Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Perfect Ruin
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Paperback edition, 368 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: October 22nd, 2013
1/5 stars
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18468184-perfect-ruin

Summary

On the floating city of Internment, you can be anything you dream. Unless you approach the edge.

Morgan Stockhour knows getting too close to the edge of Internment, the floating city in the clouds where she lives, can lead to madness. Even though her older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. If she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in her best friend, Pen, and in Basil, the boy she’s engaged to marry.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially once she meets Judas. Betrothed to the victim, he is the boy being blamed for the murder, but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or whom she will lose.

Review

This book falls flat for me. I was expecting more world building and character development, but it all felt bland. It doesn’t have anything special that distinguish it from other dystopian novel, and honestly, it bores me.

Nothing really happened at more than the first half of the book. At least nothing threatening Morgan’s personal life. I mean, there are some bad things happened to the society, but nothing that affects her directly. Instead we read through chapters and chapters of Morgan’s social life and romantic life. It was really boring and dragged on so much that I almost give up on this book and move on.

When things finally started to happen, it was still very very slow. All the secrets revealed? Nope, not that shocking. The murderer runs free? No action to get them. It’s just really really boring.

The characters are bland and the world builiding is nonexistent. I learn nothing about the characters that make me convinced that they’re humans and not robots. And I also feel no connection for the characters. I don’t even care what happened to them. The world building is non-existent because Internment is a piece of earth that floating on sky, so everything was more or less the same. Same old railroad and train, housing complex, school that just lucky they’re floating.
The only thing that saves this book is the pretty covers and the beautiful writing. The author writes with beautiful prose, but not too much that it become annoying.
Overall I was really dissapointed in this book. Maybe it’s me who never liked dystopia, or it’s the book faults. I might try to re-read and give this book a second chance (I always do). But I wouldn’t read the next book for sure.

Layout Changes 2.0

Hi guys! If you visited my blog yesterday, you’ll see that I already changed the theme. After long time using it, I think that it’s time for a change. So here’s my old layout (made by coloritYOU):

 And this is my new one (made by ThemeXpose):

So what do you think of my new layout? I personally really liked it because it was so much simpler. Which one is better, my old theme or my new theme? Comment your feedback down below, I would really appreciate it! 🙂

Book Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Title: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
E-book edition, 171 pages
Publisher: Dutton Books
Published: 2011
4/5 stars
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

It’s been three years since the devastating accident… three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25794656-where-she-went

“If you stay, I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would be too painful, that maybe it’d be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I’d do it. I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.”

So the first book finished abruptly and left many things unexplained. I really wanted to know what happened with Mia after the accident, will she ever move on in her life, and so on. Then I found the second book, and I feel kind of scared because I don’t know where this book is going. It was written in Adam’s pov. I really liked the first book and I’m afraid this book will tainted it. That’s why it took me so long to read it. But I was wrong.
Mia broke up with Adam after the accident. Not in the nice way, she ignored him without any explanation. She broke Adam. Adam poured all his heartache and frustration into an album, which made him and his band a superstar. Now 3 years later, they met by accident, and they spent the night together walking around the city.
I love how angsty and full of raw emotion this book is. I can feel Adam’s grief and anger, because we tend to forget that Adam suffers to because it was Mia’s family whose dead. Adam supports Mia throughout the whole thing and she left him without any explanation. I felt so angry with Mia. How could she did that? But I also understand the reason she did it. Still it makes me mad.

It sets in one night, but it has so many flashbacks. They learn a lot more about each other, and their passion for music and love for each other is what bring them together again. It’s just really cute and perfect, but also sad to remember what they’ve lost.

The ending is just perfect. I love it so much. Some people prefer the first book, but I liked both. They complemented each other. I highly recommend it if you want to know what happens after If I Stay.

Book Review: Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray

Title: Lily of the Nile
Author: Stephanie Dray
E-book edition, 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books
Published: January 1st, 2011
4.5/5 stars

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9825369-lily-of-the-nile

Summary:

Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers…
To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene’s parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can’t hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother’s dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or “die”? 

Review:

I know most of the story of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, but I know almost nothing about Mark Antony. And I also know nothing about Cleopatra’s children and what happened after Rome conquers Egypt. So I did my research (wikipedia) before I read this book to give me more insight and know what to expect. Actually, it wasn’t my first time reading a historical fiction sets in Ancient Rome time, I’ve read Pilate’s Wife before. But this novel still took my breath away.
It describes everything in a rich and vivid way. I feel like I was in Alexandria itself, or in the streets of Rome. I can imagine watching Octavian’s Triumph. I can see all the buildings, temples and statues. It describes everything in such a beautiful way. I also like how different Rome and Egypt cultures are, and how they show distaste for each other. They’re completely different, and yet they would be an important part of Selene.

It has amazing character development. Selene has grown so much throughout the book, from being a proud princess who lost everything, a girl cowering begging for her life, to finally being a schemer, a Queen. She realised that she has other ways of returning to Egypt, and she uses it. She embraces herself, and her legacy, and used it for her advantage. She learned how to live the Roman way, but also keeps her Egyptian legacy. She learned to play Octavian’s game, and in the end become his equal. This book also create a hazy line for Octavian and Juba, and other minor characters.

It gives me lots of new information, but it doesn’t feel like a history text book. I always have a soft spot for Ancient Greek, Rome, and Egypt. This book gives me so much more information about the situation at that time. The faiths, the social standings, the government system, and the political schemes. Politic is a dangerous game, and many things in this book are influenced by political motives. Everyone has complicated relationship with each other, because of the political system. The Isiacs also seems to play an important part at that time, because in Pilate’s Wife, Isiacs also cause a stir in Rome society, because Isiacs embrace everyone and doesn’t distinguish anyone.

It was definitely a book worth the read. I love how there are hints of romance here and there, but it was complicated. There are also hints of magic that relates to the faith of the people. Overall, I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it if you like Ancient Rome!

Bookish Talk: Reading Slump (+how to get through it!)

Have you ever feel like you want to read a book but nothing feels right? Or you’re in the middle of reading something very interesting but suddenly lose interest in them? Or maybe you don’t feel like reading anything at all? You can’t even get through the first few pages of a book, and reading isn’t fun at that moment.

Well, reading slump can hit anyone, even the best readers. It hits me at least once every month. For me, the reasons can be different. Maybe school has taken too much of my time. Or I read such horrible book that it makes me don’t want to read for a while. Or I’ve been reading too many books at once and it makes me “sick” of reading.

Whatever it is, reading slump doesn’t mean you have to stop reading. Yes, sometimes when I don’t feel like reading, I won’t force myself to read. Because when I force myself, it will be unfair for the book because I will end up dislike it. Reading should be fun, you should enjoy it, so if you don’t like it, just leave it and move on. Don’t ever force yourself to finish a book you didn’t enjoyed reading. If you really want to know what happens next, just skim the pages or google the plot.

If you want to read, try to rereading your old favorites or maybe some short stories. Try to go on Wattpad, fanfiction.net or archiveofourown. Reading graphic novels also really helpful. The colors and the pictures will help you feel more interested in the story. You can also try to watch some tv shows/movie.

Or maybe, just go on the internet and browse some books. Don’t read it, just browse through Goodreads/book blogs. The book’s summary and blog reviews should piqued your interest in one/two books, and makes you want to read. You can also read a book blog. Seeing other people raving about a book always makes me want to read.

Book slump is the worst. But it come and go, it happens to everyone, even the most hardcore reader. So don’t worry, you’ll be just fine. Just enjoy your time off reading, and you’ll bounce back soon enough! 🙂

Book Review: The Enchantress by Michael Scott

Title: The Enchantress
Author: Michael Scott
Paperback Edition, 517 Pages
Publisher: Random House
Published: May 1st, 2012
3.5/5 stars

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15813582-the-enchantress

Summary:

The two that are one must become the one that is all. One to save the world, one to destroy it.

San Francisco:
Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel have one day left to live, and one job left to do. They must defend San Francisco. The monsters gathered on Alcatraz Island have been released and are heading toward the city. If they are not stopped, they will destroy everyone and everything in their path.

But even with the help of two of the greatest warriors from history and myth, will the Sorceress and the legendary Alchemyst be able to defend the city? Or is it the beginning of the end of the human race?

Danu Talis:
Sophie and Josh Newman traveled ten thousand years into the past to Danu Talis when they followed Dr. John Dee and Virginia Dare. And it’s on this legendary island that the battle for the world begins and ends.

Scathach, Prometheus, Palamedes, Shakespeare, Saint-Germain, and Joan of Arc are also on the island. And no one is sure what—or who—the twins will be fighting for.

Today the battle for Danu Talis will be won or lost.
But will the twins of legend stand together?
Or will they stand apart—
one to save the world and one to destroy it?

Review:

All moments finally leads to this. The characters are scattered across the world, through 10.000 years gap between them, each of them facing their own problem and monsters. It ties up all the loop holes, and answered all the questions. But it feels anti-climatic to me.

I love how all the events in this book are happening in 10 days. It can be draggy at some points, but overall everything works really well. So many things happened, so many revelations, and it build up a really good suspense.

I love how all the myths, legends, and shadowrealms are hiding in our plain sight. I loved how once upon a time, they all lived together in one place and knew each other. They lived and fought with each other.

I love how there’s almost no romantic aspects of this book. It only focuses on saving the world.

I love how amazing the character developments are. How far Sophie and Josh had become, how they’ve dealt with everything and how they’ve accepted who they are. I love how the bad guys could switched sides and be the good guys, and vice verca.

I never saw that ending coming. I was expecting some amazing great battle that eventually sinks Danu Talis, but nope, it didn’t happened. Everything was happening so fast, and I wasn’t statisfied with it. It was a long build-up, but it ended with barely any battle (or if there are any, Michael Scott didn’t write it on the book).

I also wants to know more about Tsagaglalal and Abraham the Mage. And I need a closure for Virginia and Sophie. I expected more.

But overall, it was a pretty enjoyable read, and a not-really-dissapointing final book.

Book Review: #88lovelife by Diana Rikasari

Title: #88 Love Live: 88 Thoughts on Love and Life
Author: Diana Rikasari
Hardcover edition, 128 pages
Publisher: Gramedia
Published: November 3rd, 2014
2/5 stars
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23415260-88-love-life

Summary:

This illustrated book is about the author’s daily thoughts on her love and life experience. Uplifting, motivating, this book is essential to your daily #Whatsinsidemybag, so you will always feel inspired. Expect lots of good energy and beautiful illustrations inside this book.

Review:

This book has been the IT book for Indonesian teens for a while. It was really popular. Well for starters, it’s really small and thin, only 128 pages of quotes. So it was a really short and a quick read for me. And it was easy to read, even for people who doesn’t like to read.

The problem is, I find that the quotes aren’t to original. You can find most of them on tumblr. They aren’t exactly the same in this book, the author gives her own twists on the quotes. But still. I was hoping for something really original.

But the illustrations are really cute. I think that what was draw people to read this book.They are really cute and super colorful.
I recommended it if you’re looking for a bright, colorful, beautiful, and positive book to read. And, it’s also written by Indonesian blogger, Diana Rikasari. Visit her blog to find out more about her.
So here are some illustrations of the book:
https://neysanadia.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/88-love-life/





Book Review: Soppy by Phillipa Rice

Title: Soppy
Author: Phillipa Rice
Hardcover, 108 pages
Published: December 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
4/5 stars
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21535713-soppy

Summary:

The wildly popular web comic SOPPY–with more than half a million notes on Tumblr–is the illustrated love story of author Philippa Rice and her real-life boyfriend. True love isn’t always about the big romantic gestures. Sometimes it’s about sympathizing with someone whose tea has gone cold or reading together and sharing a quilt. When two people move in together, it soon becomes apparent that the little things mean an awful lot. The throwaway moments in life become meaningful when you spend them in the company of someone you love.

SOPPY is Philippa Rice’s collection of comics and illustrations based on real-life moments with her boyfriend. From grocery shopping to silly arguments and snuggling in front of the television, SOPPY captures the universal experience of sharing a life together, and celebrates the beauty of finding romance all around us. 

Review:

I really liked it. It’s so simple, yet beautiful and real. It’s the story of 2 people who fall in love, and their journey while moving together for the first time.  I love the drawings and the colors. There aren’t may colors in this book, only red and black, but they’re so vibrant and beautiful. Most of the pictures doesn’t have any words on it, so this is such a quick, cute, read. I read it in one sitting, and highly recommend it as a gift for your boyf/girlf or if you want to read it together 🙂
Here’s some snippets of the part that I think suits me:

Visit Phillipa Rice on her blog here and see more of her drawings 🙂

Book Review: The Warlock by Michael Scott

Title: The Warlock
Author: Michael Scott
Paperback edition, 380 pages
Publisher: Ember
Published: April 24th, 2012
4/5 Stars
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12388756-the-warlock

Summary:

The twins of prophecy have been divided—the end has begun.

Alcatraz
Although their ally Dr. John Dee has been declared utlaga, Machiavelli and Billy the Kid will follow the plans the Elders have laid before them: they will loose the monsters of Alcatraz on the city of San Francisco, thereby triggering the end of the human race.

Danu Talis:
The Shadowrealm that Scatty and Joan of Arc have entered is far more dangerous than they could ever have imagined. And they haven’t landed here by chance—the warriors were called for a reason. So were Saint-Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare. The group was summoned because they must travel back int time to Danu Talis to destroy it. For the island of Danu Talis, known in humani myth as the lost city of Atlantis, must fall if the modern world is to exist.

San Francisco
The end is finally near. Josh Newman has chosen a side, and he will not stand with his sister, Sophie, or with the Alchemyst, Nicholas Flamel. He will fight alongside Dee and the mysterious Virginia Dare.

Unless Sophie can find her twin before the battle begins, all is lost—forever.

Review:

After 2 years looking for this book, I finally found it.

Okay, so there are many characters in this book, with many povs, so it’s kind of hard to remember who’s who, what are they doing, what happened in the last book, and so on. But after few chapters in, I finally caught up with what was happening.

What I like the most about this book is, even though it has so many characters, and each chapters are from different povs and different places, it flows beautifully. It doesn’t feel confusing at all. It helps me connect to all the characters, how they feel at that moment, at that event. Multiple povs can be a disaster, so many emotions to covered, so many things happened at once. But in this book, the multiple povs only help us feels more tensed up, feel the urgency and the build up concerning the final battle.

I learned a lot about other myths and legends other that Greek and Roman from this book. I also love how vivid and exotic the depiction of Danu Talis is. This book was a page turner. I personally think this is the best book in the whole series. Definitely worth the wait and highly recommended!

Book Review: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Title: I’ll Give You The Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Paperback edition, 429 pages
Published: April 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Walker Books
3.5/5 stars
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23573418-i-ll-give-you-the-sun

Summary:

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

This radiant novel from the acclaimed, award-winning author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once.

 

Review:

“Love is only half of the story.”

I started this book with high expectation of romance. Should’ve read those words, I mean those words were on the cover 😀 All I get is a story about family, friendship, betrayal, grief, loss, broken dreams with a sprinkle of romance. That’s why it’s kind of hard for me to get into the story and the characters because it was so different with my expectations.

Noah and Jude are twins. This book is told from 2 point of view, 13 year old Noah who tells the story how things started to fell apart, and 16 year old Jude trying to make things right and unravelling all the secrets and lies surrounding them. We also have Guillermo Garcia, an amazing sculptor who drowned with his grief, and Oscar, a former drunk and addict. As the truth unfold, it also shows them that they’re all connected and they’re all important in each other’s lives.

Other than romance and family matters, this book also deals with other complex issues about growing up and finding yourself. It deals with loss of an important figure at the most important time in your life, about broken dreams, heterosexual and homosexuality.

The writing style is really unique and artsy, because both Noah and Jude are artist (painter and sculptor). Jandy Nelson describes feelings through art, which is really beautiful and full of raw emotion, but it also makes me feel harder to connect with the characters. Metaphors are beautiful, but I can’t stand it because it makes it harder to connect with the characters and story. *cough Shatter me, TFIOS cough*

And my edition also came with some beautiful illustrations!

Overall, it was enjoyable, and deals with many important things. But it’s hard to connect with the characters, which is my biggest issue with this book.

Lastly, here’s my favorite quote from this book

“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”