Book Review : Falling Leaves: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah


Product Details
Born in 1937 in a port city north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of her Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer. A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Adeline's story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love, and understanding.

I could imagine a sad, melancholic melody playing while I was reading this book. It made me cry more than once, and I was so heartbroken for this poor girl who was blamed for her mother's death right from the very beginning of her life.

Her life was quite miserable even though she was born into a rich, prominent family, for she was unloved by most of her family members. The only person who understood her and loved her with all his heart was her grandfather. When her father married a gorgeous Eurasian lady, her worst nightmares came true. She was abused in many ways, and all along, her father chose to shut his eyes and ignore his daughter's condition. For her, this was even hurting than the suffering caused by her stepmother.

She wanted to be set free from the iron manacles of her twisted family, so she studied really hard. She swallowed her pains and converted them into motivational forces to push herself towards success. She proved that she, too, could find happiness in life even though she did not start out well.

Adeline Yen Mah's gripping account of her childhood life serves to inspire many unfortunate people to never give up, because as long as we do not give up, there is always hope. This book is a must-read. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Rating: 5
Adeline Yen Mah is a Chinese American author and physician. She grew up in Tianjin, Shanghai and Hong Kong with an older sister, Lydia (Jun-pei); three older brothers, Gregory (Zi-jie), Edgar (Zi-lin) and James (Zi-jun); and a younger half brother, Franklin and half sister, Susan (Jun-qing). She has stated in her book Falling Leaves that she has not used the real names of her siblings and their spouses in order to protect their identities; however, she used the real names of her father, stepmother, aunt and husband. Currently she divides her time between southern California and London. She is married to Professor Robert Mah and has two children including one from a previous marriage.

2011 TBR Challenge

2011 To Be Read (TBR) Challenge:


The Goal
To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile, within 12 months


1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2010 or later (any book published in the year 2009 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through”Link pile.

My Twelve Chosen:

  1. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare
  2. Deadly Little Lies (Touch, #2) by
  3. Magic Study (Study, #2) by
  4. Fire Study (Study, #3) by
  5. Child 44 by
  6. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  7. Case Closed?: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science by Susan Hughes (Review HERE)
  8. Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail
  9. Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog
  10. Frost Moon by Anthony Francis
  11. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens
  12. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Challenge completed!

Chinese Literature Challenge

I've decided to participate in the Chinese Literature Challenge hosted by, which runs from February 3rd 2011 to January 23rd 2012.

List of books which I'll be reading:
  1. Water Margin / Outlaws of the Marsh by Shi Nai'an
  2. Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong
  3. Dream of the Red Chamber / The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin
  4. Strange Tales of Liao Zhai by Pu Songling
  5. Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah :: REVIEW
  6. The Demi-gods and the Semi-devils by Louis Cha (also called as Jin Yong)
  7. The Condor Heroes by Louis Cha (also called as Jin Yong)
  8. Return of The Condor Heroes by Louis Cha (also called as Jin Yong)
  9. The Kitchen God's Wife by
  10. Empress Orchid by

Book Review : Deadly Little Lies (Touch, #2) by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Product Details
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; 1 edition (November 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781423111450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423111450
  • Available on: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository
Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred?

Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her.

But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it’s up to Camelia to figure out who—before it’s too late.

Deadly Little Lies is the sequel of one of my favourite books, Deadly Little Secret. I had high expectations for it, but the story kind of fall short for me, because the plot was more or less the same as the first book, only with a different villain.

The diary entries by Alexia, Camelia's schizophrenic aunt seemed to be irrelevant to the story. I had a feeling that the author inserted the excerpts without actually relating it to the story. Maybe it had a little relation to Camelia's new-found foretelling powers, but on a major scale, it's just a waste of pages.

I'm disappointed. But maybe I'll still give the third book a chance, for the sake of my much loved Deadly Little Secret.

Rating: 3

58846Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of the hugely popular young adult novels Blue Is for Nightmares, White Is for Magic, Silver Is for Secrets, and Red Is for Remembrance. Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Laurie attended Merrick College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson.

Official Website Facebook Library Thing

In My Mailbox {20}

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time! The cover looks outright creepy and the synopsis sounds intriguing.
I loved the first book and can't wait to start this one!
Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer by
I'm currently reading this one. It consists of 400+ pages, so it might take me a longer time to finish considering my hectic school life.
This book is intended for young adults, but the cover gives me an impression of a general fiction. But then, you can never judge a book by its cover.
I don't usually read Japanese manga, except for Doraemon and Crayon Shin Chan when I was younger, but I'll try reading this one and see how it turns out to be. It's so thin, I bet I can finish it in one hour.

Hebelmet Giveaway


Hebelmet is a shop on Etsy which offers The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices Jewelry for sale. Here you can find a limited edition jewelry line inspired by The Mortal Instruments series and its prequel The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Each piece has been made with permission from the author and from the creator of the Mark designs, Val Freire. Since Hebelmet's establishment in late 2009, it has sold as many as 2405 items! Amazing, right?

What's better is that a portion of the proceeds from each sale goes to benefit the charity Reading Is Fundamental, which delivers free books and literacy resources to children in need.

Viviane expresses her love for handmade items by making them herself! She experiments with materials and self-taught skills to create most of her masterpieces. For her, inspiration comes from various sources, and nature is one of them.

Take a look at some of the pieces in Hebelmet below:

Fearless  Pendant
My favourite: Fearless Pendant $46.00 USD

Heal Pendant
Heal Pendant $46.00 USD

Friendship Ring
Friendship Ring $52.00 USD

Pulvis et Umbra Sumus Suede Cord Bracelet
Pulvis et Umbra Sumus Suede Cord Bracelet $40.00 USD

Dear readers, you're in luck! Viviane from Hebelmet is sponsoring a giveaway here on The Bookaholics! One lucky reader is going to win a rune pendant (without the chain) or a bookmark of his/her choice from her shop! Are you excited? Yes? Then read on to see how you can enter!

Just leave a comment with your e-mail address answering at least ONE of the questions below:
  1. What is your favourite item from hebelmet?
  2. If you haven't read the series: What do you expect to see in City of Bones?
  3. If you've read the series: What is your favourite quote from any book in The Mortal Instruments series?

+1 Heart hebelmet on Etsy.
+1 Follow @hebeldesign on Twitter.
+1 Like Hebeldesign on Facebook.
+1 What is your favourite item from Hebel Design?
+1 Heart Hebel Design on Etsy.
+1 What is your favourite item from Hebel Curse Workers?
+1 Heart Hebel Curse Workers on Etsy.
+1 Follower of The Bookaholics / Happyfish Books
+1 E-mail subscriber of The Bookaholics / Happyfish Books
+1 Leave a meaningful comment on any of my June reviews. (Leave the title)
+1 Tweet about this contest and leave the link
+3 Blog about this giveaway and leave the link

*Please leave the relevant links for verification.

Extra entries are optional. You can do one or more of them to double your chances of winning. The minimum number of entries is ONE (1) for answering the question. The maximum number of entries is FIFTEEN (15) if you decide to do all the extra entries after completing the mandatory entry.

Rules and Guidelines:

  • Contest is open worldwide.
  • Contest will end on 2nd July, 2011 (Saturday) at 6.00 pm Malaysian time.
  • The winner will be chosen and e-mailed shortly after the contest ends.
  • The winner must respond within 3 days or his/her prize will be forfeited and awarded to another winner.
  • The sponsor will be responsible for the mailing of prizes.
  • Neither I nor the sponsor will hold any responsibilities for prizes damaged or lost during the mailing process.

Book Review : City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

To love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
(Book #1 of
The Mortal Instruments)

Product Details
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry; First Edition edition (February 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781416955078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416955078
  • Available on: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

I'm probably the only person who's never read this book. I mean, with City of Bones being the #1 New York Times bestseller et al. I'm so glad I finally read it! I really appreciate having the chance to read this masterpiece by the outstandingly talented Cassandra Clare.

I was transfixed to the pages of City of Bones once I started reading it. Instantly, I knew I had found a book worthy of 5 shimmering stars. The concept of Shadowhunters and Downworlders immediately captured my attention as it was fresh and unprecedented. The plot is brilliantly conceived and I found myself unable to tear myself apart from the book (literally).

At the end of each chapter, there was always something that made me want to keep on reading. The characters in this novel each has their own special traits and I could easily relate to each of them. Clary is an amazing protagonist; her bravery and wits made the story a lot more fun to read. Jace is a handsome blonde who likes to make hilarious and sarcastic comments about nothing in particular. However, I could sense that he is actually hiding his hurt and grief beneath his cool demeanor. Clary and Jace always engage in good-natured banter, and I find their conversations quite amusing. As feelings of love start to blossom between the two, the plot starts to change direction...

The ending was so unexpected that it sent me away feeling awed and satisfied, yet not really happy with how things work out. I was hoping for a better ending for the main characters' sake. But still, I have to admit that I'm impressed with how the story progressed and ended. The author made a good job in portraying the evil which exists to oppose the good. I was once again reminded of the truth that there will be darkness where there is light.

To sum things up, City of Bones is a book which paranormal fans will immensely enjoy. It has all it takes to be categorized as a great novel. It is fast-paced, exciting, thrilling and full of twists and turns. The author's adept writing skills also made this book easy to read. Go get it from your nearest bookstore now if you haven't read it!

Notable Quotes:

Quote #1:
"Your friend's poetry is terrible," he said.
Clary blinked, caught momentarily off guard. "What?"
"I said his poetry was terrible. It sounds like he ate a dictionary and started vomiting up words at random."
Quote #2:
"What do you want?"
"Just coffee. Black - like my soul."

Rating: 5


Cassandra Clare was born to American parents in Teheran, Iran and spent much of her childhood travelling the world with her family, including one trek through the Himalayas as a toddler where she spent a month living in her father’s backpack. She lived in France, England and Switzerland before she was ten years old. Since her family moved around so much she found familiarity in books and went everywhere with a book under her arm. She spent her high school years in Los Angeles where she used to write stories to amuse her classmates, including an epic novel called “The Beautiful Cassandra” based on a Jane Austen short story of the same name (and which later inspired her current pen name).

Official Website :: The Mortal Instrumets Website :: Facebook Page :: Blog

I'm A Winner!

When fellow friend Mariane posted on my Facebook wall that she saw my story in the papers today, I was intrigued. Unable to repress my curiosity, I went downstairs to check on today's edition of NIE. And what I found really made my day! I'm one of the 10 winners of The Star-MPH Red Riding Hood Reinvented Contest! Better still, I made it to the top 3! It's really exciting to see my story published in a newspaper! Thank you so much for choosing my story, School Stuff! :)

Here's my story:

Rose ran mindlessly through the forest, her heart thumping wildly as adrenaline surged in her veins. She risked a glance backwards once in a while, fear distorting her pretty little face. She could not stop right now, but her lungs were on fire, and her legs were starting to wobble after running through the woods without stopping. Her red hood clung snugly to her figure and the ends billowed in the late evening breeze.

All of a sudden, Rose accidentally tripped and fell, feeling herself swiftly pulled downwards by the invisible forces of gravity. In the blink on an eye, Rose was on all fours, her limbs wounded, painful and sore. She forced herself up, but her left ankle gave way under her weight. Her heart was filled with dread and fear seemed to tighten its grip around her windpipe. She tried her best to crawl on all fours.

“Just where do you think you’re going, little miss?” A man’s mocking voice pricked her ears. Rose’s body stiffened in response and coldness seeped into her bones. Slowly, she turned her head and saw the devilish smile playing on Ethan’s handsome face.

“Please let me go, I promise you I won’t tell anyone!” Rose cried in a desperate effort to save herself.

“Oh no, if I let you go, you’d tell everyone I’m the ‘wolf’ who murdered Anne. I’ll just put a bullet right through your brains and you’ll be gone for good.” His voice held no remorse as he pointed the barrel towards Rose’s forehead.

Feeling defeated, Rose closed her eyes in surrender……


Rose opened her eyes, only to find herself alive, and Ethan dead. He was shot in the heart by her 80-year-old grandmother Emma, whose fragile body was shuddering as she dropped her gun to the ground.

(300 words)


Original Sin (Personal Demons, #2)
Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers ARC Giveaway @ Bloody Bookaholic!
Ends July 5th, 2011. International ;)

In My Mailbox {19}

I had a great haul this week! I got several packages in a bundle and opened them with irrepressible joy!

Won & For Review:
Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Groll
Thanks to Nora Stlaurent from Finding Hope Through Fiction and also to the author for sending the book to me!

Steel by Carrie Vaughn
Thanks to Velvet at vvb2 reads!
The Clearing by Anne Riley
Thanks to the lovely author herself! Visit her website at Anne Riley.
Magic study by Maria V. Syder
Thanks to the admin of Whispering Peace!
Little Vampire Women by Lynn Messina
Thanks to Melissa Gavin from Book Nerd Reviews!

Angelfire (ARC) by Courtney Allison Moulton
Thanks to Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy!

Good or Bad?


My exam results aren't really bad, but they aren't that good either. I think it's time for me to work harder. I'm starting to realize that success doesn't come without effort. I'm always depending on luck to do well in my exams, and there are times when luck can't help you at all. My marks are dangerously low and that stirred something in my soul.

I've decided to cut down on my review-writings and focus more on my studies. However, I will still post something from time to time to update my blog. I hope you can tolerate my actions, dear readers. I'm sitting for SPM (equivalent to SAT) this year and I really need to put effort in my studies.

The good news is...
I finally got an 'A' in Chinese! Oh, after all these years!


City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
P/S: I'm reading and City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare seriously enjoying it!

Winners Galore!

The winners have been chosen! Check below to see if you're the lucky one!

Possessions (Possessions, #1)
Prize: A paperback copy of Possessions (Possessions, #1) by Nancy Holder + a bookplate signed by the awesome author herself!

List of participants and their entries:
1-7 ngzwei
8-10 Kenny Ding
13 Beverly
22-26 Eli Squared
34-39 Courtney Wyant
40-47 Abby
48-50 Julie

True Random Number Generator


Congratulations to ChanHJ from Chan's Kingdom! *Claimed*


Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula(Cassidy Jones Adventures, #1)
Prize: 2 signed, personalized copies of Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula by Elise Stokes

List of participants and their entries:
1 Vidisha
2-4 TheGirlOnFire
7-11 ♫♥LovLivLife Reviews♥♫
12-13 Uhura Mitchell
14-16 hamna
Courtney Wyant
18-20 Julie

The first winner is...

True Random Number Generator


Congratulations to TheGirlOnFire! *Claimed*

*A new winner is chosen for #2 because the original winner did not respond to my e-mail.

True Random Number Generator


Congratulations to Chas from ♫♥LovLivLife Reviews♥♫!

Congratulations, winners! Please reply my e-mail notification within 3 days to claim your prize. If you haven't receive my e-mail due to an unknown reason, please contact me at aikychien at yahoo dot com directly to claim your prize. Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaways! If you didn't win this time, please don't give up as I have many giveaways to come!