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!