the lion's deceit by mpho otukile

Written by Darlyn At Monday, March 28, 2011 9 bookish peeps...
Title: The Lion's Deceit
Author: Mpho Otukile
Illustrator: S.B. Bow
Pages: 16
Rating: 5/5
Recommended Age: 3-5
Source: Won from LibraryThing

Summary:

The Lion's Deceit is about a lazy lion who goes against his real nature by tricking other animals so he can get some food without hunting. Will the lion get away with his plot?

My Two Cents:

My little cousins (Azim and Aqil) and I love it! I read it last night with them for bedtime stories. Funny thing was, I don't think my mom ever read about animals to me when I was little. What I ever remember is Cinderella and few other princesses and fairy tales. Since my two cousins are boys, this book is perfect for them. It's a great story with a valuable lesson for children to put some efforts to gain something we want to the children. The lion's action to lie his sickness to the rest of the animals in the jungle so that he can get his prey for food regularly. This is totally not a lion's nature as he should hunt and as a result it was ultimately discovered by other animals.

With beautiful colours and fine illustrations, this book is totally enlightening and very entertaining to be shared with little kids as well as adults and parents. Kids will enjoy reading and learn a great thing of putting effort and know that every actions we take will lead to different consequences.

Some illustrations from the book;



About the Author

Mpho Otukile comes from Botswana, in the Southern part of Africa where she grew up listening to stories told by the village elders at night while sitting around an open fire. As much as she was entertained, these stories also instilled some moral lessons about life. The author now lives in Winnipeg, Canada and is writing these stories to pass them to her daughter and other children.

For more info, visit http://www.villagelifebooks.com

the last will of moira leahy by therese walsh

Written by Darlyn At Saturday, March 26, 2011 11 bookish peeps...
Title: The Last Will of Moira Leahy
Author: Therese Walsh
Pages: 288
Series: Stand alone
Published: October 19th, 2009
Rating: 5/5
Source: Received from author

Summary (Website):

“I lost my twin to a harsh November nine years ago. Ever since, I’ve felt the span of that month like no other, as if each of the calendar’s thirty perfect little squares split in two on the page.”

Maeve Leahy is a busy professor of languages at a university in upstate New York. So busy that she leaves little time for memories—the memory of her lost twin, Moira, and of her many lost opportunities. Until a childhood relic and a series of anonymous notes changes everything—resurrects her long-dead dreams, a lost language, her most painful recollections, and prompts her to cross an ocean in search of ancient history. There, Maeve will learn new truths about her past, and come face to face with the one thing she truly fears. Only then can she choose between the safe yet lonely life she's built for herself and one of risk, with bonds she knows can be both heart-breakingly delicate and more enduring than time.

My Two Cents:

The Last Will of Moira Leahy for me is quite a difficult read, in a good way. I was easily immersed in the story, intrigued and the whole summary really got me intrigued. It started quite slow though, with Maeve keep herself so tight and avoiding to tell us what's going on with her. She's mysterious, which made me don't understand her but it kind of weird when I think she's so connected with me as the story goes on. Walsh deserves credit for writing a character whose personality leaps off the page. There were so many times in this novel that I thought I knew exactly what action Maeve was going to make, and eventually twisting the book's journey. I got surprised a lot by Maeve, which always turned me down when I was wrong.

So when she got the keris, everything went back to her and she wants to discover the truth behind it. I don't think I ever read something like this before; a mix of mystical and mysteries in a contemporary fiction. I was fascinated by the keris itself, because I myself has Javanese blood (even my fiancee is Javanese). Keris for real has mystical power which holds thousands mysteries to the owner of one. As that being said, I kind of truly understand the connection of the keris and Maeve's past. If you don't know this, when you read the book, there will be the part where you will learn the truth of the keris function in the story. You maybe think it's nothing but I got the chill on my spine. So this book got me an impact.

There's some flash backs of Moira and Maeve that told us how close they were and how they became apart. It tells a lot even though it's less than two pages each time. The bond of twins fascinated me, which I truly adored their relationship, mostly when they can read or block their mind on each other. However, because of some tragedy, Maeve became the Maeve we know right now in the book; well-kept, mysterious, hurt, and pessimistic. I wish she could enjoy her life because she really deserves it. Not to waste it for nearly a decade after her sister's death.

And I love Noel! (thank God there's some romance in it!). I thought the book would be a heavy and depressing read after all. Noel is tender, gentle and a great guy. He waited for Maeve for as long as he knows her. And funny too. In this, I was glad for Maeve, Noel is someone who will complete her. Teenage Moira was the best. I don't know why, but I think I love her wittiness and how she wants to do what she wants despite of being so different from Maeve like their mother wants. I dislike her mother for separating their likeness into something so-called identities just because she can't tell which is which between the twin.

That being said, I like the book so much. Walsh really did an excellent job bringing the mysteries of keris and a woman's past that we keep pondering until Walsh ties the two threads together beautifully at the end of the book. There's a bit of suspense elements, but it kind of worked okay to me. But I cried when I learned the truth and how she and Moira let go the worst past in their life and forgave the person who come between them. This book was ultimately about healing from grief, siblings relationships, and about remembering past and yet letting it go forever. Highly recommended.

matched by ally condie (arc)

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, March 22, 2011 16 bookish peeps...
Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Pages: 366
Series: Matched#1
Published: November 30th, 2010
Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Won
Buy at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble


Summary (Goodreads):

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Say:

This book is totally some books that I don't know how to feel. I have a mix feeling of it and have to admit that I'm quite frustrated because it doesn't work for me so much. Don't get me wrong. The idea of the story is very original since I never read anything like it before. I don't usually pick any dystopian novel until last January for The End of Marking Time, which I quite like it (maybe it's a thriller).

When I say it doesn't work for me, it's more related to my feeling of the world the author have created. I like the idea of being matched though. When I read first quarter of the book, it was so good that I'm totally hooked but it decreased my anticipation right before the middle of the story. I was like so suffocated to live in that world and I believe I would understand how stress the citizens of that future were in. The character of Cassia, I totally can't feel any connections with her, like something is lacking. She was intriguing, somehow sometimes I felt like she was asking too much of what the place would give. I know they have very limited freedom and kind of bounded with The Society, but just because of Ky appeared on the screen, she just wavered. Other than that, I totally can't understand why they can't write long hand and can't really recite poems too. But I like it when she and Ky recited one together. I found it very sweet. Condie should really explain it at least in a brief. I know it's in future or like not the same time as ours but, I can only accept 50% of that world she created.

Nonetheless, I'm glad I read the book. It's my first time reading a YA Romance Dystopian, feel quite impressed with the author writing style and plot. I did enjoy her passion of creating different world, a fresh spill of matching couples, different colour of pills with different purposes, human dies at 80 and so many things to explore. Even though this book has only an okay type development, I'm actually looking forward to read the sequel, Crossed. I hope to found who's Cassia's choice either Ky or Xander, but I really hope Xander. Personally, I think Ky is just a distraction (BOO!)

I will recommend it to whoever love Dystopians. It's a worth try to read something out of your comfort zone sometimes. But I totally love the book cover!

heavenly by jennifer laurens

Written by Darlyn At Friday, March 18, 2011 13 bookish peeps...
Title: Heavenly
Author: Jennifer Laurens
Pages: 296
Series: Heavenly #1
Published: August 15th, 2009
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Receive from author
Buy at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Summary (Website):

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.

My Say:

It's a totally a book that I love to love. It has a simple plot and the synopsis already stated that Zoe fall in love with her guardian angel, Matthias. I would say that I can predict the ending; too easy, they will be together like most of the stories in the end. But the fascinating part was how excellent the story was developed. The story might seem so typical with other fantasy stories of guardian angels but not divinely written like this one. Why? There might be lots of twist and turns to achieve the need; to be happily together with each other, ignoring the fact that it's so interconnected with heaven's business. Matthias could make a chaos and conflict which would lead to series of sequels. However, Jennifer made it so true and divine. I really love the ending. She lets Zoe overcome her difficulties with family and her personal life and gave her a peaceful ending. That is something that could be real and logic as well, which seldom happen in fictions.

Despite of divinely plot, I was impressed with details of story plot line. It was beautifully written like how Abria autism positively and accurately portrayed, even though there's quite of some moral issue as well; her brother's addition to drug and her personal problem with drinking. Other than that, I applauded Jennifer for her effort, putting so many scenes focused on Zoe and her family, especially her mom and dad. I cried when I read a scene where her mother said she was sorry for the difficulties she puts if Zoe and Luke ever felt ignored. And says thank you to Zoe for her so many sacrifices for Abria's sake. It's maybe sound nothing but I love the part more than I love Zoe and Mathhias's part. But it doesn't mean I don't get blushed when she wants Matthias embrace and kiss her!

This was a great story of struggles. Struggle to be loved, to be understand, not to be ignored, struggle to be together, struggle to be happy, and struggle to have a happy ending. It's also a well-mixed story of happiness, romances, hardship, family altogether. Totally recommended!

the emperor's tomb by steve berry

Written by Darlyn At Monday, March 14, 2011 8 bookish peeps...
Title: The Emperor's Tomb
Author: Steve Berry
Pages: 480
Series: Cotton Malone #6
Published: November 16th, 2010
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Receive for review
Buy at: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Summary (Publisher):

The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why?

That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date—one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn.

My Say:

I read Steve Berry's book a few years ago and how I forget how great writer he is. Reading The Emperor's Tomb (the 6th book in Cotton Malone series) is very easy to understand without reading the previous books. The story is brilliantly told and well-mixed with Chinese history which I found it very amusing. It started with an incident that will bring readers curiosity, a fair length and details of history with also great characters. I personally love Chinese history and mythology which really intrigued my interest to learn how Berry will craft and blend it to make a good fiction. Berry succeeded in both plotting the story line together with the history and archaeology, producing an extraordinary story. Even though some details of history might bring boredom, but don't worry because it is entertaining with this book, and very knowledgeable too. He also provided his note on separate chapter about his writing process, a time line of Chinese Dynasty and maps. I believe that readers will quickly drawn into the story as the character's quest and obstacles to solve the political conflict that involved the sake of the future. There will be too many characters but I don't give it a big deal because you'll love the story more than you need to know the secondary characters. There's quite a few of action packed scenes which is very engaging and filled with suspense. Of course, there is twist and turns at the end of the story which I am truly glad with the ending. In addition a little bit of romance which I found it quite essential and bring excitement in the story. I love the book and would be happy to recommend this book to all thriller readers.

About the Author:
Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor's Tomb, The Balkan Escape, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. He has 11 million books in print, which have been translated into 37 languages and sold in 50 countries. Steve's road to publishing was long and arduous, spanning 12 years (1990 - 2002) and 85 rejections over 5 separate manuscripts. He's also an accomplished instructor, having taught the concepts of writing to audiences across the globe. For more information visit his website at http://www.steveberry.org/

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. for an exchange of fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.

black bird by kanoko sakurakoji

Written by Darlyn At Tuesday, March 08, 2011 8 bookish peeps...

Title: Black Bird
Author: Kanoko Sakurakoji
Series status: On going
Vol(s) reviewing: Vol. 1, 2 and 3
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Rating: 4/5
Source: Read for free HERE

Summary
Vol. 1
There is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magical realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend. All that changes one day when Misao is attacked by a demon. Her childhood friend Kyo suddenly returns to save her and tend to her cuts--with his tongue! It turns out Misao is the bride of prophecy, whose blood gives power to the demon clan who claims her. But most demons want to keep her power for themselves--by eating her! Now Misao is just trying to stay alive...and decide if she likes it when Kyo licks her wounds.
Kyo, the head of the Tengu demon clan, is Misao's only chance for survival. But even though she has sweet memories of him as a childhood friend, she has trouble reconciling them with the man he has become. Despite the strange attraction, can she trust her life, let alone her heart, to a man who only cares about the promise of her blood? There is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magic realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend. But she is the bride of demon prophecy, and her blood grants incredible powers, her flesh immortality. Now the demon realm is fighting over the right to her hand?or her life!

Vol. 3
He loves her blood, but does her love her?! Misao is starting to trust her heart where Kyo is involved, especially after he gives her one of his primary feathers. It isn't just her first present from him, it's a magic talisman that will keep her safe when he's not nearby!Misao is elated to be able to go to school without the fear of being eaten, just like a normal teenage girl. But as her feelings for Kyo deepen, she starts to realize that as his bride she will have to leave her human life behind--including her family!

My Two Cents:
Even if I tried to find some flaws in Shoujo Manga, I can't. I just love everything I read and could look at the drawings/graphic without tiresome. The graphic is neat to the eyes, beautiful costumes, beautiful girls and handsome boys, well-crafted story and everything is just perfect. Same goes with this latest manga I've read. The first 3 volumes is quite an introduction of Misao to Kyou. It has conflicts which intrigues the readers how Misao will accept that she is the coveted bride of prophecy as well as to learn whether her feeling to Kyou is just a one-sided love.

I think the story was outlined very good, well plotted and gets hold my interest from the start. A history elements were one of the reason that I love to read, since these line of heritage bring out the best fiction from it. To see drawings of kimonos and other traditional attire, hairstyles, is really heavenly. However, there were parts are quite mature but kind of a bit decent at least, which makes this manga suitable for readers aged 16 and above.

giveaway flash: bookmark day!

Written by Darlyn At Monday, March 07, 2011 2 bookish peeps...
Monica at The Bibliophilic Blog is hosting a bookmark day giveaway!

The usual in honor of bookmark day will run until April 5th. Anyone can enter (who is over the age of 13) Please follow when you enter if you don't already...but it is NOT a requirement, Monica would just love you to return.

So what can you win...let's see....AN EREADER or GC of your choice from the bookstore of your choice....ereader type can not be more than $200 and GC is the same. All you have to do it fill out the form, follow(hopefully) and sit back and wait for the results...there will be extra entries given on Bookmark Day on the 15th of March! Click HERE to enter! Thanks Monica!

dead man's eye by shaun jeffrey

Written by Darlyn At Wednesday, March 02, 2011 5 bookish peeps...
Title: Dead Man's Eye
Author: Shaun Jeffrey
Pages: 81
Series: Stand alone
Published: December 30th, 2010
Rating: 4/5
Source: From author
Buy at: Amazon | IndieBound | SmashWords

Summary (Goodreads):

Blighted by an eye disease, Joanna Raines undergoes a corneal transplant operation to stop her going blind. The procedure is successful, but in the weeks that follow she begins to see dark coronas surrounding certain people. By turns fearful that something has gone wrong and worried that she's going crazy, Joanna searches for an answer to the phenomena.

What she finds will change her life forever. The transplant has opened a door in her mind, and the strange coronas are not legacies of the operation but proof that a legion of demons plans to invade the earth!

Now the only thing that stands between the demonic horde and their plot to take over the world is Joanna, a young woman with the power to see them for what they really are.

Seeing is believing.

The demons are real.

Joanna just has to convince everyone else before it's too late.

My Say:

I hardly believe myself that I finally finished reading this book! At first I thought I will have another problem to finish a horror book like this. Yet, I was glad I read it even with a little tense once in a while. The plot succeed to deliver the excitement of the story to me. I can't say the book sparks the interest in me from the start because I don't really like Joanna at first, or maybe it's just me. I felt sorry how she become further removed from her dear ones.But as the story goes on, the mystery of her new eye really intrigued me. It's like I'm wondering what will happen to her next, what she would see and what she should do and all. It scares hell out of me to read how the people were killed, a man lost an arm, etc. Most of the scenes took place at the hospital which really a perfect place, as like puzzle with so many doors and it's gripping to know what's behind once you open them. Hospitals for me also have grieves, death, hope and 1001 mysteries that we can't never understand, even how can evil spirits took over the hospital? Genius.

Unfortunately, the ending is quite desolate for me. It's part twisted but will never end and you will find it the same once you finish reading it. I totally understand the feeling of you would want a closure of story, but this one will quite fail you. The story is satisfying and have all the elements you want to read in a horror book. But the ending will define how satisfy are you with the book. I love the book, but the ending really made me depressed, with a claim that I don't regret reading it!

That being said, the book is actually really well-elaborated and well-crafted. Even though I found the similarity to a movie called "The Eye", this one has it's own difference and speciality progress. I read it in day time for 4 days because even though I like mysteries, it's the horror that stop me to read it at night. I fully recommend this book to horror/paranormal thrillers fans. You'll never regret reading it!


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Author Shaun Jeffrey for an exchange of fair review. Receiving a copy in no way will ever reflected my review and these are my honest review.
 

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