Friday, March 29, 2013

Starstruck: Cassandra Clare


When I found out that Cassandra Clare was going to be at The Grove in Los Angeles, I HAD to go.  After missing her when she was in San Diego, I made sure that I got to see her the next time she came around.

I can't say that this event was a huge success because 1) There were a TON of people.  Probably because Lily Collins was there, and the book is turning into a movie 2) I had to wait outside, because either way, if I waited inside I wouldn't have been able to see her Q&A session since there were a ton of bookshelves in the way and 3) I didn't get a picture with her, or of her, because the event was super controlled.  So, I was a little bummed, but it was still pretty fun because I brought one of my friends with me and we just roamed around The Grove looking for food :)


I will say though that I had a super starstruck moment.  Cassandra Clare asked me what my favorite character was when she was signing my book and I was all like "Favorite character?" like I didn't understand her.  Then I finally got to my senses and told her that it's too hard to choose and she agreed with me.  It was pretty embarrassing though.

Me & my friend in front of the tour poster.
I'm hoping that when she's back for the L.A. Times Festival of Books, I'll be able to get a picture with her.  It'll probably be the same turn out since this event is much more open to the public (not to mention it's free), but I will keep trying until I do!

Cleo :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (46): Isla and the Happily Ever After


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature, which is brought to you by Jill at Breaking the Spine! This meme is where you can post about what book(s) you're really look forward to.

This week, I absolutely can't wait for...



Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever. 

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

I love, love, LOVE Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door.  They quickly made Stephanie Perkins one of my favorite authors because they're funny and the boys just make me wish that I could be Anna or Lola.  So, obviously I'm super duper excited for Isla and the Happily Ever After.  Now that the cover has finally been revealed, I thought it was only reasonable to make it this weeks Waiting on Wednesday :)  Look for this on shelves on September 17th!

What are you waiting for today?

Cleo :)

*Description and cover from goodreads.com

Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Falling in Love with English Boys

Falling in Love with English BoysTitle: Falling in Love with English Boys
Author: Melissa Jensen
Date Released: December 23rd, 2010
Pages: 293
Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:
Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer-no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. Desperate for something-anything-to do in London while her (s)mother's off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of Katherine Percival her mom gives her-and finds the similarities between their lives to be oddly close. But where Katherine has the whirls of the society, the parties and the gossip over who is engaged to who, Cat's only got some really excellent English chocolate. Then she meets William Percival-the uber-hot descendant of Katherine-and things start looking up . . .

Review:
I picked up Falling in Love with English Boys because I was in search of a contemporary romance based in England or France, or just any romantic place in the world really, and my school library happened to have just received it.  So, I was excited to delve into it and into the romantic lives of Catherine and Katherine, both separated by two centuries but both had their romantic troubles.

Pretty much, Catherine (aka Cat) has been sent off to London with her mother, when she would rather be back home or in France in search of Orlando Bloom.  During her stay, her mother, who is doing research at the British Museum, gives Cat a journal written by the daughter, Katherine Percival, of Cat's mom's research subject.  From there, readers not only learn about Cat, but the other Kat as well.

The whole entire book is written between alternating blog entries and diary entries.  Essentially, we learn about their love lives.  Cat currently lacks one since she broke up with "Adam the Scum" and was hoping that being somewhere else other than England would help her get one back, while Katherine is starting to go into the courting process and believes that she has found the perfect husband in a poet, but is that the one who's really been sending her all the poems?  This all created a lot of interest in the book because, of course, I needed to find out who Katherine would end up with and what would happen between Cat and William.

I will say that I found both stories rather okay.  Cat as a character was a bit annoying.  She was more on the whiny side, always talking about how it wasn't fun in England.  In my opinion, she just wasn't really embracing the experience.  But, she opened up when she met William because who can resist a hot, wealthy British college student?  She also jumped to conclusions way to quickly.  Katherine wasn't as annoying as Cat, but she was almost there. Her story was interesting, but it didn't hold my attention.  It did get a lot more interesting though when the mystery poems started arriving.

Overall, Falling in Love with English Boys was able to satiate my need for a contemporary romance.  The suspense in who Katherine would end up with, as well as the budding romance between Cat and William just really kept me going.  However, I wasn't the biggest fan of the protagonists.  I just didn't find them particularly likable.  If you are looking for a romance novel though, then look no further!

Cover Review:
I like how they brought in elements of England, with the double decker bus and Big Ben.  I think the whole image of the girl with her foot up and the guy adds a cute touch to the cover.  The font that they used for the title adds a contemporary cuteness to it as well.  If you look at the back cover, it has Katherine doing the exact same thing which also adds to the overall cuteness factor of the cover.

Cleo :)

*Description and cover from goodreads.com
**Review copy borrowed from my school library.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Book Truth (3)


Where do you like to read?

Personally, my bed is my reading space.  
I can lie down on it, sit on it, prop up a pillow for comfort, 
or curl up with my dog and read on it.  
It's a very versatile reading place.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cover Crush (9): Since You Asked



Cover Crush is a feature here at Booklopedia that features covers that I currently have a crush on. I know that there are multiple features out in the blogging world that feature covers, but I thought that it would be nice for Booklopedia to feature something, especially something that I absolutely love about covers, even though they always say, "You should never judge a book by its cover."

Today, I really like the cover for Since You Asked by Maurene Goo!

Since You Asked
No, no one asked, but Holly Kim will tell you what she thinks anyway.

Fifteen-year-old Holly Kim is the copy editor for her high school's newspaper. When she accidentally submits an article that rips everyone to shreds, she gets her own column and rants her way through the school year. Can she survive homecoming, mean-girl cliques, jocks, secret admirers, Valentine's Day, and other high school embarrassments, all while struggling to balance her family's traditional Korean values?

In this hilariously funny debut, SINCE YOU ASKED... takes a fresh look at trying to fit in without conforming to what's considered "normal" in high school, and managing parental expectations without losing one's individuality (or being driven insane).
The one thing that attracted me to the cover was the bright pink that just pops out.  I also love the font for the title and its colorfulness, from the light blue to the bright pink and the neon green.  What adds even more character to the cover is the spunk that the model displays on the cover.  Haha I love her facial expression!! It gives the cover, and the overall story, a spunky attitude that I'm sure will make it a fun read.  It's also about a Korean American teenager, so I think it'd be cool to see how much I can relate to her being half Korean :)

What do you think of the cover for Since You Asked?

Cleo :)

*Description from here and cover from goodreads.com

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review: Unravel Me

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)Title: Unravel Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Date Released: February 5, 2013
Pages: 461
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Description:
tick
tick
tick
tick
tick

it's almost

time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.


Review:
I did read Shatter Me; I just never got around to writing up a review for it. In short, I liked it.  On the other hand,  I loved Unravel Me.  It had much more intensity and more things were coming together.  I felt that the first book was too much of an introduction to the Juliette's world, even though it is the first book and that makes sense for the first book in a series, I just felt that there was something lacking in Shatter Me; it just didn't draw me into Juliette's world.  But Unravel Me had it all.

Juliette has now found refuge with Adam at Omega Point - a place where people like her live; people with powers that maybe lethal or helpful.  However, Warner is still on the look out for her and Castle is ready to do whatever it takes to protect his people, even it means trying to go against the huge army of The Reestablishment.

The intensity of Unravel Me was raised up a thousand notches.  I loved all the twist and turns, when plans didn't work out and when victories were made.  Mafi was able to make the story super intriguing, adding major surprises along with fight scenes and intense encounters that definitely kept me reading.

One thing that I wasn't the biggest fan of in Shatter Me and for a bit of Unravel Me was Juliette.  She seemed like a nice person who was just scared.  But sometimes, she does mope around a lot as if she is the only person going through the situation that she's going through when in reality, the people around her have it worse as well.  Kenji, one of my favorite, funny characters, was the one who sort of gave her the wake-up call that she needed to change her attitude.  She got progressively better throughout Unravel Me, and I hope that in the next book she'll have a different attitude that's less mopey.  And maybe a little more decisive because...

UGH!  The love triangle!  Don't even get me started on that.  Unravel Me had me torn between who Juliette should be with - Adam or Warner?  That is the question.  One of the biggest surprises was Warner's change in character, which I guess anyone could see coming, but still, it was a pretty deep change.  He became vulnerable and weaker in Unravel Me in comparison to the cruel man he was in Shatter Me.  But Adam... Adam is still the kind man he was in Shatter Me, always taking care of Juliette and his little brother.  He doesn't have a single mean streak, unless it comes to Warner.

Overall, Unravel Me was a great follow up to Shatter Me.  Mafi's writing is wonderful and the words just flow out and almost seem like poetry.  Through her writing, you really understand the strong emotions that Juliette's feeling.  Unravel Me was also a lot more of a roller coaster ride with more character development in Juliette.  The love triangle was also escalated to the next level with the twists and turns that Mafi kept adding into the story.  I loved this one and definitely cannot wait until the last one comes out next year!

Cover Review:
I will admit that I was kind of bummed that they changed the cover concept.  But, now I realize that I actually like this one A LOT more.  Sure it doesn't fit my Shatter Me copy, but I love the intricate detail coming from the eye and the overall light blue color scheme mixed with a bit of pink.  It really catches your eye, even though the eye is a bit creepy.

Cleo :)

*Description and cover from goodreads.com
**Review copy won in a giveaway hosted by Pitch Dark.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Just One Day

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Date Released: January 8th, 2013
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!


Review:
Just One Day is a sort of romance novel, but it goes a bit deeper than that which sets it apart from other young adult romance/contemporary novels.  It also isn't fully about a romantic relationship, but also covers the life of Allyson as she tries to recover after the aftermath of something rather traumatic.  Essentially, the story doesn't cover one day, but a whole year.  However, it's the one "whirlwind" day that Allyson spends with Willem in Paris that is the focal point of the story.

The relationship between Allyson and Willem sort of seemed like a "love at first sight" type of deal; Allyson catches the eye of Willem and then the next day when they formally meet on a train, he whisks her off to Paris so that she can explore the city.  They both form this bond where they like each other.  It's obvious, but Allyson tries to suppress it because she did just meet this stranger who seems to have a lot of random lady friends in Paris.  However, their feelings for each other all come out by the end of the day.

I really liked Just One Day; it was more than just romance, going into the depression that Allyson seems to face after that one day.  But of course, the romance was what really got me into reading the book and finding out what exactly happened to Willem and why he didn't come back really kept me going because, while Allyson's situation was really sad, it was a bit much after a while until she has that reawakening and decides to find him.

The ending ended on a total cliffhanger and left me WANTING the next book.  The edition I had nicely left a little snippet of the next book, which is from Willem's point of view, but of course, it just simply isn't the same as reading a whole book.

Overall, Just One Day was the perfect romance combined with a more contemporary approach.  It wasn't the light and bubbly Anna and the French Kiss, but was a bit darker and depressing once you realized Allyson's transformation after the day with Willem.  I definitely can't wait for Just One Year which comes out this October to see what happens between Willem and Allyson!

Cover Review:
I'm not a HUGE fan of this cover, but I do like it and it does reflect the book pretty well.  You can see the European architecture reflected in the window and the busy cafe behind Allyson.  So it does fit the book, however I find it just a bit plain.  However, I do like the sort of pastel colors of the cover.  Overall, it's a nice cover, but it just doesn't really stand out that much.

Cleo :)

*Description and cover from goodreads.com
**Review copy purchased.