Monday, September 05, 2011

More Giveaways!

I'm kind of addicted to entering giveaways now. Can't resist the lure of getting books for free :D

First up this time is Cup of Tea Reviews' 100 Followers Giveaway. Winner gets a book up to USD15 from The Book Depository. Contest is ending soon (September 9th) so hurry up and enter!

Next is My Bookish Obsession's 100 Followers Giveaway, ending in 9 days (September 14th). Winner gets to choose one book from the six titles listed. Personally, I've read Blood Magic and Haunting Violet - both are definitely worthwhile to read. In fact, I was thinking about doing a post on Haunting Violet later.

The third and last giveaway for today is Spades High Reads's 800 Followers Giveaway which will end on October 1st. For international folks ie non-US residents, we get the chance to win $10 from Amazon or The Book Depository. US folks have six prize packs to choose from.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missing London

Randomly missing London as I stayed up after sahur this morning to finish reading Midnight Riot (a.k.a. Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch. Reason? The book was set in London, with Covent Garden playing a major role. I could just imagine the scenes that took place there since Covent Garden was a short walk from Uni and a good place to while the time away during breaks. Plus, I could do some grocery shopping at the Tesco Metro. It also provided a pleasant shortcut to Chinatown when I was in search of Asian foodstuff. *sigh* I'm missing my student days D:

Back to the book - I love it. I'm the kind of person who loves trivia, especially if it's presented in an interesting manner (hence my love of the TV show QI). This book definitely fills the criteria. Random trivia is thrown at the reader every other page and it's done in a way that does not detract from the story at all. Quite a few pop culture references also popped up all over the book; the ones regarding Dr. Who stood out the most (which is not surprising considering Ben wrote the script for several episodes LOL).

I like that magic and science are closely linked together in this book. The hero, Peter Grant, even tried conducting experiments regarding magic and science with interesting results. Peter is an interesting hero. He's nerdy, which explains the experiments, and cheeky, which makes him endearing. He also has difficulty focusing on 'proper' policing work, which led him to almost being relegated to desk duty in the first place.

While I have the US version (Midnight Riot) since it was released earlier, I prefer the title Rivers of London because I think the rivers were much more prominent in the story than the rioting. Perhaps the title was changed in the US to avoid it sounding like a historical book on London's river.

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic. Synopsis & image from Goodreads

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This Week's Giveaways

Stumbled upon three great giveaways this week. The prizes are interesting enough to make me put in the effort to promote them on this blog for extra entries LOL

First up is Missy's 1000 Followers Giveaway, ending August 22nd.

Missy's Reads & Reviews

There are going to be FIVE themed prize packs that you can choose from. It's up to you how many you'd like to enter to win, so enter just one... or a few... or all of them! Each one has a specific theme and all the books in the prizes will come brand-spanking-new from Book Depository, which makes each and every one eligible to be INTERNATIONAL.

The other two are giveaways on specific books.

The Fairytale Nerd is giving away a pre-order copy of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Knight. Contest ends October 1st.

Once Upon A Prologue is giving away an ARC of Half-blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Contest ends in 7 days.

Try your luck out with these giveaways. Who knows, you might just win a book (no one can resist free items right? :P)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I So Wanted To Like Them

Have you ever put a high expectation on a book based on its synopsis and reviews, but in the end be disappointed when you read it? I recently experienced that when reading two books, both I wanted so much to like. The synopses and reviews looked so promising, but in the end, I couldn't finish one and speedread through the other to get to the end. The two titles I'm talking about is Rachel Ward's Numbers and Julie Kagawa's The Iron King.

First, Numbers - the book I couldn't finish reading.

Whenever Jem meets someone new, no matter who, as soon as she looks into their eyes, a number pops into her head. That number is a date: the date they will die.
Burdened with such an awful awareness, Jem avoids relationships. Until she meets Spider, another outsider, and takes a chance. But while they’re waiting to ride the Eye Ferris
wheel, Jem notices that all the other tourists in line flash the same number. Today’s number. Today’s date. Terrorists are going to attack London. Jem’s world is about to explode! - cover & synopsis from goodreads

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

The synopsis held so much potential, right? I mean, it's something you would expect from a manga/anime storyline (remember Death Note?). I was excited to see someone had written something exciting like that in book form.

However, it was a disappointment *sigh*. I can't relate to the main characters - Jem and Spider. Suffice to say, they are both annoyingly stupid. They are the main reason I stopped reading the book. I can only stand stupidity so far... In fact, I couldn't even comment much on the terrorist plot because I stopped reading before I reached the part where the author explained what happened (if she eventually did).

Perhaps I started reading the book with the wrong expectation. I expected the book to be a thriller/mystery about teenagers trying to stop terrorism acts. I obviously did not expect to read pages and pages of teenage angst and rebellion. Totally put me off reading the rest of the series.

Now, the second book that I wanted to like - The Iron King.

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart. - synopsis & cover from goodreads

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

My problem with this books is actually the same as Numbers - I can't stand the main characters Meghan and Ash. Meghan is depicted as loyal to the point of stupidity I would say. She also can be an idiot most of the time. I can't help but feel that she's the one at fault for her own troubles. Ash meanwhile has the personality of a paper D: Boring~ And can be questionably stupid as well.

However, the story has excellent supporting characters - Puck and Grimalkin. They saved the day with witty comebacks in my opinion (Grimalkin reminds me so much of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland). Kagawa also fared better in expanding upon the central theme of the story - the idea of faery/magic/imagination versus technology/science and how they evolved together to create something new and scary. The world she built is interesting and full of promises.

I would probably try reading the next book in the series - The Iron Daughter - before I decide to drop the series or not. I would love to see how Kagawa expands the story further and see whether Meghan and Ash can turn to be likable characters.

One outstandingly good thing about both books are the covers. In fact, the whole Iron Fey series has beautifully eye-catching covers. I'm tempted to buy them just because they would look nice lining up the shelves LOL.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Giveaways

Found two more giveaways that seems interesting. Note though that most of the blogs I follow mostly revolve around young adult (YA) books since those are what I'm interested in at the moment. Plus, they seem to hold giveaways more often than other book blogs LOL

First is the 280+ Followers Giveaway from Talk in A Whisper. Three winners can choose any book from Amazon or Book Depository (no idea up to what value though).

The other giveaway is from The Girl from The Ghetto. 5 winners will receive a book from the blogger (random book though). Check out the titles you could win at her blog.

So if you fancy the chance to get some free books, just enter those giveaways. Really, they are a great way to save money, especially since Syawal is just around the corner eh?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I'm not sure if anybody noticed, but if you scroll down, you will see on the right hand side there is a section called giveaways where I put buttons of blogs currently hosting giveaways. Entering them are actually a good way to obtain books for free and most of the blogs are very generous.

In fact, one of the most generous giveaways I've seen is currently going on at Gripped Into Books. There are five prize packs to be won and eight winners will be chosen. Check out the prizes here. The best thing is the giveaway is international i.e. Malaysians can enter :D

Monday, August 08, 2011

Books Read in July

I actually read a lot of books in July, but did not take the time to write the reviews. Kept track of them through Goodreads instead. Anyway, here are some of the titles I read last month:

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
I enjoyed reading this. At first, I thought Emerson's ability to see dead people is in the same vein as The Mediator series. But boy, was I wrong. It's in fact a different power altogether. I love the twists in this story and am definitely looking forward to the sequel. Though I have to say, this book has one of the weirdest cover I've ever seen.

The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld
If you've read the controversy about Tiger Mothers (specifically the book The Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother), you'd probably be surprised that the writer's husband actually wrote this psychological mystery. It's definitely interesting reading about a terrorist act (is it really?) in the early 1920s. There are several subplots going on at the same time that will keep a reader entertained. Though the heroine did annoy me sometimes with her secretiveness, it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.

The Iron Druid Chronicles #1 Hounded and #2 Hexed by Kevin Hearne
This series has got to be my favourite read in July. Kevin Hearne has managed to create such a captivating hero. Atticus is a 2000-year-old druid who still looks in his twenties. Throughout the two books, he made friends and enemies with various gods, vampires, werewolves and witches. I have a weakness for witty dialogues, and these books are full of them. Wacky characters are also peppered throughout the book -- his elderly Irish neighbour who accepted Atticus's explanations calmly, his other neighbour who owned a greanade launcher, his ex-barkeeper apprentice... and so much more. The books were definitely difficult to put down once I started reading.

The Vanishing of Katarina Linden by Helen Grant
I love this book and even recommended it as a gift. I love Helen Grant's descriptive writing; she described the town scenery and festivities clearly that it made me feel like I was there. Oh, this book has one of the most arresting opening sentence I've ever read: "My life might have been so different, had I not been known as the girl whose grandmother exploded."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Kate Daniels Series

Synopsis for the first book, Magic Bites:

One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy . . . -

If you're looking for a series with a kick-ass heroine, this is it. Kate Daniels is such an awesome character that you can't help rooting for her. The supporting characters are interesting as well, with a mix of shapeshifters (the standard wolves, lions, tigers (even a vegetarian one LOL), bears? And even hyenas? LOL), vampires (none of that sparkling nonsense here), demons and of course, normal human beings (though they seem to be limited in numbers).

Most of the series focus on Kate battling a huge life-threatening, world-destroying challenges. Save the world before it ends prematurely and all that jazz. But there are also running threads throughout the series e.g. Kate's mysterious father and her relationship with Curran (heh it's hard to write about a series without giving something away :P)

I love the fact that the world Andrews created have magic and technology in an unpredictable relationship. Magic and tech battle for dominance, with magic surges rendering most technology obsolete and when it wanes, most of the spells are useless. The unpredictability lends an additional level of complexity towards the plot and created a more interesting twist to the phrase "urban fantasy".

Ilona Andrews is actually the pseudonym for the husband and wife writing pair, Ilona and Gordon. That's probably the secret behind why even though the story was written from the female POV, it maintains enough badass element to not be considered a "girly" series. In fact, this is probably my second favourite writer pair - the first being David & Leigh Eddings. (My introduction to the fantasy genre was through The Redemption of Althalus by Eddings. And I was hooked from then on LOL.)

I can't wait to see how this series progresses and what will happen when Kate finally meets her father. In the meantime, I am going to check out another series written by Andrews, The Edge.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Contest, Giveaways & Offer

Head over to Book Galaxo to win a copy of Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals (my review here)

There's also the Midsummer Eve's Giveaway Hop. And various giveaways listed on my sidebar.

And Bookdepository still has the Summer Festival going on.

So just get clicking!



Latest giveaway just popped up on my reader is from Gripped Into Books who is celebrating the end of exams by giving away USD10/GBP7 worth of book(s) :D

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Read-a-thon Update

So here's the progress of my read-a-thon so far:

Total Books Read: 3 (The Goddess Test, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes)
Total Pages Read: 863
Books Read Since Last Update: 3
Pages Read since last update: 863
Total time read: Roughly 12 hours? Obviously with breaks in-between
How I'm currently feeling: Satisfied

Mini Challenge Q&A

If you had bookshelves FULL of all of your favorite books, how would you organize them?

I organise them by author, and then by series. Stand alone novels are organised by author and height. My favourite genres and authors get 'premium' shelf space i.e. I put them at eye-level.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garden Spells

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants--from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys--except for Claire's rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.

When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire's quiet life is turned upside down--along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom or with each other.
- from goodreads

Link to

I first found out about Sarah Addison Allen when I read the interesting synopsis of The Girl who Chased the Moon in Kinokuniya. I didn't realise I had this book at home since it was under my mother's pile of unread books. Only after I scrolled through the app I use to keep track of my books did I realise one of her books is sitting under my nose all this while LOL.

The first thing I noticed about this book is the cover - it's beautiful! And girly/sparkly LOL. The cover and the swirly designs for some of the pages rounds up the book theme of magic and romance quite nicely. If you've gathered from the previous post, I don't really read a lot of romance books. But once in a while, I do curl up with a good romance sprinkled with a bit of magic (like The Girl with Glass Feet - this one is such a beautiful, heart-breaking story).

I love the atmosphere of the story. It's filled with warmth and the ups and downs of relationships, be it between sisters, mothers and daughters, friends and of course, between lovers. She managed to create a quirky but lovely world in the small town of Bascom. As I read, her characters grew on me, especially the Waverleys - Claire the talented caterer who embraces her Waverly talents fully, Sydney the girl who wanted to ditch her roots and be normal, Evanelle the quirky cousin who can't resist giving people things. Allen also created what could probably one of the most interesting tree of all time - the apple tree in the Waverley's garden which loves throwing apples at people LOL. I would've loved to meet a tree like that.

Since I'm a sucker for happy ending, this book really did it for me. I think almost everyone got a happy ending LOL. I'm in fact looking forward to reading The Girl who Chased the Moon when it arrives soon!

The Goddess Test

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess. - from goodreads

Buy from

The cover and synopsis pulled me to choose this book from a list of titles to be read next. I had high expectations for the book, but somehow the book just didn't meet them. I can't seem to get into the story. The first few chapters in fact reminded me of Twilight, with the "new girl being the talk of the town" scenes.

Kate is likeable enough but I feel the other characters are not really believable. I mean, Ava makes a move extremely fast even for a bitchy cheerleader LOL. But then, the relevation at the end of the story might have played some role. Some characters are developed well like Kate and Calliope, while some others could probably do with more fleshing out e.g. Xander and Theo.

I have to admit the author chose a creative way to weave Greek mythology into the story. And she did manage to keep me guessing what are actually the tests set for Kate. However, I would've enjoyed this more if she had focused more on the mystery regarding all the previous candidates and not on Kate's relationship with Henry. Though I can guess why she did it - to attract the younger generation (OMG I feel so old T_T). So yeah, I love a good mystery more than romance LOL.

I just realised this book is part of a trilogy when I browsed goodreads for its synopsis. Suffice to say, I wouldn't be waiting in line for the next book to come out. A good read, especially if you like Greek mythology, but nothing to shout about.

Friday, June 17, 2011


This post is to announce to the world that I'm participating in the Spring into Summer read-a-thon hosted by Enna Isilee of Squeaky Books!

This read-a-thon is going to be so great! It's two days where you try do NOTHING but read. It's a great chance to get rid of some of those books that have been sitting on your TBR pile forever.

But that's not all! There will also be awesome mini-challenges and a TON of giveaways! In fact, just for signing up you are entered to win a $25 gift card to Amazon! SO GO SIGN UP! And if you say that layen sent you, you'll get 5 extra entries to win that gift card! CLICK HERE to enter to win, and know all there is to know about the read-a-thon.

Here's my goal:

I plan to participate on: BOTH DAYS
I plan to read: 2 books
I hope to read: Magic Burns & The Goddess Test

Well, have you signed up yet? DO IT NOW!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hex Hall & Demonglass

Synopsis for Hex Hall:

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.
- from goodreads

I've been browsing around book review blogs for the past couple of weeks. Seems that I keep stumbling upon reviews of books for young adults/teens and they were mostly holding very interesting giveaway. Who could resist free books? Not me definitely LOL.

Since I was looking for something light to read after struggling with study materials, these are two of the titles that grabbed my attention. It's a part of a series (probably a trilogy?) with two books already published and another one in the works.

The story is just so-so. I enjoyed it, but it's not something I'd fangirl about (unlike Harry Potter for instance LOL). The first book, Hex Hall, follows Sophie's life as a boarding school student and her relationships with her fellow boarders. Several interesting characters crop up, the most interesting being Jenna, her vampire roommate who is obsessed with the colour pink. The mystery is engaging, though Sophie keeps getting sidetracked with who else but a developing love interest in Archer Cross, the most popular and good looking guy in Hex Hall. By the end of the school year, Sophie not only has solved the mystery, but she has seen a classmate murdered and betrayed by another classmate. She also learns more about herself and her mysterious father.

The second book follows Sophie as she learns more about controlling her power from her father. While both had a mystery thread running through the story, I found the first book more engaging. The second book was more about Sophie waffling between her interest in an ex-classmate and the obvious danger a relationship with him would bring. However, the revelation in Demonglass is indeed a surprise and the ending is a cliffhanger D:

It took me a while to warm up to the heroine as the prologue seems to paint her as a stupidly reckless girl who is so confident in her magical prowess. Thank goodness she seems to realise her lack of control over her magic when she arrived at Hex Hall. What won me over was actually her sarcasm LOL. I do love characters who are sarcastic (e.g. Silk from David Edding's Belgariad series) because I find their lines hilarious LOL.

Overall, I'd give this series 3.5 out of 5 stars. Enjoyable, but not something I'd read over and over again in the future.


Oh head over to bookdepository as they are holding a 10% off sale (on top of discounts already given). To get the discount, just refer other people to the site and they'll send a discount code to you. I'm contemplating on buying more books, but since I've already splurged on books and skin care for the past couple of weeks, I might have to hold that urge back.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

End of (unintended) Hiatus

Exam's over! I'd rather not think about the end result until I receive the email. Ended up splurging on books on Book Depository since today was the last day of their 10% off. First time ordering, so I hope there won't be glitches.

Anyway, the point of the post is just a heads up that I'll probably start updating again (notice the word probably there?) :P Till then ~

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I've been eyeing the Coach Maggie range for quite some time, and now I finally own one! :D Just plain black leather though. None of those animal prints for me.

As usual, here's my experience with another blog shop, this time it's Princess Victoria's Stylo Closet. Apparently this blog has even been featured on local tv. Not that I know, with the minimal amount of time I spent watching tv :P It's on her sidebar.

Now, on to the review:

Order/Payment Process: Ordered via Princess Victoria's Stylo Closet. Filled up the order form and paid the deposit via CIMB/MBB.
Customer Service: A tad slow to reply (2-3 days), could be due to the huge amount of business the shop seems to generate (I wonder, do they pay taxes? LOL) Had to send one email twice since she failed to respond. One thing I dislike is the fact that it's up to the customers to check whether the stuff they ordered have arrived or not. I forgot to check, as a result it took a while before I finally got my bag.
Time Taken to Delivery: Had to wait for shipment to come in since I bought pre-order stuff. And since I did not notice my stuff actually arrived before the owner went on holiday, it took more than a month between ordering and receiving. But actual time taken after full payment has been made was 3 days I think. Seller is based in Sabah, thus RM10 flat rate for domestic shipping.
Packaging: Wrapped in a thin polystyrene layer + plastic. Wrapping looks waterproof to me (unlike one other shop that just send the bag in its dust bag in an envelop without any extra wrapping!! Huh I probably need to review that shop)
Would buy again? 50-50. Her prices are competitive, but slow service is discouraging. If only she could improve on customer service and notification, I'm sure more people would be willing to buy from her site.

Tote Boutique's Giveaway

Looks like Tote Boutique's also organising a giveaway, and the prizes are quite attractive - a passport sleeve, a coin purse and RM30 Tote Boutique's voucher for four lucky winners.

Giveaway ends 18 February 2011. So anyone who'd like to try their luck, just visit this post!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Mortal Instruments

City of Bones is the first of three books in Cassandra Clare's young adult urban fantasy trilogy, The Mortal Instruments. City of Bones is about a fifteen-year old girl named Clary Fray, whose search for her missing mother leads her into an alternate New York called Downworld, filled with mysterious faeries, hard-partying warlocks, not-what-they-seem vampires, an army of werewolves, and the demons who want to destroy it all. She also finds herself torn between two boys — her best friend, Simon, for whom she’s developing new feelings, and the mysterious demon hunter, Jace. She becomes a part of the secret world of the demon hunters, or Nephilim, and as she does she discovers that rescuing her mother might mean putting their whole world in jeopardy. City of Bones is followed by the second book, City of Ashes, and the third, City of Glass. - adapted from author's website

The long break over Chinese New Year afforded me some time to make a dent in the pile of books I brought home from the bigbadwolf sale last year. To be honest, I mainly picked up the books because of the covers. They have one of the most interesting covers last year. Plus, I've actually read about Clare in my blog-hopping journey and knew that she is originally a well-known fan fiction writer in the Harry Potter fandom. And definitely you can see some similarities here; the three mortal instruments vs the deathly hallows for one. I can't seem to remember anything else right now LOL.

At first glance, I thought this would be something like Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Well, with a word like "Downworld" + New York, who can resist making a connection to London Below? And there the familiarity ends. Readers are thrown into an action-packed world with shadowhunters acting as the world's defender again demons and keeping the other Downworlders (vampires, warlocks, werewolves etc) in line.

Clare has created quite a well-rounded protagonist in Clarissa "Clary" Fray. She's brave, inquisitive and powerful, but still a girl prone to rash actions and can be quite useless in certain situations. Clare has also developed Clary's two love interest quite well - nerdy Simon and sarcastic Jace, two guys with a kind heart and both fighting for Clary's attention. However, it's a shame that Clare has failed to develop Alec and Isabella Lightwood, Jace's closest friends. Alec mostly stays in the background that I sometimes forget he exists while Isabella is so shallowly potrayed. I would've loved it if she had paid more attention to them.

The series is abound with plot twists. One thing can suddenly turn into another and it can sometimes feel like you're watching a Malay telenovella LOL. And some of the plots will raise the eyebrows of more conservative readers e.g. almost incestuous thoughts (which is actually one of the major plot lines of the series - don't worry, there's a happy ending for everyone :P )

I definitely enjoyed reading the series, especially the witty dialogue spouted by the characters (Jace and Simon can be hilarious when arguing) and the many references to pop-culture. Originally a trilogy, Clare has decided to expand the world and a second trilogy will be released starting from this year. Clare has also started a prequel series, The Infernal Devices, with A Clockwork Angel being published last year (I love the cover of this book :D ). Can't wait to get my hands on the rest of them!

Unseen Academicals

Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork — not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they’re in the mood for trying everything else.

The prospect of a Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman, who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt, who no one knows much about. As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed forever.

Because the thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football. - Goodreads

The subject couldn't have been more different than the previous Discworld novel I read, I Shall Wear Midnight. Aside from football, Pratchett actually managed to insert a forbidden love story a la Romeo and Juliet with a young couple - Trev and Juliet - from two opposing teams of football falling in love. The issue of nature vs nurture and perception vs reality has also been woven in as pictured by Nutt's internal conflict about who he really is, what other people think he will do and what he actually does in real life.

Here, Pratchett managed to create another strong heroine in the form of Glenda, a cook who can bake excellent pies and loves reading trashy romance novels in her spare time. Glenda is the kind of girl who will do the things that needs to be done and is not afraid to speak up their mind when some issues catch her attention. Bribing guards in order to storm up to Lord Vetinari - the tyrant of Ankh Morpork - certainly takes guts!

As with most of Pratchett's works, there are sly references to real life/other works of arts. References to football is a must, but the most memorable one for me would be the collectors card that came with cigars - collector cards from chocolate frogs, anyone?

Overall, I've enjoyed reading the book. However, I still prefer I Shall Wear Midnight. Probably because reading about the witches of Disc World are actually more interesting than the wizards LOL.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Library Girl

Never thought I'd hear someone singing about Dewey decimals!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Win A Free Bag From BabyIbu!!!

Okay, I just randomly stumbled on this giveaway and since I was thinking of probably getting something from Tote Boutique, why not just try my luck eh?

Since I'm too lazy to translate, here's the details of the giveaway:


BabyIbu Giveaway Birthday


26 Januari 2011 sehingga 25 Februari 2011

Hadiahnya apa?

Organize Anne yang bernilai RM 52 daripada BabyIbu Shoppe
9 voucher bernilai RM190 daripada Tote Boutique


1. Tampal banner di atas di sidebar blog anda dan link ke entri ini
2. Tambah BabyIbu, BabyIbu Shoppe dan Tote Boutique dalam bloglist anda
3. Membuat review mengenai contest ini dengan tajuk Win A Free Bag From BabyIbu!!! dan link ke entri ini
4. Dah siap semua, tinggalkan link entri anda dan juga email di entri ini
5. Boleh hantar banyak penyertaan - satu entri di kira satu penyertaan. Sekiranya anda hantar 2 entri - maka dikira dua penyertaan.
6. 10 pemenang akan dipilih berdasarkan cabutan bertuah

The giveaway is sponsored by BabyIbu Shoppe and Tote Boutique.


I actually bought a sleeve for my e-book reader from Tote Boutique since I couldn't find one that fit nicely with the Hanlin v5 that I bought online (cheaper than what MPH offered if you can bear waiting for it). So, on to the review:

Order/Payment Process: Filled up order form at Tote Boutique. Since I wanted something customized, I gave the measurement for my e-reader. Owner replied promptly and gave a quotation. I paid using m2u.
Customer Service: Prompt reply. Also had auto-reply notifying if the owner was out of town, which is useful and kept the customers in the loop. Very honest because she even returned my balance because she thought that the final product actually costs less to make.
Time Taken to Delivery: Fast! From order to receipt I think took 3-4 days only. I was lucky to catch her before she went on holidays.
Packaging: Hm can't actually remember. I think it was wrapped in plastic before being put in the envelop since the sleeve was made from fabric.

The final product (pictures courtesy of Tote Boutique):

I'm definitely satisfied with the level of service and the quality of the sleeve. There was only a slight problem, the sleeve fit too well i.e. it's a bit tight. Still, I love it and will consider ordering another one if she has a pattern that I like.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


You know, if an item suddenly had a 50% jump in price, you will start wondering if the producer of that item is expecting such a huge demand that people wouldn't mind paying extra to obtain the item? Did the producer suddenly became greedy and think, "Hey, I can make more money. Let's just increase the price!" Probably the producer thinks that this item is a luxury item, so an increase in price will increase revenue eh?

Or is there a more rational reason behind it? Did the producer mistakenly price the item lower than expected? Did the producer encounter a sudden increase in the cost of production, e.g. then government suddenly decided to increase the taxes in the commodities used to produce the item? Did the shop make a mistake and put the wrong price in the first place?

Note to self: Businesses are always greedy. Always be suspicious of a good deal.