Book Review: Fingerprints Of You

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Author: Kristen-Paige Madonia

Published: August 7th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Lemon and her mum, Stella, have never stayed in one place for long. Switching accommodations and schools was already a norm to her but it wasn’t something she enjoyed doing. Watching her mum switch boyfriends at every place they stopped and moving when the relationship didn’t turn out well made Lemon wonder who the adult was in their relationship. Everything changed when Lemon found herself pregnant.

She persuaded Stella to allow her to go on a road trip to San Francisco with the reason that she wanted to see the place her mother was living during the time she got pregnant with her. Inside, Lemon wanted to closure; she needed to know who her father was and what type of person he is. On the path of becoming a mother, she needed to know the other parent that has always been absent from her life. Continue reading “Book Review: Fingerprints Of You”

Book Review: As Simple As Snow

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Author: Gregory Galloway

Published: 2015 by Speak (First published 2005 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Blurb:

Anna- who preferred to be called Anastasia- is dark, spooky, and mysterious. And from the moment he met her, he was mesmerized. And so began their happy yet unlikely romance.

But a week before Valentine’s Day, Anna disappears, leaving behind a dress on the frozen river and a string of unanswered questions. And as the narrator struggles to understand what happened, and put together the pieces of the last few months, the clues, codes, and ciphers begin to coalesce into a haunting reality that may implicate friends, relatives, and even Anna herself. Continue reading “Book Review: As Simple As Snow”

Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

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Author: Anthony Doerr

Published: January 15th 2015 by Fourth Estate (First published May 6th 2014)

Blurb:

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Continue reading “Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See”

Book Review: The Sweetest Spell

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Author: Suzanne Selfors

Published: August 21st 2012 by Walkers Children

Blurb:

Emmeline Thistle, a dirt-scratcher’s daughter, has escaped death twice-first, on the night she was born, and second, on the day her entire village was swept away by flood. Left with nothing and no one, Emmeline discovers her rare and mysterious ability-she can churn milk into chocolate, a delicacy more precious than gold.

Suddenly, the most unwanted girl in Anglund finds herself desired by all. But Emmeline only wants one-Owen Oak, a dairyman’s son, whose slow smiles and lingering glances once tempted her to believe she might someday be loved for herself. But others will stop at nothing to use her gift for their own gains-no matter what the cost to Emmeline.

Magic and romance entwine in this fantastical world where true love and chocolate conquer all. Continue reading “Book Review: The Sweetest Spell”

Book Review: A School For Unusual Girls

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Author: Kathleen Baldwin

Published: May 19th 2015 by Tor Teen

Blurb:

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle them in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts… Continue reading “Book Review: A School For Unusual Girls”

Book Review: The Shattered Crown

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Author: J. W. Webb

Published: March 5th 2015

Blurb:

‘You ride into peril, Corin an Fol!’

Those are the words of the witch at the ford. Corin an Fol, mercenary, brawler, womaniser and drinker, ignores them and thus finds himself caught in a tangled web of sorcery, intrigue and dark prophesy.

When the High King is murdered and his broken crown goes missing, Queen Ariane suspects the wily hand of Caswallon the sorcerer. She forms a secret council and rides out to find the Oracle of her Goddess, to see if her worries are proved right. But Caswallon is onto her and the noose tightens fast around the young queen.

Corin an Fol returns to his village seeking solace in drink. Instead he finds an old contact waiting for him who persuades him to join Queen Ariane in her fight against Caswallon. And so, like the queen, Corin an Fol is snared by the sorcerer. Our boy has a big sword and bad attitude, but is that enough to survive the hordes Caswallon sends against them?

Review:

A millennium after the previous book, Gol, The Shattered Crown focuses on a new hero, a mercenary named Corin An Fol. Just as calamity has struck Gol a thousand years before, now the same thing happens within the Four Kingdoms and the surrounding land as war is threatening to begin anew. The murder of the High King is only the beginning of everything. Continue reading “Book Review: The Shattered Crown”

Book Review: GILA: A Journey Through Moods & Madness

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Author: Hanna Alkaf

Published: 2016 by Gerakbudaya

I thought of giving books written by local authors a try when my eyes happened upon this title. The title fascinated me and the book cover conveyed exactly what the book was going to be about. Looking closely at the art, it seems to me as if the letter “I” was a needle that was going to stab the apparently tortured figure at the bottom right corner. “Gila” is a Malay word which translates to “insane” or “crazy” in the English language.

As stated on the back of the book, GILA was to be a book which compiles stories of people with mental-illnesses and how it affects their lives. Frankly, that was what pushed me to get this book apart from the fact that I thought I should give Malaysian books a try. I had always wanted to read more about mental-illnesses in Malaysia and since it’s not exactly a popular topic in this country, this book was really a rare find for me. Continue reading “Book Review: GILA: A Journey Through Moods & Madness”

Big Bad Wolf 2016

This year is the first time I went to the largest book sale in Malaysia held in Selangor: Big Bad Wolf. The previous times I took part in the book sale was when it was held in my home state, Perak. The Big Bad Wolf book sale in Selangor is really one of a kind because it is held for 24 hours for ten days from the ninth of December till the nineteenth of December. Talk about the best time to do some Christmas shopping.

There was a large variety of books ranging from children’s books to general fiction to cookery books and architect and design books. I had to put a stopper to my ever growing pile of books and to my ever lessening purse. My year end book haul this year consists of only 14 books.

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I bought three novels and the rest were reference books and scientific books. I was especially in love with the encyclopedia of Dogs and Puppies. The only problem now is finding a place in my cramped space to put these books until the semester break.

The star of the book sale was definitely this display of the complete boxed set of the tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. I had my eyes on it but the whole set cost a staggering RM350 which, is definitely more than I could afford.

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Now that I’m going to be considerably near to where they hold the yearly Big Bad Wolf Sale, hopefully I can get my hands on some even more interesting books next year. The titles for sale aren’t the latest but there is always a chance I can find a hidden gem in there somewhere. It’s a treasure trove of knowledge at the book sale and it’s a great event to cheer me up now that finals are approaching.

Now to go on revising and studying.

Book Review: The Case of the Restless Redhead

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Author: Erle Stanley Gardner

Published: 1969 by Mayflower Books

What began as a friendly advice from Perry Mason to Frank Neely, a young lawyer, turned out to be a complex affair after Neely’s client, Evelyn Bagby, went to Mason to thank him for his help. Evelyn Bagby, was caught in a mess after she was caught by the authorities with a stolen diamond bracelet. With Mason’s help, Neely’s managed to get Evelyn acquitted. Much to her dismay, she soon finds herself tangled up in another messy affair in which she was the prime suspect to the murder of a man.

Perry Mason, with only his trust in Evelyn Bagby, must now obtain enough information and facts to free her from a crime which allegedly, she insists wasn’t of her doing.

This book was lent to me by a librarian friend of mine and I was interested to read about law and mystery rolled into one. To be honest, this is the first time I have ever heard of the fictional and exceptional lawyer, Perry Mason so I have no idea what to expect.

What I got, though, was how lawyers word their questions so precisely and so subtle that it can easily confuse the person at the witness stand. I wouldn’t know if lawyers in reality could fire off question after question successively in cross-examination but Perry Mason certainly can. Continue reading “Book Review: The Case of the Restless Redhead”

Book Review: Six-Gun Snow White

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Author: Catherynne M. Valente

Published: November 10th 2015 by Saga Press (First published February 28th 2013)

Blurb:

Forget the dark, enchanted forest. Picture instead a masterfully evoked Old West where you are more likely to find coyotes as the seven dwarves. Insert into this scene a plain-spoken, appealing narrator who relates the history of our heroine’s parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. Although her mother’s life ended as hers began, so begins a remarkable tale: equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, this is an utterly enchanting story…at once familiar and entirely new.

Review:

“She put jasper-and-pearl combs in my hair and yanked them so tight I cried – There, now you are a lady, she said… She put me in her own corsets like nooses strangling my waist till I was sick, my breath gone and my stomach shoved up into my ribs – There, now you’re civilized, she said… She forbade me to eat sweets or any good thing till I got thin as a dog and could hardly stand I was so damn hungry – There, now you’re beautiful, she said…” Continue reading “Book Review: Six-Gun Snow White”