• 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, October 24, 2012

Haunted Week Day 1: Ghosts of Books Half-Read

{This Girl Reads}


{This Girl Reads}

October 24th - Ghosts of Books Half-Read 
Ever had the feeling that someone was watching you? It just might the spirit of a book you haven't put to rest. Today feature five books you began but never finished.

The top book that I'm featuring today would be City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1). Back when it really wasn't all that famous, I saw The Mortal Instruments box set in a bookstore, containing the first three books in the series, and I bought it. 

But it just fell a little flat for me. The beginning sounded really fun, with demons in a club and there were loads of action with Clary's mother going missing and her discovering the truth about her heritage. And then, Jace. I do love him too.

Yet, after a while, the story got a little draggy for me. It couldn't captivate me enough and I just wanted more of Jace and Clary as a couple, but they didn't deliver. 

Okay, I'm saying this straight out: I was bored.

And, so even till this day, I still have not finished this novel. And to make myself feel less guilty for buying three books in a row, I stashed this series at the back of my bookshelf :)

It seems as though I have a knack for not finishing popular novels *weak grin*. 

My friend bought me Vampire Academy on one of my birthdays and I was really excited since she was full of praises for this novel. 

But, I guess it's magic just didn't work for me. I read half-way through, my brain crammed full with Strigoi and a long list of characters that made me feel kind of uncomfortable.

Actually, when it all comes down to it, my biggest problem was Rose and Lisa. I just couldn't bring myself to like them. I couldn't fully empathized with Rose, didn't think that Dimitri was that hot, and thought that Lisa's relationship with Christian was strange.

Perhaps, it was because I was only twelve then and I couldn't appreciate Richelle Mead's world. 

And my biggest regret was that I never stayed long enough till I could have met Adrian... The girl on the cover still smirks creepily at me from my old bookcase.

As for this book, I am totally stupid. 

I borrowed it from the library and didn't have time to finish it before it was due.

Had to return it with longing looks and salty tears. 

Knew enough of St. Clair's awesomeness to last me a century.

But, the truth is just that I didn't finish it. (hides under a rock in shame)

I really didn't (WAILS).

I totally loved its premise when I read a review on a book blog. It sounded so freaking amazing and I was crossing my fingers for a good romance.

And truth be told, this book wasn't bad at all.

I just got stuck at some dull patch and never got up on my feet again. 

This is one book that I'm pretty sure that I'll be revisiting. But, meanwhile, it's staring at me icily from the top of my bookcase. (gulps)

I really don't get all the hype for this series. I wanted to like it. I really did. But, I didn't like it, not at all.

Straightaway when I was catapulted into the story, it seemed quite ridiculous. The process which the main character went through to get a job was weird. 

And the worse thing was that the writing was awful. I had high expectations for the novel, but the way the characters conversed was stilted, the plot line juvenile and the writing was all tell and no show.

So I closed the covers of the book before the adventure could start and just stopped at the plane ride.

(P.S. According to the Chinese Zodiac, I am born in the year of the tiger! Isn't that cool?)

Are you also haunted by ghosts of books half-read? ;)


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway: Dear Teen Me

Dear Teen Me

Editors: E. Kristin Anderson & Miranda Kenneally

The Gist:

How many times have you looked back on your teenage years and cringed, wishing you could offer your younger self some guidance? This book of nearly 70 letters by top young adult authors— including bestselling writers Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder— does just that, and today’s teens will benefit.


For those who know me, I never ever ever read non-fiction. And all the way until three weeks ago, I had not the slightest inclination of ever breaking that rule. 

But, you know, when I saw this book with all the familiar names of authors like Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me), Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked) and Nancy Holder (who wrote so so many dear novels in the Once Upon a Time series), I suddenly had that impossible urge to know what insecurities they had as a teen like myself and what life they led during that awkward phase of adolescence. 

Did they have crushes on totally dorky guys? 

Did they embarrass themselves constantly like all teenagers do? 

Had they ever done something bad? Or naughty?

You bet they did.

And I don't regret for a single moment for picking this book up. Authors aren't gods/goddesses. No matter where they stand today, no matter how confident and witty and glamorous they are now, no matter how very much they appear to have been equally amazing teens-- they have all been that gangly teenager who was at a loss of words, the girl whose cheeks turned pink when her crush simply looked in her way, the boy who got bullied, that teenager who had been left out and wanted to cry. Each and every single one of them.

But, ultimately, they all found strength in writing. 

This is a book that I won't want to fly through, simply because I want to slowly savor its goodness, its honesty and its truths. Every single letter in this book (and there are many) all provide a reassuring insight from an adult who has been through the ups and downs of life and can say with the confidence of one who is looking in hindsight that whatever difficulties we are facing as a teen won't last forever. 

There's Jessica Corra, who forever remembers the time when a teacher in her school told her to "try the library" when she had wanted to transfer to a public school out of loneliness. And that changed her life.  She tells her teen self that "What is important is that you listened to someone and grabbed the lifeline you needed. Asking for help when you need it isn't weakness; neither is accepting help when you don't think you do. Don't be afraid to do that, again and again."

The letter by Heather Davis almost made me cry. She talked about her mother who would leave their family again and again. 

"Dear Teen Me,
Over time, her appearances confuse your understanding of what it means to love and be loved. You begin to accept that words don't have to match actions. That sometimes love is a thing bargained for with silence. You start to crave that kind of love, which is a devaluing and insidious one. This craving will stick with you for years. It's something you'll have to learn to overcome. 

Keep doing your best. Right now, your little sisters need you. And, I promise you, even if it's many years from now, someday you will know real love. The kind where words match actions. The kind that doesn't leave you hanging. The kind that never lets you go." 

The letters are also inspiring, in particular one by Kersten Hamilton. She says,

"It starts with a litter of puppies. They're three days old, and their mother is dead. Everyone says you should drown them because they're going to die anyway without a mama dog to feed them. That's what they say. You're thirteen, but you gave up listening to what people said years ago. You've learned to think for yourself. You don't trust adults.
The fact is, we can't know what the future holds, because it doesn't exist yet-- it doesn't exist until we create it. No matter where you start, and no matter where you are today, you can dream a new tomorrow. Your parents can't stop you. You can create it through the choices you make (like the choice to save a puppy). If you have no adult to trust as a child, choose to become an adult that children can trust." 

These letters-- some are so adorable and funny that they will make you laugh involuntarily, some are really thought-provoking, giving you new strength to face the trials and tribulations of teenage life. 

Dear Teen Me is like Chicken Soup for teens. Quoting our dear editors, 

"This book is for you. For the loners, the stoners, the freaks and the geeks, the head cheerleaders and the kids eating lunch in the library, the starting lineup, the benchwarmers, the glee club, and the marching band. This book is for everyone who has ever felt alone or misunderstood, for everyone who dreads prom and also for every teen in the homecoming court. For the wimps, the Goths, the jocks. This book is for you.

We hope you love it."

Yes, we do. :)

Source: ARC from Zest Books for review purposes as part of blog tour.

E. Kristin Anderson, in addition to co-editing Dear Teen Me and co-creating its eponymous website, is a writer and poet who has been published in dozens of literary journals. She is also an assistant editor at Hunger Mountain for their YA and Children's section.
Miranda Kenneally is the author of the contemporary YA novels Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker (just published), and Things I Can't Forget (Spring 2013). Miranda is also the co-editor, with E. Kristin Anderson, of Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books), and is co-creator of the Dear Teen Me website.

Zest Books is an award-winning publisher of smart and edgy titles that focus on the colorful chaos of teen life. These nonfiction books cover timely topics in creative ways by incorporating solid life advice, practical how-to instruction, and humorous commentary. Zest Books’ catalogue includes 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High SchoolWhere’s My Stuff: The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide, and Scandalous! 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About So You Can Impress Your Friends. In Fall 2012, Zest Books launches a new line of memoirs and first-person accounts, and Dear Teen Me is the first book in this new line.
Zest Books is distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Learn more at www.zestbooks.net.

Zest Books Facebook profile: www.facebook.com/zestbook
Zest Books Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BooksWithATwist
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/zestbooks (Dear Teen Me videos coming next week!)
Dear Teen Me LibraryThing: http://www.librarything.com/work/12195764
Dear Teen Me Facebookwww.facebook.com/pages/Dear-Teen-Me/108380165901152
Dear Teen Me Twitterwww.twitter.com/DearTeenMe/
E. Kristin Anderson Facebook: www.facebook.com/ekristinanderson
E. Kristin Anderson Twitter: www.twitter.com/ek_anderson
Miranda Kenneally: www.twitter.com/MirandaKennealy

Books can be preordered now from these online booksellers, and will be officially on sale October 30. (It's possible that independent booksellers will be selling the book before October 30.)

Now, here's a chance to get a glimpse of lives that your favorite authors had as teenagers.

This giveaway is opened INTERNATIONALLY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, October 22, 2012

Haunted Week

Yikes, I haven't been here the past two days, have I?

Well, it's actually because I have been preparing for Haunted Week, hosted by the amazing Cheyenne at {This Girl Reads}!

Starting from Wednesday the 24th to Wednesday the 31st, some seriously cool things will be happening... *drumroll*... And here's a slight prelude:

{This Girl Reads}

October 24th - Ghosts of Books Half-Read 
Ever had the feeling that someone was watching you? It just might the spirit of a book you haven't put to rest. Today feature five books you began but never finished. 

{This Girl Reads}

October 25th - Bats in Your Book Pages
Even the biggest book enthusiasts have some bats in their belfries about things in books that drive them insane. Today tell your readers about five things that drive you crazy in books.

{This Girl Reads}

October 26th - Skeletons on My Bookshelf

Supposedly, everyone has a few skeletons in their closet—I think everyone has a few on their bookshelves, too. Today feature five books you've owned for a long time but never read.

{This Girl Reads}

October 27th - Back From The Grave
Get ready to dig up your past and bring some of your old friends back to life: Today feature five books you read and loved as a kid.

{This Girl Reads}

October 28th - It Came From the Web
You never know what's going to creep onto the web. Sometimes, however, you get a pleasant surprise. Today feature and link to five amazing book blogs you've found recently.

{This Girl Reads}

October 29th - Tricked or Treated
Some books aren't at all what you expected—which can be good or bad. Today feature five books you read that were either a pleasant or nasty surprise.

{This Girl Reads}

October 30th - Written in the Tombstone
The epitaph is the inscription on a tombstone—you could say it's a person's last words. Today, quote the last line of five books. (No spoilers, please!) 

{This Girl Reads}

October 31st - Beware of Book Review
To finish off a week of spook-tastic fun, review a scary story of your choice!


I'm certainly excited since I've never done anything like this before! Well, Haunted Week promises itself to be a whole new experience. 

So join me, starting on Wednesday and read my thoughts on these punny topics *grins*

Hope to see you there! And happy advanced Halloween, may many treats come your way ;)

Sel :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blog Tour Review: Valkyrie Rising


Valkyrie Rising

Author: Ingrid Paulson


Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there. 

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

Published October 9th 2012.


I walked into this book having not the slightest inkling of what a Valkyrie was. And I walked out knowing not much better. But, strangely enough, I was contented because Ingrid Paulson sure can write novels that blow your mind away. 

When Ellie heads to Norway to visit her grandmother, the town that greets her is filled with hostility. There are rumours in the air about Ellie's grandmother and a gradually permeating fear about a group of mesmerizing but powerful girls-- the Valkyrie. So on a journey to rescue her brother amongst the other boys that get kidnapped by these girls, Ellie discovers that there's more to her grandmother than she can ever imagine. To trace back her heritage, she must pit herself against the Valkyrie. But, ultimately, they are all just pawns in the game of wits and war between two ancient Norse gods-- Odin and Loki. 

And indeed, Norse mythology was what that set this novel apart from the others. Artfully weaved into our modern times, Ingrid Paulson gives a whole new meaning to the word, 'Valkyrie', by adapting old legends and mythical creatures into our everyday lives, with the skill of Rick Riordan.

PAST. "Back in the time of the Vikings, soldiers were encouraged to embrace death without fear and according to their religion, according to what is now considered myth, Valkyries were beautiful women who hovered around battlefields, and when brave fighters were killed, they took their souls to Valhalla-- a fortress ruled by Odin, god of death and war and knowledge... These soldiers... They became part of Odin's army."

PRESENT. The Valkyries are flawlessly beautiful, that's a given, but their ways have changed with time. Handling guns, wearing leather boots and strutting into night clubs are now their routine. Yet, at the same time, the old ways have remained the same. They still retain their heightened senses and strength, and as Ellie begins to uncover her true identity, her journey into the new world of Norse mythology in current-day Norway is thrilling. Personally, for me, it is the realistic way that the Valkyries are portrayed in this tale that makes me fall for it. The whole story seems so raw and genuine that I could honestly believe that it can happen to me in the next heartbeat. (Not that I have any relatives from Norway, but still.) The old magic still lives on, but Ingrid Paulson gives it a whole new dimension, completely integrating it into our world today. 

Frankly speaking, pulling off a successful modern-day myth is no easy feat. In ancient legends, there are always unexpected twists which take us by surprise. Similarly, in Valkyrie Rising, there are stunning plot twists that keep me constantly on my toes. They will make you race through the whole book, dealing out new secrets every once in a while, and nothing ever remains quite the same.

Fortunately for us, there is still a romance that is worth gushing about. Tucker, I swear, is one of the wittiest guys I have every met. He becomes a highlight of this novel, standing out even amongst fantastic action sequences and ominous scenes. You will love him, I promise. 

This is just the book for the hordes of mythology-romance fans to sink their teeth into. And I promise you again, it will dazzle your taste buds.

Source: ARC for review purposes as part of blog tour. 

Ingrid Paulson lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter and enjoys long-distance running, eavesdropping, and watching science documentaries. She has always loved books and writing short stories, but was surprised one day to discover the story she was working on wasn't so short any more. VALKYRIE RISING is Ingrid's first novel.

Ingrid's grandmother might actually be a Valkyrie; she's still waiting for her to come clean.

Official links

Here's a chance to sink your teeth into it >:)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ingrid has gladly offered a prequel to VALKYRIE RISING, titled VALKYRIE SYMPTOMS. This story is told by the amazing Tucker, one day prior to the events that take place in the novel. Get a taste of what I fell in love with ;)


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This Will Set Me on Fire.

(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!

The much anticipated second book in the enthralling Black City series

Engaged to be married, Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together, when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of the turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth. 

Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings. The only way to save everyone is to escape Black City and find the Ora, a powerful weapon that could take down Purian Rose for good. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon is easier said than done, if it even exists, and becomes a quest that could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

Coming Soon in June 2013.


I know this seems a bit too early to be lusting for a book. But I couldn't care less. 

The first thing I did yesterday when my exams ended was to finish reading Black City in one sitting. And oh my oh my good Lord. It was fantastic in mind-blowing proportions. 

And like all those who start reading series like Cinder whose books are spaced out a year apart, I'm down with the Sequel Symptom. Badly. 

Because I want to read Phoenix so bad. 

God knows how I'll review Black City, I really really adored it. And I guess the books that are the best are the hardest to review :/

But I'm getting off-topic. So, as I was saying, I am waiting waiting waiting for Phoenix.

Psst... This book is on fire!

What has set you on fire this Wednesday? ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm Back!

Hi guys,

I'm back in the BLOGOSPHERE!

Well, you know what a bother exams can be. And I've seen the last of them for this year. HURRAY!

So, because I'm feeling super liberated, which means that I am HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 
(as observed from the overuse of cap locks)...

I'm not being able to express myself quite the way I want now with words, and instead, I'm using pictures ;) 

How I'm feeling right now: 

What I'm doing right now and will be doing for the next few months:

What I want to do with you:


So first up, a huge apology from me for leaving abruptly the last few months. Exams are life ruiners :(

I only posted once in September,so thank you to all those who still visited my blog:

The steady blog stats and your comments were what that made me smile during the stressful revision times. 

Thank you!

Now that I'm back, here's a brief preview of some key events that I'm going to take part in for the next few months :) Details will be up soon for each specific event!

1. Haunted Week to celebrate Halloween. I'm doing this with quite some blogger friends. I promise that there's going to puns, funny memes, reviews about scary YA books and more! I'm posting at a later date to tell you guys more about it ;)

2. A few blog tours here and there with some awesome giveaway prizes. There are going to be character interviews, letters etc.

3. November new releases giveaway hop ;)

4. Reviews from me all the time. You have my full commitment *grins*

Let's drink to post-exam activities and books. Cheers!


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