Thursday, December 29, 2011

Follow Friday (1)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by and This meme is a way to follow and meet other bloggers :)

Question of the week: The New Year is here -- and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on you blog?

1. Review more titles - As a new blogger, I don't have many reviews up. This year due to my busy schedule I only read 18 books which is nothing compared to all the other bloggers. In 2012 I am planning to read 50 books :)

2. Comment - I want to get to know other bloggers! So I have decided to comment more on other people's posts because I really love it when people comment on mine :)

3. Participate in Memes - Participating in memes is a great way to get to know other bloggers such as this one: Follow Friday! In 2012, I am going to participate in more :) 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of BeesSummary
Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love--a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Although this was required reading, I enjoyed this as much as I would reading this book for pleasure. The story started out a little slow and I didn't care much for it, but what really made me love this book was the ending. Everything came together in the end and I even got a little emotional. 

The story is written in the perspective of the main character Lily Owens. I found her to be a smart and witty. Throughout the book there is great character development for Lily. I really liked all the characters in this book as all had their own interesting back stories.

I really learned a lot about bees and bee keeping from this novel and what I really enjoyed were the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter which were facts about bees from real books. They also cleverly related to the plot which I thought was fantastic. 

The Secret Life of Bees is a classic coming of age novel with great characters and a heartwarming plot.

 5 stars - Digest it and eating it again! :D 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me GoSummary
From the acclaimed author of The Remains of the Day and When We Were Orphans, a moving new novel that subtly reimagines our world and time in a haunting story of friendship and love.

As a child, Kathy–now thirty-one years old–lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

Read the full summary at Goodreads

This book was absolutely heartbreaking. I don't know how I can do a review on this book without spoiling it so I'm going to give as little information on the plot as possible. The story follows three students from Hailsham, a private school in the English countryside. They are three childhood friends but they are all grown up now and have re-entered each others lives to rediscover and look back on their past. That summary sounds pretty bad but trust me it's not as dull as that. 

I really loved all the characters. Although, I would have to say I was frustrated at a few of them sometimes. Although this book is focused around three characters it is only told through Kathy, the main character's perspective.

A drawback to this book is that it isn't told in chronological order but rather skips around different time frames from the time when they are already grown up and from when they are young. This can often become a little confusing.  

Overall, the writing and the story was absolutely beautiful and I can definitely see why this book was so highly acclaimed. The story was unique and like nothing I've ever read before. I can easily see this book becoming a classic. There are so many twists in this book that it's impossible to predict what path the story will follow. The story stayed with me long after I had put it down. The themes in this book caused me to just sit and think about them.

I am going to have to check out more books from Kazuo Ishiguro :)

 5 stars - Digest it and eating it again! :D

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. 
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. 
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life. (Summary from Goodreads)

I loved this book! I couldn't put it down. It grabbed my attention from the beginning, and at the end I was hungry for more. This is the first angel book I read and after reading this I found that I love them!

The plot was very clever...however I couldn't help but noticing the profuse similarities between this book and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. The average girl and the dark mysterious guy getting to know each other after being forced to be lab partners sounded all too familiar. Even the worlds they were set it sounded the same.

I didn't particularly like Nora's character as sometimes you couldn't help but get a little annoyed at her. On the other hand, Patch was just like any other paranormal guy character...AWESOME! I loved seeing their relationship develop throughout the book. I also liked Nora's best friend, Vee, as she was the main source of hilarious in this book! 

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a new gateway into the angel world and I can't wait to read the sequel Crescendo and more angel books!

 5 stars - Digest it and eating it again! :D

Sunday, December 25, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Story Siren (

The Secret Life of BeesTitle: The Secret Life of Bees

Author: Sue Monk Kidd

Source: Bought

Reason: Required reading! :P Currently reading it and enjoying it :) I have the movie cover but the original cover is much better!

Goodreads | Amazon

Merry Christmas Everybody! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
This review is SPOILER FREE (the plot will not be talked about except in the summary, if you have not read the first 2 books, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, don't read this review! Although I'm sure everyone has already finished this series :P)

Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding. (Summary from Goodreads)

This book left me flabbergasted. I just stared at the book long after I finished it reflecting on what I just read.

I was skeptical reading this book. For starters I LOVED the first two books and as I have a habit of saving the best books for last, a few other books were read between the span that I read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Secondly, I was hearing bad reviews on this book from friends and the general public. I don't get why people were so disappointed in the book especially the ending because I thought this book was AMAZING all the way. But I have to agree there are still some loose ends. 

In my opinion, this was the most action packed book out of the entire series, it may even be my favorite (can't decide between this and Catching Fire). However, I found this book to be the most violent and gory out of the series. Days and hours just blurred as I couldn't stop flipping the pages of this addicting book! I even found myself up until 3 a.m. The writing in this book was amazing! This series was so well written because events in all three books were cleverly connected with one another which shows that the series was very well planned out.

I can't believe it's over now...I think I might find myself just thinking about this book for the next few days :P I can't wait for the movie now! I'll be counting down the days! :D

✰ 5 stars - Digest it and eat it again! :D

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 E-Book Challenge

I recently got a Kindle so I'm so happy to be able to participate in this year's E-Book Challenge! This challenge is hosted by Workaday Reads :) and the aim is to read as many E-Books as you can in 2012~

Floppy disk - 5 ebooks
CD - 10 ebooks
DVD - 25 ebooks
Memory stick - 50 ebooks
Hard drive - 75 ebooks
Server - 100 ebooks
Human brain - 150 ebooks

My goal is going to be CD - 10 ebooks because I just got my kindle and I'm not sure about how I feel about ebooks yet. However, the goal may change during the course of this year :)

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In My Mailbox (3) + December TBR!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that is hosted by the Story Siren ( :)

I only got 1 book this week so I'm going to join this post with a December To-Be-Read pile! It's finally December! Time to get reading ;) I will try to post as many reviews as I can this month! Sorry for the lack of reviews :'(


Title: Num8ers

Author: Rachel Ward

Source: Library

Reason: The synopsis of this book sounded like the Japanese manga Death Note. It's about a girl who can see the expiry dates of humans. 



Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
Title: Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Source: Bought

Reason: The movie is coming out next year, and I still haven't read the last book :O Although I read the first two books one after the other, I really didn't want the Hunger Games journey to end so I didn't read the last one...:P I might have to, because I'm dying to know what happens! 


HootTitle: Hoot

Author: Carl Hiaasen

Source: Present

Reason: I keep telling myself to read this book! I've read Carl Hiassen's other books such as Flush and Scat and but for some reason I haven't read his most well-known one... 
I really enjoyed Flush :) Check it out~ 


Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the The Story Siren ( :)

Title: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

Source: Bought

Reason: I first read this book in middle school and I loved it! I'm going to read it a again and write my thoughts :)

Goodreads | Amazon

Title: Trumpet

Author: Jackie Kay

Source: Bought

Reason: I first heard of this book in a book haul. The synopsis was WOW. At the start of the book, a jazz player dies. When they do an autopsy report, the find out that he is actually a she :O Can't wait to read it! 

Goodreads | Amazon

Title: Fallen

Author: Lauren Kate

Source: Bought

Reason: I'm probably the last person to read this. I've heard mixed reviews on this book but I can't wait to start reading this because I LOVE angel books :)

Goodreads | Amazon

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

A Kiss in Time is a modern day retelling of Sleeping Beauty

While Jack is escaping from tours of boring museums in Europe, he discovers the country of Euphrasia, hidden behind a hedge filled with thorns. Jack finds that everyone in Euphrasia is asleep. He also finds a beautiful sleeping girl, named Talia and decides to kiss her. After he does, she and all the people of Euphrasia awake from their 300 year slumber, which was the result of Talia pricking her hand on a spindle on her 16th birthday. The king (Talia's father) is furious which forces Talia to run away with Jack. Jack is far from happy, but nonetheless feels responsible for causing all this. 

This is the first book I've read by Alex Flinn. I know Beastly, but I've only watched the movie (I try not to watch the movie before I read the book, but how can you resist Alex Pettyfer?:). When I started reading this book, I fell in love with it. The book was fast-paced, hilarious, and a page-turner. There was very good character development as well: how Jack becomes more mature over time, and how Talia adjusts to modern society was very well executed. On top of that, the book tackled present day issues, such as how you should be faithful to one person, and how if you have a passion for something, pursue it. What really disappointed me, was the ending. It seemed like such a poor ending for such a great start. Even though the ending was a huge disappointment, still check this book out. It will make you laugh and cry~

✰ 4 stars - Eat it :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

This is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren ( I decided to give it a try! These are the books I got this week:

Title: 1Q84

Author: Haruki Murakami

Source: Bought

Reason: I heard this is a really good book! It has been receiving a lot of hype lately. It was first published in 2009 in Japanese but has recently been translated into English. Can't wait to start reading! :)

Goodreads | Amazon

Title: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: Sherman Alexie

Source: Library

Reason: This is a banned book that I never got around to reading during banned books week :/ Currently reading it, so far so good! :)

Goodreads | Amazon

Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Author: Jonathan Safran Foer

Source: Library

Reason: I have heard of his books such as Everything is Illuminated but I haven't read any yet. I'm going to start with this book :)

Goodreads | Amazon

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O' Dell

The story of The Island of the Blue Dolphins is based on a historical event of "the Women of San Nicolas Island." 


The story revolves around a young 12-year-old girl whose name is Karana. She and her people live at the village Ghalas-at on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. One day their peace is disrupted by the sudden appearance of a ship with red sails, later known to be the Aleuts. The Aleuts and the people of the island make an agreement allowing the Aleuts to hunt sea otter but in return return the favor in another way. The Aleuts do not repay them, which leads to a battle on the coast. Many men die, forcing the village to move to civilization on a ship with white sails. As the ship is departing, Karana sees that her brother, Ramo, is still on the island. Karana jumps into the sea and swims back to the island. As time goes by, Karana realizes that the ship with white sails may not come back for her. Throughout the book she learns to become a strong independent woman, providing for herself and appreciating the nature around her.

This book, although thin in size, was very captivating. The story of Karana and how she spends her 18 years on the island was interesting and it showed the changes of a young girl growing into a brave and independent woman. The chapters and events on the island were very short which keeps the reader wanting to know more. However, the in-depth explanations about how she creates her shelter, finds food, and interacts with nature was sometimes repetitive. Overall, it was a very quick and easy read that will stay with you, long after you have finished it.  

✰ Chew it :|

Other Information
Island of the Blue Dolphins won the Newbery Medal in 1961


Welcome to the Paradise Reading Cafe!

This a blog all about books :)

Just grab a nice hot drink (or cold one) and browse all the reviews and books~