• The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

    What can I say? This couple had my heart on my sleeves.

  • Never Let Me Go

    A beautiful story of the fragility of life viewed through skewered lenses.

  • Night Circus

    The world that Morgenstern crafts is one that reeks of the cigar and smoke of the turn of the century England with its glamorous parties like The Great Gatsby, men with bowler hats in the Victorian Era, all with a splash of magic and romance.

  • Piratica I

    Piratica is a swashbuckling adventure, an over-the-top comedy, and of course, an unforgettable love story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting for May to Bring the Delight of June Dreams

(The image is courtesy of Tara from Tater's Tall Tails)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill from Breaking the Spine that showcases upcoming releases that we can't wait to claim as our own & aren't afraid to tell that to the world!

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.  

But she wants to.  

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner on an interstellar starship. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?

Coming Soon on 5 June 2012.

Before I start, first things first, I really don't like the cover. 

But... Like the proverb goes, "Don't judge a book by its cover." *glum* I think that is proving to be rather wise, especially when applied to books with not-so-great covers (my opinion :/). 

Because, once I hesitantly clicked on the cover image and scanned through the blurb, I was sold. Completely. Absolutely. Irrevocably. 

I just love boys with beautiful green eyes!

This story simply sounds awesome. Across the Universe + The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer = Pure fantastic mind-blowing masterpiece of a tale.

Prepare to shout "Hooray!" as June is flying to us with open arms ;) And since I'm on it, tomorrow's the last day of May. And, the very important thing is... 31 May is my birthday! 

What's better to celebrate the coming of June and its great reads with a birthday giveaway? Click here to see what it's all about. 

What are you waiting for? :)


Birthday Giveaway '12





Today. Okay, fine, I'll cut that out. So here's the big announcement:

Today is the day before my birthday! :O 

My birthday is on 31 May, and to celebrate it, I'm going to have cake, coke, fireworks and... A GIVEAWAY!

Since this was my first giveaway, I had absolutely no idea how to organize one. But, after taking a good look around, I have to say I'm more confident now. That's good for both you and me!

Many thanks my blogger friend Linny from Linny's Literature, who has the same birthday month as me. I gathered quite some information from how she organized her giveaways.

So since it is my birthday, the books up for grabs are going to come from my list of everlasting favourites. Now, without further ado, *unveils* here are the books to choose from if you win ;)

The Goose Girl - Eon - The Catastrophic History of You and Me - Heist Society 
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Cinder - Divergent - Insurgent
Firelight - Night Circus - Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Everneath 
Finding Sky - Stealing Phoenix - The Hunt - Falling Under

Just to clear the air, here are some terms and conditions that you have to know before you enter:

1. It's always sad if the giveaway is opened to only US or Canada. So, guess what? ;) This giveaway is open internationally. The prize will be delivered via The Book Depository so do check if the country you live in is listed here. 

2. The PRIZE: It will be any book of your choice listed above. :)

3. Now, I bet you are wondering, from when? Till when? This giveaway begins 12:01am on 31 May 2012 and ends 12:01am on 25 June 2012. 25 June will be the day that I'll be back from my academic tournament (WSC) in Bangkok. Hope to bring you double the good news! 

The winner will be chosen then and I will contact him/her via email. So please do leave your email behind or some means for me to contact you. Note: The winner will have to reply within 48 hours, if not, another winner will be chosen. 

4. Last thing, one special feature about this giveaway is that you can earn entries by commenting. You are allowed to comment once a day for the giveaway. Every comment on any of my blog posts from last year to this year earns you 2 bonus entries. Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter. What can I say? I love comments from you! :)

That's it. Not that long, huh? 

May the odds be ever in your favour! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Showcase Sunday: 27 May 2012

It's time to showcase the pretty books you've received or bought!

Compared to the flood of books last week *not that I'm complaining*, this week my mailbox has been relatively more peaceful. Instead, I couldn't resist buying several books with cover eye-candies. :)

This was on my Top Ten for 2012 list in January. Guess what I said then? ;) "Sounds like Ouran High School Host Club meet Another Faust!"  And we all know that with a spice of magic, romance and darkness, Illuminate promises and delivers!

I know, I know. This is the typical forbidden romance novel. But, just because it's clichéd, doesn't mean I can resist it's allure! *indignant*

"Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams..."

Sorry, but I just couldn't refrain myself from buying this after reading the blurb.

Who cares? I demand a good old romance with fizzling chemistry and Crave is my cure!

Tiger's Curse
I saw this quite some time ago, but I didn't think much of it. After some raving reviews, I'm going to take the leap-- into the world of hot Indian princes, ancient curses and forest magic! Aren't you excited? *squeals*

Frankly speaking, I didn't appreciate the cover design. Not at all. It turned me off at first. But, really, after reading an excerpt and the blurb, I think the cover doesn't do this book justice. Well, I'm going to! With a raving review, of course :)

For Review

This doesn't say much except that I have to get my butt down to reading this series soon! I've got this and the second book. Now, it's time for me to search for the first one!


Well, that's all I've got this week. My wallet is bleeding but my shelf is singing songs of joy!

What swag have you got this week? :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blog Tour Review: The Shapeshifter's Secret

The Shapeshifter's Secret

Author: Heather Ostler


She tried telling herself to stop, but it was useless. Something had fully claimed her mind and body. A sound began to erupt from inside her chest, a deep sort of growl that seized her entire being. She felt as if there was a grizzly bear inside her, trying to escape. And then a deafening roar echoed from her mouth, only inches away from Lancer’s face. It took everything inside of her not to attack him. 

In Julia’s life, timing is everything. Like the time her paranoid father put bars on her window so she wouldn’t sneak out at night—even though she’s never given him a reason not to trust her. Or the time this weird new kid showed up at her school and pretty much every girl in sight instantly and inexplicably fell in love with him. What was up with that?

But as time moves on, things in Julia’s life go from strange to seriously impossible. Now it’s all she can do to keep herself and the life she’s always known from falling apart.

This fast-paced action-adventure story is packed with humor, romance, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very last page. Get lost in a world of hidden royalty, shifting alliances, and dangerous vendettas, but don’t ever forget: nothing is what it seems.

Published 12 June 2012.


This review is long overdue since it took me quite a while to figure out what exactly I was feeling.

Because, you see, The Shapeshifter's Secret is a novel that grows on you. I didn't realize that until I was on the last page when suddenly, my brain processed what my heart was saying: Whatever I had disliked about the book had melted away into a pool of caramel somewhere in between the covers. I have to say, from skimming through the words initially to being grabbed by the steadiness of the story, the world of shapeshifters is one that sucks you in like a vortex and never lets you out.

How so?

In the first few chapters, everything seemed to be going along a clichéd path. There's that new good-looking boy in school, the starry-eyed best friend, the secretive parent... All these built up to the final moment of revelation. Guess what? Julia is from a royal family in a parallel world of shapeshifters.

I wasn't very impressed, to say the least. How come this sounded so eerily similar to the other books on my shelf? *sneaks a peek at Switched and The Iron King* But, I persisted with Julia as she catapulted from one action scene to the next, finally arriving in Ossai-- the world she belonged to.

And when she started with her new life in a castle-like school with lessons of rich history and ominous heritage, I got hooked. Not that I couldn't put the book down, but simply, I didn't want to any more. Because at some unknown point in the novel, The Shapeshifter's Secret developed a vibrant life of its own with the main protagonist manoeuvring the school-grounds. Julia finds out about a mother she never had. She deals with secret tunnels with even more mysterious ancestors. She learns to explore her own ability and her inner cat. And then, she falls in love.

She falls in love with Terrence. I think that is the weakest part of the entire story. I totally didn't buy their romance-- one that came too quick, expanded too fast and was sealed too soon. At the back of my mind, there was a tiny voice screaming "Caleb!" That one good-looking boy Julia first met, what about him?

Just like that, the story unfolds steadily in a comfortable pace. There are lessons, new friends, jealous enemies and cold teachers. Julia's eventful school life blankets you with its peaceful warmth. You submerge yourself in her ups and downs, better understanding Julia as more sides are revealed to you with new surprises around the corner.

When the whole tale ended with a flourish, I was satisfied. This is not a life-changing novel, or a once in a lifetime tale. This is not even a book that will make you cry or your heart ache. Ultimately, The Shapeshifter's Secret is just a novel that is wholly grounded and unbelievably real. You look through the eyes of a girl living in a strange world, and yet, she is living life just like you do.

Heather Ostler ends her novel with a worthy cliffhanger, concluding the end to a well-written journey of a girl growing up.

The whole novel is not a thrilling ride. Instead, it's one that gives you what you were seeking for-- a refreshing hour or two, spent plunging yourself in a whole new world.

Source: From Cedar Fort (publisher) for review purposes
A Netgalley copy.


Click here to see my interview with Heather Ostler (the author of The Shapeshifter's Secret).

Friday, May 25, 2012

Interview: Heather Ostler (author of The Shapeshifter's Secret)

The Official Biography   
Heather Ostler grew up near the mountains with a rambunctiously entertaining family. She majored in English at Utah Valley University, and soon began composing stories about masquerades, water nymphs, and shapeshifters. She and her husband, Kellen, reside in Highland, Utah with two remarkably pleasant pugs.  

The Fun Biography  
I like fortune cookies, lucky pennies, shooting stars, and implausible coincidences. I’m always cold and have at least 5 different flavors of hot cocoa on hand at all times. I’m a sucker for happy endings and like to eat dessert first. I think Muppets Christmas Carol is one of the best movies ever, along with The Parent Trap. English accents, cloudy days, and family inside jokes make me smile. I am a writer, and I love finding inspiration in art, music, nature, seasons, and relationships.

Hello Heather, it's great to have you here at Bookcase to Heaven™ today! After reading your brilliantly-crafted world of "hidden royalty, shifting alliances, and dangerous vendettas", I think no reader can emerge out with no burning questions on their minds. So here are mine :)

When you first thought of the idea of Shapeshifters, did you immediately think of werecats? If not, why did you choose werecats instead of, let's say, werefoxes?

I chose werecats for a couple of different reasons, one of them being that I absolutely love big cats. They’re fierce, aggressive, and dangerous, yet they also have this beautiful, playful, and gentle side to them. I think they’re more versatile than werewolves (or werefoxes) in that sense. 

Well, there simply aren't enough books about werecats on the YA market, so hope you'll explore even more into that in the next few books. But, let's not forget about the romance. There seemed to be some sparks between Julia and Caleb in the beginning though she ended up with Terrence. Is it possible that there would be a love triangle in the next novel? (I'm sure many of us are praying there will be!)

*Grins* I’m really excited about the sequel. There will be a lot more interactions between Terrence, Caleb, and Julia, and we will see their emotions, relationships, and trust put to the test. Things will change dramatically as Julia learns more about each boy’s past.

I'm nodding with satisfaction here! I hope Caleb realizes what a jewel Julia is *fingers crossed* 

As I recall, Alexis was a mother who would willingly sacrifice Julia without even twitching an eyelid. Such cold-heartedness is chilling. As the author, do you believe that any mother could be as cruel as Alexis?

I think that when we are betrayed by those that we are closest to, it hurts us so much more deeply, and that was hard to portray. However, I had to think of Alexis as an unstable villain who would put her thirst for power above anything else.

Even though I hate to see a mother treat her daughter like that, I can't wait to see how the story unfolds with Alexis playing the antagonistic role. The next question is a must for any author who deals with romance in their novels. 

Do you believe in true love, soul mates and happily-ever-afters? 

Yes, and I’m definitely a romantic! My husband and I were high school sweethearts, and we are celebrating our three year anniversary this June. He has shown me that true love exists, and I do believe in happily-ever-afters. (And yes, sometimes I’m hopelessly cheesy).

So am I. You lucky sweetheart! Do write more stories with happily-ever-afters :D 

Now, do you prefer books that make you smile or books that make you cry?

Although books that make you cry are memorable, I prefer books that make me smile.
Agreed. That's why I would choose a happily-ever-after tale over a Shakespearean-like tragedy any day! The shapeshifter world is a wonderful concept for any age group, so why did you choose to become a novelist for the teenage/young adult audience?

I love reading young adult novels and it’s definitely the most fun for me to write. That’s probably because sometimes I think I’m still a teenager ;)

Well, I'm a teenager and I like your stories :) Before we end, do you have anything to reveal about the upcoming sequel to The Shapeshifter's Secret?

Readers will learn a lot more about the secret world of sirens, and Julia will finally learn what Caleb was so desperate to tell her.

That cliffhanger at the end was quite a killer, with Caleb abruptly stopping before he revealed what he had wanted to say. You have my curiosity piqued, I can't wait for the sequel!

Thank you, Heather, for taking time to answer my questions, even the random ones!

You can visit her at: 

http://www.heatherostler.com/  (Author Website)

http://heatherostler.blogspot.com/ (Author blog)

My review of The Shapeshifter's Secret will be up in a day or two :) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Obsessing over Books in May, Every Title Every Day

(The image is courtesy of Tara from Tater's Tall Tails)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill from Breaking the Spine that showcases upcoming releases that we can't wait to claim as our own & aren't afraid to tell that to the world!

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong— the Reduction— decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go. But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret—one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Coming Soon on 12 June 2012.

Please don't let her lose him! *begs*

If that's so, this book would be perfect! The perfect betrayal, the ultimate decision, the life-changing journey... All with a dash of romance that is unique to Jane Austen's witty tales and all those who are inspired by them.

Want. Want. Want.

June seems like a decade away. :(

But For Darkness Shows the Star is totally worth the wait! :)

What books have you set your sight on? ;)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Showcase Sunday: 20 May 2012

Let's showcase all the goodies we got? And, what's better than books?

I've just finished reading Stealing Phoenix, and the only thing I can say is-- simply amazing!

Well, I wonder about the other three in this batch :) Hope they are good too! *rubs palms with glee*

The below is all for review purposes

This four books cover a spectrum of genres, paranormal, fantasy, adventure and more! Not sure how they'll be, but one thing for sure, I am really excited!

The spotlight of this bunch

I really really really wanted this! And after eight repeated requests (pretty desperate huh), I got it from Netgalley! 

Anything by Julie is bound to be amazing, this one looks like it will stand out too. 

Heard that Allison has some really great moves up her sleeve, here's another audacious female protagonist for me to love. *cross my fingers*

That's all, lovelies!

What swag have you got this week? 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: The Twin's Daughter

Twin's Daughter



Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day… a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda?

Filled with shocking twists and turns, THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end.


I so totally did not want to read this at first ><

Simply spying for a read to idle my time away, I saw this lying there in all of its pink glory. Though it sounded like a thrilling package, I had been aiming for a light summer romance... But, with nothing on my hands, I read it anyway.

And thank god. Thank god I read it! When I first touched the coarse thin paper, I stupidly thought that I was in for just another YA Gothic novel with zero romance. Man, was I wrong!

Needless to say, I actually signed up for so much more. Few pages into this fascinating Victorian world and I couldn't put the book down. A budding romance, a nagging suspicion, careful clues dropped your way-- The Twin's Daughter slowly built up its momentum with a promising cast and then... BAM!

That intense, bone-chilling, domino-effect surprise. It plants a seed of doubt in you as you struggle to find the truth as the story fluctuates like the tide. 

But, before I actually try to skilfully unveil that without spoilers, the stage needs to be set up. 

When Aunt Helen first arrives on their doorstep, the Sexton family is warm and welcoming. Everyone rushes to give her the best that they can to make up for the years lost. As Lucy takes a great liking to Aunt Helen, the frame is picture perfect. Lucy's mother showers her with lavish gifts and beautiful gowns, she introduces Aunt Helen into her circle of friends, she does everything she could to make Helen a part of her life-- and she succeeds. Seeing Aunt Helen as radiant as her sister in the waltzing pairs, seeing Aunt Helen befriending other ladies with charm, seeing Aunt Helen laugh gaily with Lucy and her father, any reader will feel a motherly sense of relief. After all, Aunt Helen deserves a life of smiles and splendour after the hardships in her youth.  

Yet, that was when the cold feeling started creeping up on me. As I looked at the world through the eyes of carefree but careful Lucy, Aunt Helen gradually turns into a perplexing danger, when even Lucy finds it difficult to differentiate between Aunt Helen and her own mother. How far does sisterly love and kindness reach before the fear of having someone taking over your life sets in?

But, there is an oasis in the stretch of never-ending spikes of fear. Even as I tried to juggle all the shocking clues and disturbing acts, there was a sweet romance budding behind the dark curtain of foreboding secret agendas. Just like a fragile but strong flower growing amidst grinning skulls, the love between Lucy and Kit gave me faith in the face of impending doom. From poking fun at each other to eventually shyly accepting their love, their romance blooms slowly with no haste in the fast-paced storyline, like the only constant in their ever-changing world. 

I adore Lauren Baratz-Logsted for slipping in so many layers of the story. This wasn't a one-dimensional story, but one girl's life story-- one that I could see, hear and fear with my heart.     

Now, with all the events leading up to the moment, the story finally reaches its first climax and begins to take on an even darker undertone. A murder happens in the Sexton household, and Aunt Helen perishes. However, as Lucy matures into a young lady, she can't help but doubt the change in her beloved mother. Is she who she says she is? Who really died in that bloodbath years ago? 

As Lucy faced alarming truths and deals with ill-fated events, I was leaning on the edge of my seat while making smart-aleck conclusions about the resolution. Yet, with the timely plot twists and not so timely surprises, I began to doubt my conclusions over and over again.

In the end, stunned speechless by the whole whirlwind of events that charts the love and loss of a girl from child to lady, I can only tell you this: The Twin's Daughter deserves a zealous round of applause-- for having Arthur Conan Doyle's sense of mystery, Jane Austen's grasp of wit and Edgar Allan Poe's mastery of thrill!   

Source: My beloved old library


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dashing Sons & Bubble Premises

This is a post that came out of nowhere :)

Teehee, the thing is, I chanced upon a very special blog after mindlessly clicking link after link. And, guess what? This very special blogger has amazing photoshop skills, skilfully creating stunning book covers just for the fun of it! And we all know there are some really pretty covers floating in the YA pool right now, yet nonetheless, the cover she created really does stand out.

Before I get sidetracked though, the real highlight of this post is actually a very wonderful question posted by her. She gave us the liberty of dreaming.

If that very picture was to be a book cover, what would you name the title as?

I'm going to share with you my thoughts, but this question is up for interpretation! I want to hear whatever crazy notion you conjured, whatever outrageous storyline you envisioned >:)

Okay, now on with what I thought. The first thing that came to my mind was "Raven in Gold".

Seventeen-year-old Raven never thought that she would be dancing in the arms of this handsome boy under a sparkling chandelier...

Lost in the woods of Romania during a study trip, Raven is kidnapped to a castle out in the wild. Beautiful girls from all over the world are gathered there to vie for the affections of the ridiculously beautiful son of Count Dracula. Swept up into a whirlwind of glamorous events, Raven is transformed into a lady. But behind alluring smiles and glittering masks, there are deadly secrets to hide. With schemes and betrayals at every corner, will Raven find out who her heart belongs to?


My sad attempt at writing a blurb...

But, yay! The creator of the cover liked the name, Raven, so *drumroll*... Here's the final product!

Many thanks goes to Lea @ Paper Dreams who first debuted this cover here. Without her, this post would have been non-existent!

Visit her and prepare to feast your eyes on gorgeous designs!

And, don't forget to tell me what you think. I am prepared to be blown away! ;)


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Mooning over Books in May, Never Wanes

(The image is courtesy of Tara from Tater's Tall Tails)
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme held by Jill from Breaking the Spine that showcases upcoming releases that we can't wait to claim as our own & aren't afraid to tell that to the world!

This is my first time doing this meme, but I just wanted to focus the spotlight on a very special book this month. 


Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.       

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.       

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.        

The first in a series, this epic and richly detailed drama is grounded in historical communities and their mythic beliefs. It includes a medieval map of Europe that will track their journey; and the interior will include relevant decorative elements as well as an interior line illustration. And look for a QR code that links to a note from the author with additional, detailed information about the setting and the history that informed the writing. With Philippa Gregory’s trademark touch, this novel deftly brings the past—and its salacious scandals—vividly and disturbingly to life. 

Coming Soon on 29 May 2012

Philippa Gregory is a fabulous writer of historical fiction who writes about The Tudor Court. Her novels are elegant, witty, scandalous & for... ADULTS. 

Unbelievably, she has decided to write for the teenage audience. The power of YA! The historical fiction section of the YA pool has been hugely lacking as most flock towards the dystopian side. 

Perhaps, that is why, weirdly enough, this novel is not getting as much publicity as anticipated. When the Queen of Historical Fiction turns her pen tip to the Young Adult market, I'm sure we won't be disappointed. 

Keep your hopes up, there is much to anticipate!

What books have you set your sight on?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me

The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Author: Jess Rothenberg


Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.   

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.   

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul... who just might hold the key to her forever after.   

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

21 February 2012


Every once in a while, you chance upon a book that writes such funny, witty and gorgeous prose, and yet, every sentence makes you want to cry. 

The Catastrophic History of You and Me is such a book. 

Brie dies of heartbreak at age sixteen, but life doesn't end after this. Forever after is a timeless vortex, not allowing you to truly move on before going through five more stages of grief. As it turns out, the afterlife is not all about dying, but rather, about understanding that there's more to life than death.

In the first stage Denial, there's loss and there's confusion. Brie suddenly finds herself in another world, a complete copy of her old life, yet filled with people who have died-- each in their own way, each in their own time. Then there's one 'handsome boy with a motorcycle jacket, the one who calls her 'Angel' with quirky cheese-themed nicknames.

After the initial stubborn Denial, comes Anger. Back on Earth, there's the boy who broke her heart. The friend who went behind her back. The father who, in sadness, turned to another woman. From far above, her seemingly perfect past life slowly unravels, as the people Brie loves unknowingly reveal the secrets and betrayals that they have kept from her. It's easy how lingering love can transform into hate in the very next heartbeat. Brie becomes a girl bent on getting her revenge, wrecking the lives of those who had hurt her.

But, anger always burns out, after which comes Bargaining. Brie makes a shocking discovery, realizing that the boy who broke her heart had his own bitter secret. Desperately wanting to undo all her acts of vengeance, Brie meets Larkin, a senior in her high school who died years ago in a raging fire. Larkin offers her a once in a "death-time" chance to go back to her old life for one day to change something. However, this opportunity comes attached with a price tag-- Brie would have to give Larkin a necklace, a deal which leaves all of us befuddled. In a sequence of fast-paced action, the story takes a turn, as Brie finally finds herself fully alone. She had hurt the one boy who had tried to save her-- the one with the motorcycle jacket-- and now there's no one left.

Sadness. Racing against time, Brie tries to find out the mysterious identity behind her constant companion. Digging up the past is a painful thing as she discovers shocking secrets and a love that had never left her side. Who is this boy who dresses like an 80s fellow and calls her 'Angel'? But, more importantly, where did he go?

Unwittingly, the story draws to an end in Brie's final stage-- Acceptance. With a clever turn of her pen, Jess Rothenberg hands us an ending that could be no more perfect than this. Rothenberg begins the story with the folly of love and ends it telling us that love is beautiful because of its silly faults. Brie herself starts the tale with pain and heartbreak (like literally) and ends it off with a hum of content. In her eyes, there's no sadness over what she has lost, only a crystal-clear reflection of that one boy who stayed with her all the way till the very end.

So when Brie falls in love with that boy at the end of the whole amazing journey, I was smiling and crying. It was because-- in life and death and everything in between-- Patrick had always been there. The one and only boy who had always been there for Brie; the one who gave up his life for her; the one who waited for her; the one whose will to live extinguished when she turned away. Ultimately, at the end of it all, Brie whirled around and saw with her heart that there had only been one boy for her all along. That is why you will smile behind your tears, simply because there is no other boy more deserving of Brie than Patrick.

This is no comedy, but a sad and piercing lesson enveloped in comic and light-hearted wit.

Heartbreakingly heart-warming, The Catastrophic History of You and Me teaches you all about love and why it's not only like a Shakespearean romantic tragedy but also like a dreamy fairytale. Friends, are for ever. Love, lasts forever!

Source: Purchased with precious money saved up over the course of a month :)


"Love is a piano dropped from a four-storey window, and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time." Ani DiFranco

Sorry, but this was the funniest book trailer I've ever seen! Patrick and Jacob looks terrible :O 
What do you think?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review: I've Got Your Number

I've Got Your Number

Author: Sophie Kinsella


I've lost it. Sad The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive Smile !!  

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! 

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. 

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Published 14 February 2012 (Valentine's Day)


Oh my good god.

This is a book that sent me into a crazed frenzy. I LOVED IT!

WARNING: This review is going to be a jumble of thoughts with tiny hugs and kisses scribbled all over. 

I loved every single character in this lovable novel. I loved the hilarious Poppy who tries in earnest to imitate the voice mail tone. I loved the clever Sam who shamelessly helps others cheat in Scrabble. I even loved the random stumpy Japanese businessman who kindly halted in his tracks to hear a rendition of his name sang in the tune of Single Ladies. LOVE.

I adored every scene in this adorable novel. I adored Poppy's pictures of rotten teeth to Sam when she sees that he misses his dental appointments. I adored Sam's calmness as he leads Poppy out of the woods. I adored every single one of their conversations, be it serious, funny or outright ridiculous. And most of all, the wedding scene had me looking on with such rapt attention, so much that I let my bowl of ice-cream melt. Let it melt all it wants, I just wanted to know whether the guy gets the girl!

Laughing my way through the whole novel, I never expected even the slightest dose of sadness. It was the most perfect comedy I have ever seen, tickling me with its spoofs of life. So when the urge to cry came, I was so stunned that I simply cried without inhibition. What could be more sad than knowing you love someone but you can't be with him? Funny, carefree, silly and cheeky Poppy finally felt like crying, knowing that she was about to walk down the aisle to the wrong guy-- someone who was not Sam Roxton. 

If this isn't love, I don't know what it is! I was gripping the book feverishly, my heart beating all the more thunderously for Sam with each step Poppy takes towards Magnus. Yes, I know that she met Magnus first. Yes, I know that she thought she was in love with him. Yes, I know that she knew Sam for a much shorter time. But, just like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, love often comes at the most unfortunate and inopportune of times.

Because no matter how we all search for the workings behind love, it all boils down to one word-- fate. For Sam and Poppy, Fate flipped her hair and gave them a huge time bomb to deal with. For a girl who is engaged, is it possible to truly fall in love a week before the biggest day of her life-- her wedding day?

This is the joke that fate played on them. Simply because Poppy was at the right place at the right time, she picked up that fateful phone in the bin and her whole life took a 180° turn. And despite all the frustration and woes, we all know that Poppy will never regret her moment of dazzling moral revelation when she reassured herself that the rule of "Finders Keepers" stood true, while trying to scoop up the forlorn phone inconspicuously from the bin.

Whether Poppy chooses to believe in the quirks of fate or to ignore fate's untimely visit is something you have to read to find out, and I am sure you will do just that. How can you stay unconvinced by my loud declarations of love and adoration for every single word in this novel? >:)

Still, funny how I believed in Sam and Poppy's love although the word never appeared in their conversations. Yet, with no doubt, I know that this is love, glitzy and grounded in the twenty-first century-- wonderful, but cruel even, with its timings.

With this new recognition, I don't think I will ever hesitate in picking up a lost phone in a dingy-looking bin. Okay, maybe I will do it stealthily Smile.

End of SMS.

Source: The Good Ol' Library 


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Interview: Andrew Fukuda (author of The Hunt)

Born in Manhattan and raised in Hong Kong, Andrew Fukuda is half-Chinese, half-Japanese. After earning a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University, Fukuda worked in Manhattan's Chinatown with the immigrant teen community. That experience led to the writing of Crossing, his debut novel that was selected by ALA Booklist as an Editor's Choice, Top Ten First Novel, and Top Ten Crime Novel in 2010. His second novel, The Hunt, the first in a new series, was bought at auction by St. Martin's Press and was published in May 2012. Before becoming a full time writer, Fukuda was a criminal prosecutor for seven years. He currently resides on Long Island, New York, with his family.

Hello Andy, nice to have you here at Bookcase to Heaven™ today! I have some questions that I just had to ask you after reading your enrapturing novel, The Hunt! So I will kick off this interview with the first question :)

The Hunt is not distinctly dystopian with its touch on vampires. Are you a fan of dystopian novels or fantasy writing?  

I'm a fan of dystopian, not so much of fantasy, although the latter is certainly a genre I highly respect. What I find so fascinating with the dystopian genre is how it wrestles with mankind's attempt to find utopia. It's a misguided attempt, of course, because it will always be tainted with humanity's inability to reach social ideals-- everyone is too fractured, broken, greedy, fallen-- and the end result is inevitably a dysfunctional governance. 

In my mind, that's how it gets its name: dysfunctional + utopia = dystopia.   

I do agree, such is the charm of novels illustrating dystopian societies. As I recall, there was a subtle reference to Twilight in The Hunt. So, in reality, which is closer to your idea of a vampire-- Bram Stoker's Dracula or Stephanie Meyer's Edward Cullen? (I couldn't resist asking this *cheeky smile*) 

Hmmm...tough question. I think the vampire has become so ubiquitous across genre and art mediums that its form has become quite malleable. Edward Cullen is quite different from the Anne Rice's vampires which are in turn quite different from the Johnny Depp vampire in the upcoming movie. I think what matters most is whether the form of the vampire fits the function within the artistic medium it is in. I do have a preference, as you've probably realized, for the vampires in I am Legend (movie version).  

Yes, indeed, now on to a question that would interest most female readers of your novel. The romance between Gene and Ashley June was quite perfectly done! Perhaps this is quite an odd question to ask a male author, but I am rather curious on the matter. Do you believe in true love?  

I do - but it's rare. I prefer to think of love as on a sliding scale with Total Incompatibility on one end and Complete Synced-ness on the other. Most people fall somewhere in between.    

How has your Japanese and/or Chinese heritage influenced your writing?  

It had a direct effect on my debut novel, Crossing, because the protagonist is a Chinese immigrant living in America. His experience is quite different from mine, but there was some overlap. With The Hunt, my Asian heritage makes me feel more a need to prove myself. The YA genre is written by mostly white (and female) authors, and as an Asian American male I feel the need to prove myself while at the same time sticking to my artistic vision, no matter how unique and against the grain it might be.

That, I can understand. You have sure proved yourself! I can say with utmost conviction that you have inspired many other aspiring Asian young writers to pursue their writing dreams. 

But before I end, I have to admit that I am eagerly awaiting the sequel to The Hunt! Anything to reveal?  

The book is already written, but right now I can only reveal the title. It is THE PREY. Thanks for a great interview, Selina!

You are most definitely welcome! Thank you for satisfying my curiosity by answering these questions! I can't wait for The Prey!

Get the gist of The Hunt in this trailer. Do you see those fangs? ;)


To know exactly what I feel for The Hunt, read my review here. :)


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)

Author: Ally Carter


Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school-that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it's really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real "pavement artist"-but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?

Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she's on her most dangerous mission-falling in love.

Published 25 April 2006


Once upon a time, when I was ten, I picked up Book 2 and 3 of this series. I was left in awe. I searched endlessly for Book 1, but always brushed past it by some chance. 

This year, with the fifth book out, I have with me here, a copy of the first book. 

But, like many childhood memories revisted, this one was sweetly endearing yet too faraway and unreal. 


Every girl had their own version of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream.

When I was a kid watching Spy Kids, I dreamed of becoming a spy, learning how to kill someone in 101 ways in classes much less mundane than Algebra.

And, Hallelujah! Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women was my dream come true.

Yet, when I closed the galley today, I was left feeling lost and disappointed. I'd loved the stories of Cammie, Liz, Bex and Macey, yet, this story that started it all was one that did not hit too close to home.

Was Ally Carter trying to be funny? Because, she was not. The jokes were more than dry.

All that I'd loved about the book seemed to have vanished with time. What I once thought was stunning is now purely outlandish. What I once believed to be great characterization is now simply to shallow for me. The girls' friendships had no real substance and I was entertained yet not affected.

And, yes, falling in love.

Josh, the male protagonist, was a great let-down. He's ordinary, too boring to fit into the tale. Cammie's relationship with him was so dull as a result. They talk, they walk, they eat ice-cream. It's sweet! But they can't even pull off a remotely decent and interesting conversation between the two of them. For the first time, I wondered why Cammie might even possibly fall in love in the first place. Though, to give the series some due credit, the love interest changes to another spy in subsequent novels, but let's not talk about it now.

I wish I could tell you the story is awful, but it's not. It's just that there is very little to it. No exciting climaxes, no searing plot, no life-changing dilemmas. You would have expected a dose of that in a novel about spies, wouldn't you?

There has to be something in a book. Because if I emerge out from reading the book same as before, my heart strings not even pulled, then why even read at all?

I never believed in a thousand years that I would say this, but here it is: I wanted so badly to love this book. But I didn't.

I thought it would be a fantastic read, one that would make me swoon, one with a five-starred review.

In the end, it's just a tribute to my younger starry-eyed self.

Source: From Disney-Hyperion (Publisher) for review purposes.
"In honor of the release of Out of Sight, Out of Time (book 5 in the Gallagher Girls series), please enjoy the one that started it all, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You, book 1 in the Gallagher Girls series."
A Netgalley copy.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In My Mailbox: 01/05/2012

This is a long post! Your comment would make my day :)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Let us know what books you've bought, borrowed or received for review!


The Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon 
Doesn't the cover look beautiful? Simply stunning! I hope the story is equally good as well! I have high hopes for this kind of Chinese Martial Arts adventure/romance novels. If the content is as good as the cover, this might land itself a four-stars review at least. 

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Heard so much about it! I read a few reviews lately about Wither too, and all were positive. This novel seems deal with several touchy subjects. The author should have enough skill in packaging these themes in her lovely language and selling them off as a enticing YA novel!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
I picked this book up because I head from Veronica Roth that this book has one of the most believable romances ever. Sounds like a fantasy/adventure novel. Never would have picked it up, but now I'm glad that I did!

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
Want. Want. Want. 
Now, this doesn't seem too good. I read a few pages and I'm bored. This might not make it into THE CHRONICLE. Think I should give a negative review? Or just leave it? 



Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The blogosphere has been going gaga over this book! I'm kind of behind everyone, but here I am, finally following the tide. I know that there's a love triangle (sobs), but the temptation is too great. I'm totally like "WHO CARES"?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Everyone knows Noah Shaw. The hottie bom botty has enamoured everyone, including me, even before I read this. I have to set this behind because of the pile of books I've not yet read (sobs... Gee, I'm sobbing a lot!). But I'm sure the moment I read this, it will be the unbecoming of Sel.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
I'm half way through this. Yes, I know, this IMM came quite late. The book was such a charming distraction from my tests. Might have to read it again. Not sure if I would, but I sure want to.

Switched by Amanda Hocking
I bought this on the spur of the moment. It has been such a long time since I last read a good old clichéd story, so I took this off from the shelves. Needless to say, I was seriously surprised when I heard that this was a self-published novel which was then turned bought by an official publishing company. The author is now a multi-millionaire. Let's see if her first novel is worth the gold.

Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Alex Flinn won me over with her story A Kiss in Time and then had me tagged as her fan with Beastly. Both were great adaptations of fairytales and I just couldn't resist this one. Bewitch me, Ms Flinn!

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
I just watched a Romeo and Juliet play last weekend. This book enters nicely into the equation. 


The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

House of Night #1 (The Graphic Novel) by a bunch of people including P.C. Cast

Redemption by Veronique Launier

The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler 


Oh my! Isn't this a packed reading schedule? I'm rubbing my hands in glee.

Hope you are too! ;)

Tell me what you think! If you have any IMMs too, comment & I'd love to link you!


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