The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

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SYNOPSIS

Against all odds, 17-year-old Gene has survived in a world where humans have been eaten to near extinction by the general population. Every decade there is a government sponsored hunt. When Gene is selected to be one of the combatants he must learn the art of the hunt but also elude his fellow competitors.

REVIEW

For once things are different - in The Hunt, humans are now known as hepers are close to extinction and are hunted down or bred as food. And the others, the ones who dominate the world, are those nocturnal human-like cannibals who somehow exhibit vampiric features. It's certainly a fresh twist, and a horrific, heart-gripping one at that.

Blending in with the predators has been how Gene kept himself alive for the past 17 years. He still remembers the warning his father gave him: don't exhibit any facial expressions, use some special formula to cover your body odour, and whatever you do, don't stand out of the crowd. 

A fellow predator girl with flaming red hair - Ashley June, caught his eyes. He controls himself, though. Distances himself from her. No good can come if your girlfriend eats you up for breakfast, right? But there's more to Ashley June than meets the eye.

When both are selected for the Heper Hunt, Gene must overcome all odds to stay alive. And that proves to be a more challenging task than he ever thought.

This pacing of this novel is quite good, given that most of the events are focused on the days before the Heper Hunt. I really appreciate the author's unique storytelling that keeps me seated until I finally finished the story. 

Somehow I loved this novel. Though some parts of it are illogical, put in mind that this is a fantasy young adult novel, so do not expect everything to be explained rationally. Nonetheless, I hope the author will give a layout of the history/background of how the cannibals came to be in the next two books. 

Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will most likely to enjoy this novel.

RATING 5 

The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura

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SYNOPSIS
The Thief is a seasoned pickpocket. Anonymous in his tailored suit, he weaves in and out of Tokyo crowds, stealing wallets from strangers so smoothly sometimes he doesn’t even remember the snatch. Most people are just a blur to him, nameless faces from whom he chooses his victims. He has no family, no friends, no connections. But he does have a past, which finally catches up with him. And now the Thief is caught in a tangle even he might not be able to escape.

REVIEW
Despite being such a short novel, The Thief is fast-paced and entirely engrossing. It chronicles the life of an experienced pick-pocket, who got caught in a web of events which are much bigger than what he expected. 

Nishimura is a loner, he has no family, no friends and no connections. Being a thief, it's the best for him that way. However, when he accepted a task of robbing a political figure, his life started to change. He also grew a friendly relationship with a little boy who steals food supplies for his prostitute mother. When his past comes back to haunt him, he has no choice but to accept new tasks, or risks the little boy and his mother being killed, and also his own life.

I read this novel with a kind of intensity I do not experience often. It was so captivating that I couldn't put it down. The chapters were short and sweet, but there's always something up. The only thing I had against was the ending. It leaves the story unresolved. It's like a cliffhanger, but it isn't cos this is a stand-alone novel. I really want to know what's gonna happen next! I'm so flabbergasted when I realize that's where it ends. 

RATING
4.000

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

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Beautiful Malice

SYNOPSIS
Katherine has moved away from her shattered family to start afresh in Sydney. There she keeps her head down until she is befriended by the charismatic, party-loving Alice, who brings her out of her shell. But there is a dark side to Alice, something seductive yet threatening. And as Katherine learns the truth about Alice, their tangled destinies spiral to an explosive and devastating finale. 


REVIEW

If anything, this is not a lighthearted read. It is 1 cup of darkness, 2 cups of psychological thriller and 1 cup of twisted - which makes up to a 4 star Beautiful Malice.


Katherine moved away from home to live with Aunt Vivien, changing her name from the original Katie Boydell in order to escape the tragic history that broke her family apart. She is constantly consumed by grief, guilt, regret and self-blame. She closes herself up and becomes a quiet girl in the new school, until she meets Alice. Wild, fun and charming, Alice quickly becomes Katherine's best friend. But underneath her seductive charm, there seems to be another side to Alice, which makes her unbelievably cruel and uncaring towards others. Katherine dismisses these as bad hair days, but she slowly realizes that Alice is not who she thinks is.

Katherine is someone we can sympathize with - she is not without blame, for it was she who indirectly caused the tragedy. But we cannot exactly put the blame on her because it was not her doing in the first place. She merely did what a normal person would do - running away, although it was a cowardly thing to do. But even if she didn't, it wouldn't have changed much.

Alice is one really messed up character. She is someone devoid of love, she is cruel and plays others' around her fingertips. A real psycho, if you ask me. But again it's not entirely her fault she's like this. Rebecca James is a master at creating characters that we hate but sympathize with at the same time, it seems. 

Beautiful Malice is pretty good for a debut novel, and fans of Shift would find this book interesting.

RATING: 4.000 

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

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The Fault in Our Stars
SYNOPSIS
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

REVIEW

I haven't had the chance to watch the movie, but I really want to now that I've finally read the book. It was funny, touching, witty and most importantly - it is full of love and sincere friendship. 

I am ashamed for myself when I see these people treating sickness so openly, when pity weighs me down every time I talk to someone who is sick or has a disability. In fact, what they want is just you look straight into their eyes and talk to them like a normal person, sometimes even joke about the sickness.

I particularly love how John Green managed to deliver so many messages behind this book while not being preachy or quote-ridden. It just feels like a fresh breath of air, one that brings the sweet scent of flowers even though it's invisible.

The relationship between Hazel and Gus is very touching and deep, and by some greater sense they can be considered as soulmates, two people who love each other so much that the pain that comes with loving becomes part and parcel of it. Even if you can be given the choice to cut the other person out of your heart, you will still choose to love despite the pain.

This is a book that will stay in my bookshelf for a very long time, if not forever.

RATING: 
5

Hazel Grace: “I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”  ----- This line is the saddest thing I've ever heard.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

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Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)



SYNOPSIS
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight - she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.


She never expects to become Po's friend.

She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...

REVIEW
Graceling is actually the first book in the series, but I read it second since Catching Fire was the prequel, so I felt that it would be better if I read the story in sequence. 

In the seven realms, some children were born Graced, meaning they had a special talent or gift. In certain places, children who were born Graced had to be surrendered to the King for their use, unless the King finds their abilities useless and send them home. Katsa was blessed (or cursed, if you see it the other way round) with the Grace of Killing. This Grace makes others wary and fearful of her, and her training since young had made her an unbeatable fighter, but she is usually tasked to run dirty errands for King Randa.

As with Catching Fire, this book is wonderful, and I find myself unable to pull back from the siren song that was the book itself, reading into the wee hours of the night. I loved Katsa's character, her indomitable spirit and her Grace (which turns out to be something else altogether). As for Po, I would really love to see his silver and gold eyes! 

This story starts off with the kidnapping of Prince Po's grandfather, and eventually more mysteries rise up the dark gloomy apparition of a placid lake that was the kingdom of Monsea. Turns out the King of Monsea was named Leck, and though people praised his kindness and generosity, Katsa and Po were doubtful.

SPOILER! I think that Po's attempt to assassinate King Leck was real stupid, and I still wonder now why they are foolish enough to try it (alone!) They should have read Sun Tze's Art of War before even considering this kamikaze. I knew they were going to fail. I mean, what are two Graced fighters chances against one King whose Grace is powerful enough to keep the whole nation entranced, more so when he is constantly surrounded by Graced bodyguards? Stupid move, I would say. But that doesn't diminish the fun of reading it.

Leck made a few appearances in Catching Fire, and I must say that it was him and his unbelievably cruel, twisted character at the very beginning of the novel piqued my interest and kept me reading throughout. I won't reveal more, you just read and find out what happens. ;)

RATING:
4.500 

Warning: Contains a non-graphic sex scene. Parental guidance recommended for children under-15.

Fire by Kristin Cashore

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Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)

Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by 



SYNOPSIS
It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.


REVIEW
I had had the honour to read an ARC of this book. And I thought that the story was great - it holds more complexities than a normal novel would contain, and I enjoy discovering the lies and truths that were kept secret at first. 

Fire was described as a monster with fiery red hair with streaks of pink and gold, her beauty made people swoon and some to open their minds up to her. She had the ability of penetrating one's deepest thoughts, and control minds of most persons. Although of monster descent, she did not inherit her late father Cansrel's wickedness, brutality and viciousness. But she had to make certain hard choices that made her doubt herself and her identity. 

The story-line was interesting enough, though at 400+ pages I would say that it may have contained many unwanted plot branches that may as well be trimmed off. The characters in this book seem to have free sex every now and then, with sex between childhood friends, child born by rape, men who fathered illegitimate children, or friends who find themselves impregnated by the same man. But surprisingly enough, none of these people harboured any hatred towards one another despite their complex relationship which would have made best friends rip each other apart. They were very open to the notion of having bastard heirs/sons/daughters/grandchildren and even quite receiving towards them.

Apart from the way Kristin Cashore writes of relationships, which basically can be summed up with one word: messy (not the writing, but the idea it portrays), this book is filled with many wonders, and I find myself wishing to really see the monsters in their full glory, especially Fire herself, and perhaps the raptors. 

RATING
4.500

Guest Post: Lost In Starlight Playlist

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The Bookaholics are proud to take part in Sherry Soule's blog tour for her new release - LOST IN STARLIGHT! Today we are going to share with you a playlist that is specially compiled for the book!

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! She will be publishing a brand new upper YA series: the “Starlight Saga” (paranormal romance with a Sci-Fi concept) with scorching-hot character  chemistry and exciting  suspense on June 26, 2014. 

To help promote this amazing interstellar love story, “LOST IN STARLIGHT,” Sherry is doing this fun promo to share the news with fellow booklovers.

STARLIGHT SAGA SONG LIST

Some of the most ambiguous lyrics take on new meaning when you’re writing a book, even correlating to some of the scenes or giving insight into Hayden and Sloane’s romantic relationship. Sherry has put together just a  few of the awesome songs—a collection of her character’s electric tastes in music—mentioned throughout this epic new series in this post. Enjoy!

“Still Into You” by Paramore
“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons:
“Boom Boom Pow” by Black Eyed Peas
“Titanium” song by Sia
“I'm Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance
“Stay” song by Thirty Seconds to Mars
“Counting Stars” by OneRepublic
“Sugar, We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy
“Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri
“Cello Sonata, L 135” by Debussy

While writing LOST IN STARLIGHT, Sherry listened to this amazing track on a loop, “4 Hours of Emotional Music” composed by the talented, Adrian von Ziegler. She found the melody really set the mood to the type of romantic tale that she wanted to write. At its core, LOST IN STARLIGHT is basically a love story about two lonely hearts finding each other and how their star-crossed relationship changes both of their lives.

Listen to his music on YouTube
We hope that you enjoyed this post. Now go feed your mind and read a book!


VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga

High school reporter Sloane Masterson knows she has one helluva story when she witnesses hottie Hayden Lancaster bending forks with his mind.

Like any good journalist, Sloane sets out to uncover the truth, even if it includes a little stalking. When the superhuman feats start to pile up and the undeniable heat rises between them, Hayden has no choice but to reveal his secret: he’s an alien hybrid.

They’re as different as night and day—she’s a curvy, purple-haired, horror junkie and he’s a smoking hot, antisocial, brainiac—yet the intense fascination between them refuses to go away. Even at Hayden’s insistence that dating each other is “off limits” and crazy dangerous, their fiery attraction threatens to go supernova.

Now Sloane’s dealing with creepy government agents, ├╝ber snobby extraterrestrials, and a psycho alien ex-girlfriend out for revenge. After a crash course on the rules of interstellar dating, Sloane must decide if their star-crossed romance is worth risking her own life....

The LOST IN STARLIGHT eBooks can be purchased from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, & iBooks on June 26th.

The paperback edition from Amazon on June 16th 2014.

Eager to read a sneak peek? HERE
Places you can visit Sherry Soule:
Official Blog
Twitter @SherrySoule
Please add LOST IN STARLIGHT to your TBR on goodreads

VOLUME ONE: Starlight Saga

Valentine's Romantic Recommendation

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Click on the pictures to read my reviews! Happy Valentine's Day! :)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eNX2gqPvS_s/TWMCOt30ytI/AAAAAAAAL7c/WwUuwfCLHDg/s1600/96936610.jpg 
Roomate boyfriend.

  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dcAWzoBkJp0/S99uVu7p4ZI/AAAAAAAACNw/jsW7eGsT70E/s1600/poison+study.jpg 
Assassin/mentor boyfriend.
http://the-bookaholics.blogspot.com/2009/12/book-review-coffeehouse-angel-by.html
Angel boyfriend.

http://the-bookaholics.blogspot.com/2010/08/perfect-chemistry.html 
Badass boyfriend.
How to Ruin a Summer Vacation (How to Ruin, #1)How to Ruin My Teenage Life (How to Ruin, #2)How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation (How to Ruin, #3)
Jewish boyfriend.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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I use Grammarly's plagiarism finder because it keeps me free from paper plague!
  
City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)
Hardcover, 535 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry 

Synopsis
What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Review
In this latest installment, Clary is shocked to find out that Jace is bound to Sebastian, both mentally and physically. It is impossible to separate them - if you hurt one, the other bleeds. If one dies, the other will not live. Jace now even commits himself fully to support Sebastian's greater cause, even though his love for Clary still remains. So Clary and the gang brainstormed a way to separate the inseparable duo without hurting Jace in the process.

I love how Clare portrays the deep love between Jace and Clary, and the bond between Clary and the supporting characters that make them more like family than mere friends. The storyline is refreshing , unlike some novels in a series that keep on repeating the same things due to lack of ideas. The story is packed with action, drama and suspense, which makes it hard not to fall in love with. Finally, it feels good to admit that Clare's penmanship and wonderful ideas for creative story writing still amazes me to no end. Reading this book was a breeze, and a cooling one for that. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

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Girl in the Arena 
Synopsis
It’s a fight to the death—on live TV—when a gladiator’s daughter steps into the arena.

Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through.  Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family.

Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying.

The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him...


Review 
Maybe I expected too much, since it was compared to the Hunger Games series, which is one of my all-time favourites.

I love the interaction between Lyn and her stepfather, as well as her close relationship with her brother, but there is not much substance and plot, which is something I look for in any novel I read. Sure, the idea of how Lyn will fight Uber is interesting, but why does it take so long for the story to reach there? It was almost until the end when that happened. 

My favourite character in this book would be Thad (Lyn's brother) who seems to have a penchant and talent in predicting people's futures. He's somewhat disorientated but he seems to know clearly what is going to happen in his family. 

All in all, I can't say that I love it, but it's not too bad either.

What do you think? Do you like it?

Rating: 3