beast master by motomi kyousuke

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, January 29, 2011 7 bookish peeps...
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Title: Beast Master
Author: Motomi Kyousuke
Series: Completed
Vol(s) reviewing: Vol. 1 & 2
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Read for free HERE

Summary:
Leo Aoi looks like a crazy animal with wild eyes--and no one at his new high school will go near him! He does seem to have a special connection with animals though, which intrigues overzealous animal-lover Yuiko Kubozuka. In reality, Leo isn't as frightening as he appears, but Yuiko finds out that he goes berserk whenever he sees blood! Will Yuiko be able to get through to Leo during these violent fits? Or will Leo's ferocious side eventually devour her?

My 2 Cents:
Very funny story when an animal lover girl never being liked by animals meet a scare looking boy who acts like animal and no one befriend with him except Yuiko. Well, at least there's an animal-like boy never scared of her. While others judge Leo appearance of violence, Yuiko is different when she tried to be friend with Leo. It's quite weird because I don't think we ever meet someone like Leo except if there's any Tarzan anymore. Although Leo is kind of fierce, animals love him and that really makes Yuiko jealous with him since she's an animal lover but always being ignored by animals. Yuiko is the only one who knows to comfort him, even he might acts violent. The story has its cute and sweet sides that piqued my interest and it's definitely a good recommended read to manga readers.

thinks and things by crystal johnson

Written by Darlyn At Monday, January 24, 2011 10 bookish peeps...
Title: Thinks and Things
Author: Crystal Johnson
Series: Novella
Published: 2009
Rating: 5/5
Source: Won from Velvet/ From author
Get your copy: Download free HERE

Summary:


Thinksandthings can hear people's thoughts and turn them into things. However, the world just isn't ready for a farm of Grandma clones or to be introduced to the Durtle (half dog, half turtle creature). The Fixer repairs the damage some of the thinks have caused. However, when the Witch from the Hansel and Gretel fable escapes to Suburbia, a carousel lion comes to life and terrorizes small towns, and the Big Dipper starts to disappear from the sky, the Fixer has to work faster and harder before these things unfold irreversibly, all while tracking down Thinksandthings.

My Two Cents:

This is actually a very interesting and very creative collection of short stories. A fantasy world that exist or maybe similar like our real world like a fairy tales we heard when we were little, only it is dark, but yet very whimsical. Thinksandthings wander the earth, listen to people's thoughts and turn them into real things. Like Dandelion, it's a pretty flower and it's not a dandy-lions! Because it sometimes tend to turn something wrong, the Fixer will go around and fix things that Thinksandthings created.

I personally think that children has the biggest contributions
in the novella since most of them were from children thoughts. I still remember when I was a kid, I think I can talk to alien but no one trust me including my parent, because of course, that's not true. Must be that I had a very great imagination and I think most kids do. It's the same thing that happen in the book. When a kid thinks it's real when it's not, Thinksandthings make it real and it always go wrong that Fixer need to stick around and fix it. It's very intriguing whenever I read how Fixer will fix it and it's kind of dark, but funny in a way. I still think the book is a gem. Only for cautions, it's for older kids, and make sure it is because you don't want to spoil kid's great imagination into something scary!

the clockwork angel by cassandra clare

Written by Darlyn At Sunday, January 23, 2011 12 bookish peeps...
Title: The Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)
Author: Cassandra Calre
Published: August 31, 2010
Pages: 479
Rating: 4/5
Source: Borrowed
Buy at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Summary (Goodreads):

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world, and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

My Thought:

The truth is, I only read the first book, in Mortal Instruments series, City of Bones. I would probably finish the series regardless of reading the prequels. So, I just start reading the prequels after so much hype about it. It's not deniable that I like the story and it has great setting, which I love England so much. However, I couldn't help to think that the story started with quite similarity with City of Bones. If you read the book and compared with this one, you will know about it. It's the biggest flaw for me when I think that it kind of lost it's originality of the plot. I know it's a prequel but I wish that the plot would at least different and at the same time keeping the familiar elements of the Mortal Instruments.

It maybe started with a flaw indeed, but it changes gradually with better characters with better personalities. The fact that Tessa is not a shadowhunter, but a unique individual really peak my interest and it's very intriguing. Tessa is a lot more confident, brave, loving and sweet. Her ability is quite a mystery and but it become the main elements in the story which I think it's really brilliant. So it has an originality there. As usual, we are readers are torn between two hot guys; Will and Jem. But of course this two boys' relation is brother-like and kind of cute. Will is quite a mysterious and he is very unpredictable. His actions questionable but he loves quotes from famous literary books, take care of Jem, and sometimes act like a jerk. Jem on the other hand has a soft side of him. He tends to comfort Tessa when Tesaa in doubts with Will actions and being really nice to her.

But again, other 'supporting' characters from the book very much alike with City of Bones' characters. I couldn't help of keep comparing the similarity. All in all, I like the book, it presents something great and makes readers hunger for more, and the cliff hanger even made me to has long sigh. It's mysterious, exciting, action-packed and so like "Mortal Instruments". Cassandra Clare fans would have great satisfaction reading this.

cover remake: Haven + contest

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, January 22, 2011 3 bookish peeps...
Amelia at Imagination in Focus is hosting a cover re-create contest of upcoming book release; Haven by Kristi Cook. The author is going to pick the winner!

Original Cover of Haven by Kristi Cook
Book blurb:

One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.

~~~~~

Here's my cover remake with a little help of my friend, Taufik (thanks!). I kind of have no idea how to create another cover that at least keep the originality of the actual book cover. Thing that I love most of our cover is the blue butterfly (same as on the original book cover) and also the butterflies on the model's hair. Squeee! And the red rose is cool (I don't know what's purpose of it) but the only flaw of it is the cover has the goth element color (black and red). I don't know but it's the best we can re-create. And the second one is another effort of my friend to make another great one. I love how it has so many colourful ambiance on that. I only hope Kristi Cook will at least like it. Well, it's just for fun anyway =)



What do you think???

Update: My entry will be the 1st one (on the left).

giveaway: fade to blue by sean beaudoin (US)

Written by Darlyn At Friday, January 21, 2011 8 bookish peeps...
~~closed~~

Heyya!

In celebrating the release of Author Sean Beaudoin next book, Who Killed Wesley Payne, BRS is kindly offer a book from the same author for a giveaway!

Fade to Blue is acclaimed author Sean Beaudoin's wildly innovative novel combines uproarious humor with enough plot twists to fill a tube sock. Part thriller, part darkly comic philosophical discussion, and accompanied by a comic book interstitial, Fade to Blue is a whip-smart romp that keeps readers guessing until the last paragraph.

About the book

Sophie Blue started wearing a black skirt and Midnight Noir lipstick on her last birthday. It was also the day her father disappeared. Or spontaneously combusted. Which is sort of bad timing, since a Popsicle truck with tinted windows has started circling the house.

Kenny Fade is a basketball god. His sneakers cost more than his Jeep. He's the guy all the ladies (and their mommas) want. Bad. Sophie Blue and Kenny Fade don't have a thing in common. Aside from being reasonably sure they're losing their minds.


A new friend, Ammy Belle from The Book Fort highly recommend the book. You can read her review HERE.

Giveaway details;
  1. One lucky reader will win a signed copy of Fade to Blue by Sean Beaudoin.
  2. Giveaway is open to US mailing address only (sorry International peeps!).
  3. Leave a comment on this post with your email address so that I can contact if you win. No email address, no entry!
  4. Giveaway ends January 31st, and the winner will be announced on February 1st.
  5. The prize will be shipped directly from BRS.
Extra entries (it's not compulsory but leave the the entry in one comment);
  1. +2 twit/share on Facebook the giveaway and leave the link in the comment
  2. +2 comment on Sean Beaudoin's guest post HERE
  3. +1 link to your blog sidebar
  4. Max 6 entries including comment
Good luck everyone!

guest post: Author Sean Beaudoin

Written by Darlyn At Thursday, January 20, 2011 9 bookish peeps...
Sean Beaudoin is the author of Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue, and the latest; You Killed Wesley Payne. I'm glad to have a chance to ask him how he got all those ideas of writing his novel's characters. Whether it's from his experience, someone he knows, or he just made it up. And this what he told me;

Creating Characters and Choosing Favorites:
How You Killed Wesley Payne Was Cast

As to the question of how I go about creating a character, I would say that I pretty much don't. I usually just start writing. I'll have a situation and notes and ideas about how the chapters will lay out. I'll know what the character looks like, and what he wants and if he's going to get it or not. But I find that the circumstances end up defining the character as I go along. We sort of meet each other sentence by sentence, trading jabs, ducking behind paragraphs, until I feel like I know them pretty well. Once it seems like we've hung out at the mall for a while, they can begin to sort of speak for themselves. I don't have to try very hard to "create", I just need to get out of the way and let them opine. The strange thing is, most characters want to talk and talk. Sometimes you can't get them to shut up, they're so in love with the sound of their own voices. They want to be in every scene. It's my job as the author to let them know when to pipe down and stay on point.

I love all my characters equally. It’s not fair to play favorites with them. But I would say one of the most interesting to write was Sophie from Fade to Blue. It was a lot of fun seeing the world, or at least her world, from a female perspective. She discovered her voice very quickly, and I always knew what she was thinking. A lot of times I wished I could call her up and see if she wanted to go see a movie or head over to the park and toss the Frisbee around. She was clearly a girl who knew how to kill an afternoon in an entertaining way.

I almost never base a character on anyone I know in person. It just doesn’t seem like that much fun. But I do think most characters are usually amalgams of all the people an author has ever met. Then it’s just a matter of cherry picking tics or tendencies, little snatches of dialog or funny anecdotes.

But don’t tell that to Wesley Payne, who the best man at my wedding was.

About the Author:

Sean Beaudoin is the author of Going Nowhere Faster, Fade to Blue, and You Killed Wesley Payne. His stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Glimmer Train, The New Orleans Review, The Nervous Breakdown, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Onion, Instant City, The Rumpus, Opium, Barrelhouse, Redivider, Narrative, and Spirit: the In-flight magazine of Southwest Airlines. He is currently working on a collection of short stories and a crime fiction novel.


Visit Author at:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube


Thanks Sean for stopping by at Darlyn & Books!

Come back tomorrow for a book giveaway in courtesy of Sean Beaudoin =)

backstage prince by kanoko sakurakoji

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, January 18, 2011 5 bookish peeps...


Title:
Backstage Prince
Author: Kanoko Sakurakoji
Series: Completed
Vol(s) reviewing: Vol. 1 & 2
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Own
Read for free HERE

Drawn into the exciting world of kabuki theatre, young Akari spends her time after school assisting the internationally famous actor, Shonosuke Ichimura. In the real world, however, this prince of kabuki is actually a high school cutie by the name of Ryusei.

Akari is totally clueless about kabuki--and boys--but she's eager to learn about both. Her first encounter with Ryusei doesn't go very well, but with the help of a cat named Mr. Ken, the two teenagers quickly become prince AND princesses of kabuki. Love was never so dramatic!

My Two Cents:
I love the manga! It's sweet and over the top. The graphic is clear, define and very cute. Shoujo manga is my favorite. Akari is very cute, clueless and quite clumsy but she is lovable and easygoing. At first, she never thought that a boy she accidentally hit is actually the famous kabuki actor in Japan. Once she founds out, she anxiously want to do anything so that Shonosuke would not mad at her. Shonosuke on the other hand is stubborn, emotionless and very cool character. It's like he didn't care. It's funny though when he agreed Akari to work as his personal assistant until he's well when he noticed that Ken (his black cat since he was a kid) very fond of Akari. A few things happened as Akari begins her works until she fall in love in Shonosuke. It's hard to keep it low when she realizes he would probably never see her except as a personal assistant. When she quits, Shonosuke's friend went to see her and tell her how miserable Shonosuke is. Although Shonosuke's character is quite hard to predict, playing cool and mysterious, as he finally admits he can't do anything without Akari (and he's very cute when he confessed!), they finally becomes lovers.

All in all, it's a light read, very sweet and I read it few times already in a month! Fully recommended.

book release: darkest mercy by melissa marr

Written by Darlyn At Monday, January 17, 2011 8 bookish peeps...
Title: Darkest Mercy
Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Wicked Lovely Series (Book #5)
Category: YA, Fantasy, Faeries
Publisher: Harper Teen
ISBN: 0061659258 (ISBN13: 9780061659256)
Release Date: February 22, 2011

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.


Buy it now at: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Official Book Trailer

crime beat by scott nicholson

Written by Darlyn At Sunday, January 16, 2011 5 bookish peeps...
Title: Crime Beat
Author: Scott Nicholson
Pages: 53 (pdf)
Format: E-Book
Series: Novella
Published:
January 9th, 2011
Rating: 5/5
Source: Provided by the author
Buy at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble for $0.99!

Summary:

Crime doesn't pay, but neither does journalism. When John Moretz takes a job as a reporter in the Appalachian town of Sycamore Shade, a crime spree erupts and circulation increases. Then the first murder victim is found, and soon a serial killer is grabbing headlines. Moretz comes under suspicion, but he stays one step ahead of the police, his fellow reporters, and seemingly even the killer.

My Two Cents:

It was a quick read and the mystery is very engaging. I was definitely sure that I thought this one character is the right guy that commit all the murders. In fact, all the clue and hints hit back to the guy, made me very sure of it. It's quite irony when we did something wrong caused by the other factors, pressured but we did it willingly even we know it's not right. All I can say is that the story is worth read and it's something you need if you like to guess whose the culprit in a short while. Plus, there's a bonus story!

Disclaimer:
I received a review copy courtesy of Author Scott Nicholson in exchange for a fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.

cover remake: Heavenly + contest!

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, January 12, 2011 10 bookish peeps...
I know there's a lot of talented bookish peeps out there who are very talented in this. This time, the great Author Jennifer Laurens is hosting a contest to create an alternate cover for Heavenly at Jennifer Laurens Official Fan Page on Facebook!

Original Cover of Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens


Book blurb:

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever.

~~~~~

A winner of an alternate cover design for HEAVENLY will win a 25.00 VISA gift card, a Tshirt and a copy of Heavenly, Penitence or Absolution!

Contest runs this week: Saturday to Sunday the 16th. Post your entries on the fan page! And it's open internationally!

So to participate, what you all have to do is be a fan and re-create Heavenly cover. You can enter as many as you want and the fans will decide.

Here's my alternate cover. I already entered cover#1 on the Fan Page but I don't know about cover #2. They inspired by Supernatural hot Brothers; Dean and Sam. I always want guardian angels like these two. Aren't they hot???


#1 Jensen Ackles as Matthias #2 Jared Padaledki as Matthias

What do you think? I'm not an expert in this but it's fun. You should join too!

book spotlight: soul born by kevin james breaux

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, January 11, 2011 4 bookish peeps...
Title: Soul Born
Author: Kevin James Breaux
Series: Trilogy?
Category: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Dark Quest, LLC
ISBN: 0983099324 (ISBN13: 9780983099321)
Date published: November 30, 2010
All Opal wanted was to be respected as a wielder of magic, but her teachers passed her over time and time again. When a mysterious warlord embarks on a conquest to destroy the lands of Illyia Opal seizes an opportunity to step out from the shadows of her instructors and take her rightful spot among them. Tala, an alluring young elf, was banished from her tribe, hunted and nearly killed by the beasts that dwell in the deep forests, but more than anything else she is a survivor. Joining forces with an ancient elemental power Tala finds herself in the center of an unrelenting human war.

Flesh like leather and bone as strong as steel Karn, a veteran from the first kingdom to fall, is fueled by vengeance. While pushing ever headlong into battle Karn begins to recall memories of another life; ghosts that haunt his dreams.

Through death of soul, their world is born.

Buy it now at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Visit Author: Website | Blog


Official Book Trailer



the end of marking time by c.j. west

Written by Darlyn At Monday, January 10, 2011 5 bookish peeps...
Title: The End of Marking Time
Author: C.J. West
Published: May 2010
Pages: 284
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Provided by the author
Buy at:
Amazon | The Book Depository

Summary (Goodreads):

Gifted housebreaker, Michael O'Connor, awakens inside an ultramodern criminal justice system where prison walls are replaced by surveillance equipment and a host of actors hired to determine if he is worthy of freedom. While he was sleeping, the Supreme Court declared long term incarceration to be cruel and unusual punishment and ordered two million felons released. The result was utter chaos and the backlash from law-abiding citizens and police departments reshaped the United States. Felons now enter reeducation programs where they live freely among the population. At least that's what they think. In reality they are enslaved to an army of counselors and a black box that teaches them everything they failed to learn from kindergarten through adulthood. Michael believes he's being tested by the black box, but what he slowly begins to realize is that everything he does is evaluated to determine whether he lives or dies.

My Thought:

The setting of the book is set up in the near future, when US justice system has been renewed to minimize or demolish prison system, in which the prisoners or re-learners are re-educated to learn to be law abiding citizens. It started out intriguing, the plot line is compelling and very straight forward. However, it succeed to maintain the puzzles till the end which I have to think the rational behind the story the whole reading time. West did an amazing job portraying the character, Michael which is a career criminal, as a very troubled young guy he was and quite forcing me as a reader to look down at the character. At some moment, I feel anxiously angry but yet sympathy at Michael. Although his crime maybe not violent, harmless and what he did to support his life is utterly wrong, I can't help thinking that how sorry I am to him. The character's thinking is so simple, yet resulting him to pay for what he did along the re-education period.

The writing was entertaining and I was absorbed with the story but not totally. Its story is engaging and continue intensifying the thrills until the climax. I have such a high hope for the character to successfully graduate from the re-education program and free from the questionable process of getting a 'certificate' to live among the citizens. I like the ideology of the story and really for some moment I can accept the re-education experiments. But when it comes to the ending and twisted in such way, it turned my stomach and I felt totally horrible. I never see it's coming but it is brilliant!
It is mind blasting and yes, very original. I don't think I've ever read something fresh like this. Totally recommended.

Request an e-copy of THE END OF MARKING TIME in .mobi, .pdf, .epub and .lrf. If you would like a copy, contact him at: authors@22wb.com.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy courtesy of Author C.J. West in exchange for a fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.

book release: you killed wesley payne by sean beaudoin

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, January 04, 2011 7 bookish peeps...
Title: You Killed Wesley Payne
Author: Sean Beaudoin
Series: Stand Alone
Category: YA, Mystery, Crime
Publisher: Little Brown Books
ISBN: 0316077429 (ISBN13: 9780316077422)
Release Date: February 1, 2011

You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp-noir, in which hard-boiled seventeen year-old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn't whether Dalton's going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he's gonna get the girl. He always (sometimes) gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and killer cliques in time to solve the mystery of "The Body" before it solves him.evokes the distinctive voices of legendary crime/noir authors Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson with a little bit of Mean Girls and Heathers throwin in for good measure. This smart, slick, and alluring detective novel that will tease you, thrill you, and suck you in.

FREE Excerpt with a Tweet or FB Post: Visit the website

Official Book Trailer


He's come to do a job.

A job that involves a body.

A body wrapped in duct tape found hanging from the goal posts at the end of the football field.

Happy New Year 2011!

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, January 01, 2011 11 bookish peeps...
Happy New Year 2011 Gifs .

Another year has gone and a new year is here.
Another year unfolds,
New paths we have to tread.

It's for New resolutions,
New starts,
New beginnings,
New chapters,
New hopes,
New dreams,

And new ME and YOU!

We wonder what life holds in the brand new year ahead,
May this year bring us many opportunities,
Explore every moments of life,
May your resolutions stay firm,
Turning all dreams into reality.

Also my special wish for you all is a blessing from God,
To make this your happiest year,
Filled with joy, peace, happiness, health, wealth and love.

Not to forget,
Load of BOOKS to MUNCH,
Load BOOKS to LOVE.
Loads of BOOKS to SHARE,
Loads of BOOKS to FILL UP THE SHELVES,
and
LOADS OF BOOKS TO BRING US CLOSER TOGETHER!


Happy New Year 2011 Animated Scraps.
The icons are from HERE.
 

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