretties for this review! Thank you, Kathryn!

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Scott Westerfeld was born in Texas, and received a BA in philosophy from Vassar in 1985. He splits his time between New York City and Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Midnighters, Uglies, So Yesterday and Peeps. You can visit Scott Westerfeld's website to know more about him.

Buy Pretties (paperback) at:
Simon & Schuster UK :: The Book Depository

Visit the Uglies Fansite
Follow Scott on Twitter

Current Status

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I'm currently reading two books, Pretties by Scott Westerfeld and The Iron King (Iron Fey, Book #1) by Julie Kagawa. You can read the synopsis of both books below. Due to a coming exam, I will stop blogging for a while and concentrate on my studies. I will be back on next Wednesday or Thursday! Happy reading, friends! :)

This sequel to Uglies (S & S, 2005) continues to provide a gripping look at a dystopian future, but does not stand on its own. Tally, the protagonist of the first book, has forgotten all that she did as an Ugly and has completely embraced the mindless life of a New Pretty, going to parties, drinking heavily, and thinking of nothing more than the next bit of entertainment.

It is not until one of the Uglies from New Smoke comes and delivers a message for her that leads her to two pills, that she begins to remember the real reason she is Pretty: to see if the cure will work. Tally and her new boyfriend, Zane, each take one of the pills and both begin to stay focused for longer periods of time. Then he has a bad reaction to the pill, and Tally has to make a desperate attempt to get him to the only doctors who can help him–the ones outside the city.

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The Iron King (Iron Fey, Book #1) by Julie Kagawa

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

Win A Copy of Torment on RCIA

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Contest on Reading Cause I'm Addicted
5 winners will get a copy of Torment (amazing right?)!! 3 winners will be from the UK, and 2 International (aka everywhere else). To enter, you must create a blog post (vlogs are smiled upon) saying why you loved Fallen so much. There’s no actual limit on how long or short the post should be, but it shouldn’t be less than 5 sentences, and it shouldn't be as long as an essay. Vlogs can be in between 30 sec – 5min. Contest ends July 22, 2010.

Why I Love Fallen

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Product Details:
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; First Edition/First Printing edition (December 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385738935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385738934
Synopsis:
Luce must spend her senior year at reform school after her boyfriend dies in a mysterious fire. She suspects that the dark shadows that have tormented her all her life had something to do with it. When she meets supernaturally gorgeous Daniel, she feels a familiar longing, making her believe they have met before. Although Cam is clearly interested in her, Luce only wants Daniel, who runs both hot and cold. He tries to keep Luce at a distance, telling her that the truth would kill her as it has many times before.

Why I love Fallen:
Besides vampires and werewolves, angels are a leading trend in the YA Literature these days. Notable examples include Hush, Hush by Becca and Fallen by Lauren Kate. There are mix reviews for Fallen, but personally, I think the book was great! First of all, I have to appraise the cover of this book. It has a gothic appearance which is both mysterious and captivating. Lauren Kate’s writing is skillful and flowing and the descriptions are very well-written. My interest was sparked at the beginning, and the intriguing plot urged me to keep on reading. The characters in this novel felt real and alive. I love Luce and Daniel the best! The ending was a real cliffhanger because there were still many unrefuted questions which kept me waiting anxiously for the sequel, Torment. Fallen really made me squeal with delight!

Book Review : Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

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Uglies (Uglies, #1)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Product details
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's (4 Mar 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1847389066
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847389060
  • Ages: 12 and up

Tally lives in a world where your sixteenth birthday brings aesthetic perfection: an operation which erases all your flaws, transforming you from an 'Ugly' into a 'Pretty'. She is on the eve of this important event, and cannot wait for her life to change. As well as guaranteeing supermodel looks, life as a Pretty seems to revolve around having a good time. But then she meets Shay, who is also fifteen - but with a very different outlook on life. Shay isn't sure she wants to be Pretty and plans to escape to a community in the forest - the Rusty Ruins - where Uglies go to escape ' turning'. Tally won't be persuaded to join her, as this would involve sacrificing everything she's ever wanted for a lot of uncertainty. When she is taken in for questioning on her birthday, however, Tally gets sent to the Ruins anyway - against her will. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she could ever imagine: find her friend Shay and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. What she discovers in the Ruins reveals that there is nothing 'pretty' about the transformations...And the choice Tally makes will change her world forever.

Nowadays, people spend a lot of time on their appearances, and are always fretting upon the slightest imperfections. Some even undergo plastic surgery so that they can appear more gorgeous and attractive. The vainness and frailties of humans resonate within this book which I'm going to review today, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.

Is becoming pretty a good thing?

At first, Tally was eager to get the operation, so that she could become a 'pretty', instead of her current 'ugly'. She yearned for others' admiration, attention and adoring glances. When her friend, Shay, decided to flee to a place called 'Smoke', she did not want to run away with her because she could not bear to lose her only chance of becoming pretty.

But she was coerced to go there anyway, to bring her friend back and to help the Special Circumstances abolish 'Smoke' once and for all. She was in a dilemma - should she betray her friend or remain as an 'ugly' forever?

I realized from this book that what you've been taught since young are not necessarily true, and all humans remain flawed no matter what they do. Scott has successfully created a highly-believable dystopian world in Uglies which addresses the various issues that a teenager may face in real life - peer pressure, appearance, lack of confidence and conformity. I think that it may be better if the government in Uglies can educate its people so that they can learn to differentiate between good and evil, rather than turning them into brain-damaged pretties with no ideas, wills and personalities of their own. Everyone deserves a fair treatment and personal freedom.

Uglies is exciting, refreshing and thought-provoking. It was such a pleasure reading it! I had never come upon a book with such a wonderful concept and theme. The ending of Uglies left me wondering what will come to pass in the next book, Pretties. I absolutely can't wait to read it!

"What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful" --- Scott Westerfeld, Uglies, 2005

Rating: 4.500

My deepest gratitude to Kathryn from Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a paperback copy of Pretties for this review! Thank you, Kathryn!

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Scott Westerfeld was born in Texas, and received a BA in philosophy from Vassar in 1985. He splits his time between New York City and Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Midnighters, Uglies, So Yesterday and Peeps. You can visit Scott Westerfeld's website to know more about him.

Buy Uglies (paperback) at:
Simon & Schuster UK :: The Book Depository

Other versions:
Uglies (Uglies, #1)Uglies (Uglies, #1)

Visit the Uglies Fansite
Follow Scott on Twitter