Friday, 29 August 2014

Book Review : Royally Lost by Angie Stanton

Goodreads Discription:

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

Title: Royally Lost
Author: Angie Stanton
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit,
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336 pages
Source: Purchased from the Book Depository

I saw Epic Reads website recommending this book for those who love Anna and The French Kiss by Stephine Perkin so I got my hands onto the book depository and ordered it since i as in a happy contemporary/ Stephine Perkin kick.

Royally Lost is a fun road trip/backpacking adventure around Europe reads with a cute summer romance although expect the book to be a realistic read. The romance between Nikolai and Becca at the start was one of the cheesiest insta-love I've read (and was not a big fan of) even though Nikolai didn't exactly fall head over heals for her but was attracted to her cause of some similarities in her. Still I enjoyed the development of their relationship! Happy, cute and fun with its twist and turns.

Becca came out strong, sassy and down to earth. Described as your typical 'All American Girl' at the start, freshly graduated from high school but unsure of what to peruse in college is dragged on a family vacation to cruise around Europe with her distance workaholic father, young overly eager stepmother and party/womanizer but caring and protective older brother Dylan.

One thing about the book that stood out from others is the close brother-sister relationship between Becca  Dylan. This is refreshing as in the book Becca and Dylan relationship came out as realistic and relatable. Yes they have their fights and bickers but they have some good moments like covering for each other when they are sneaking away from their parents. I rarely find good close age brother-sister relationship in YA as in most books the characters are only child, a sister-sister or brother-brother relationship, the siblings are significantly older or younger than the characters or that they are out of the picture.

My only complain of the two is that both characters keep whining and complaining on their trip around Europe. I meant I'll be grateful and happy dancing if I was given a chance to travel to Europe as a graduation/family vacation. Though I don't blame them for the awkwardness and distance from the new step mum and distance father.

Nicolai or should i say Prince Nicolai is SWOONNNN ! Charming, cheeky and freaking smart (history nerd anyone?) I fell for his charms the moment I opened the book. Yes some of the ways he handle himself/situation was not ideal but he manages to redeemed himself in the end of the day. Also some of the stuff he does gives me a heart attack as its very daring. Trough the book he is running from his strict traditional Royall family along with trying to hide from the paparazzi and blending with the locals.

I am not a big fan of Selina Gomez's songs but this song reminded me of the book.

Check this book out if you like 'Prince Undercover' stories, adventurous Europe roadtrips, a romance that will make you swoon and grin and a great fast pace summer/pick me up reads.

If you could go to anyplace in the world for a summer vacation where will it be?

I definitely will choose Europe (Switzerland preferred) but I also want to travel to the Philippines and USA someday.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Book Review : The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

Goodreads Description : 

It's 1996 and very few high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented until several years in the future. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD. She and her best friend Josh power it up and log on - and discover themselves on Facebook in 2011. Everybody wonders what they'll be like fifteen years in the future. Josh and Emma are about to find out

Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Romance,
Format: Paperback
Pages: 356 pages
Source: Purchased from Popular Bookshop (Malaysia)

I have been wanting to read Jay Asher's 'Thirteen Reasons Why' but was not up for a 'sad read' so when I saw this and read the blurb at the back I knew I had to owe it.

The Future of Us is a fun, smart and lighthearted contemporary reads with a sci-fi twist.

Set in 1996 the book follows the duo narration of Emma and Josh, next door neighbors and best friends where they install an AOL cd into Emma's new computer and discover their future on  Facebook... Fifteen years into the future, 8 year before Facebook even existed!

While Josh is happy with his future, Emma is not and tries to alter her future with the present which causes a ripple and not only alters her future drastically but Josh's too. It comes to a point where she gets obsess with her altering her future to perfection that it doing more harm than good and affecting her friendship with Josh.

Emma's character took a while for me to like as she was very unsure of herself as well as selfish but she is a good person just that she does not have her head straight as well as she takes a lot of things for granted like her friendship with Josh or her relationship with her dad. There were times i wanted to shake her and shout 'stop being obsess with Facebook' and just live in the present! While I thought she was a bit whiny in some parts, I think trough putting myself in her shoes and maybe... just maybe she is just a perfectionist so I can't blame her for some of her actions but she really didn't have to go trough some extreme extend when alter her future. Also of all of the characters, hers is the one that has the biggest change by the end of the book where she matured and got her priorities straight.

Josh on the other hand I thought I would not like but actually love! He is sweet, sensible, lay back and a great guy to have as a friend not to mention the voice of reasons for Emma.

Speaking of friends, Emma and Josh's friends Kellan and Tyson are great supporting characters and awesome friends to the both of them !

A couple of complain about the book apart from the occasional Emma's character are the Facebook status. While some were actually hilarious most of them are the eye rolling shallow type of status that needs a TMI stamp or it looks like something I will maybe see on Twitter (hey maybe they can have a spin off book where the characters discover twitter! lol). The sub-storyline of Josh and his parents I didn't really care for and felt like it's just filler. 

Also the ending while it ended on a sweet and cute note but I either felt like it was kinda week or that I was missing 20 pages in my edition (tfios reference ?!?!).

The book talks about not taking relationships/friendships for granted which is something that Emma eventually learns, living the moment and in the present and the philosophical impact of altering time wimey situation. I love how this was very different from stereotype YA especially when it came to romance as it surprisingly took a back seat in the romance department. Also the friendship between Emma and Josh, though its a bit rocky but was genuine and real and I like how their relationship played out.

If you are a 90's kid (like me!) or lived trough the 90's this is nostalgic since the book is set in 1996 where cell phone were rear and the internet required hooking up to the telephone line. Also there are alot of pop culture references from the present and the 90's (and if you know me well I live a good pop culture reference!) from Harry Potter and Netflix to even Ellen Degeneres!

Overall definitely check this out if you love high school scenarios with a timey wimey 'time traveling' twist. The cast of characters are realistic and relatable.The storyline is fast pace, original, nostalgic and fun!

I definitely need to check out Jay Asher's other book and read the Carolyn Mackler book that is sitting on my shelve soon.

What's your favourite things from the 90's?

Cartoons! The Cartoons and TV show back then were one of the best things to grow up with!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Book Review : The Bet by Kimberly Joy Villanueva

Goodreads Description: 

Drake Swift has never lost a bet with his best friend - until now. His punishment? Make a girl in school fall for him and then break up with her just as shes fallen for him. But who would be oblivious enough to fall for that? Her.

Enter Sophia Taylor - quiet, brainy, and unassuming - the perfect pawn for their game. And for Drake, that's all it is - a game. But is it? Drake finds that Sophia is quite more than he bargained for. Perhaps he has her figured out all wrong. The real question is, will Drake win the bet, or will Sophia win him over instead?

 Title: The Bet
Author: Kimberly Joy Villanueva (iluvbooks on wattpad)
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit,
Format: Paper Back
Pages: 276
Source: Gifted from friend who got if from the Philippines.

Read the original version on Wattpad

Confession : i found this story in 2011 when i first joined wattpad and randomly typed in 'Taylor Swift fanfic' and this was the top story so yah... Random...

I read the original version back when the author was posting it chapter by chapter on wattpad so this book has a special place in my heart as it not only was it cool that I followed the development of this book but also this was the first Wattpad book I read and loved!

Its been 2 years since i read the original and though I like the publish version

I preferred the original version more.

 There were a handful of typos and several changes from the original including one major story change which i didn't like and threw me off the story for a bit.

I felt like the last one-third of the book was too rushed which made the book even more disappointing for me. Maybe i would have enjoyed the story more if i didn't already read the original but I still like the idea of the story and the characters. 

Drake and Sophia were both likeable but i felt like there could be more development for their characters even though with the bet they both got to know each other more and were really sweet and cute. They also changed each other for the better. Pia stepped out of her shell more while Drake started having a drive or a purpose for the next chapter in his life.

What i don't get is how Drake twin sister is Pia's best friend yet they have never meet prior to The Bet.

Overall its a cute story that started with a 'simple bet' but developed into something more making 'this love sweeter than fiction'.

Anyone who is a fan of Taylor Swift definitely needs to give the story a go as this indirectly is a Taylor Swift fanfiction!

Music lovers will appreciate the playlist the author added at the end of the book as you'll definitely find some awesome songs,some familiar and some new. My fav is Passenger Seat by Stephen Speaks.

If you like Wattpad romances you will definitely like this! There are many more Wattpad books published in the Philippines so I might one day pick up more of them as I do have plans to visit there... someday... ^^
Also the book has recently been pick up for a movie in the Philippines! I can't wait to see how its gonna look like and I might make a book to movie post on some of the book to movie adaptation I am looking forward to. 

Check out the Author on her Wattpad Page ilurvbooks for more her book including the squeal/spin-off of 'The Bet' Colliding of Fate.

What's your favorite Taylor Swift song?

Mine is Superman, 22 and Sweeter Than Fiction

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Book Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Goodreads Synopsis:

"I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance,Christmas/Holiday Reads
Format: Paperback
Pages: 260 pages
Source: Purchased from Hill of Content bookshop

So I am one of those who don't care what time of the year the book is set in as long as its a goodreads and since I was in the mood for a Christmas in July book I decided to pick this up.

I really enjoy this! I have not read anything by Rachel Cohn but have read Will Grayson, Will Grayson which David Levithan has co-written and liked it so I kinda knew that I was gonna like this.

I like the concept of the book of Dare that Lily left in Strand bookshop and the mad exchanges of  dares between Dash and Lily across New York. I enjoyed how the book brought them together and what made it a page turner is to see when they will finally meet up. Its freaking witty but also cute and heartwarming. Also learning about each other trough the notebook was a really smart ideal of giving the back story of both characters.

Dash's a nerdy book worm who is snarky yet charming and hilarious! I liked him from page and fall for him trough out the book. Lily took a while to warm up but I eventually enjoyed reading from her POV (though I prefer Dash's more). Both characters were were very likable characters and same goes for the side characters especially Boomer (btw freaking love this guy! Heck they should write a sequel staring him!), Aunt Ida and Mark. Opposite in so many ways Dash and Lily both compliment each other very well.

Overall I DARE you to read this if you like fun adventurous storylines, cute yet sarcastic and witty dialogs which are at times LOL, an amazing cast of characters as well as a great heartwarming Christmas romance.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Book review : How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer

Goodreads Description:

From Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, comes this romantic comedy about one girl's summer job from hell. Think The Devil Wears Prada set in Disney World.

When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they've hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?

Once Zoe arrives, however, she's assigned to serve "The Queen"-Fairyland's boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.

Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe's job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?

Title: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit,
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320 pages
Source: Purchased from Popular Bookstore (Malaysia)

I am gonna say this from the start... this is one of those books you want to go into with knowing as little as possible...
And working in Fairy Tale land is not a bed of roses...
This takes place in a fairy tale themed theme park (a rival to 'The Mouse') where the summer interns have a chance to win a grant for college so competition is kinda (more like very) gruesome so do expect back stabbing, fist (and sword) fighting and a lot of drama!

Our main character Zoe who is still recovering from her mothers death is selfless and caring but at times a bit clueless and does have some flaws, gets the job of being the Queen's 'lady in waiting' aka personal assistance. Basically she the job of serving the Queen of hell where she has to do ridiculous chores and orders to please her boss. I enjoyed reading her POV and some of her inner dialog were hilarious and adorable! I want to be friends with her! 
 I also enjoy her relationship with her shy but free spirit cousin/BFF Jess where having that they both had an emotional and tough background are both loyal, looking out and support one another trough tough times. Both cousins though opposite as day and night, came out as strong and likeable characters who share a close sisterly bond.
Most of the side characters I was kinda meh about them as since they were in a competition for the
Dream & Do grant hence the cast members turn on each other with backstabbing, manipulating and a lot of drama.
The Queen aka Zoe's boss and the theme park  manager... is it weird that I actually enjoyed reading every bit of the crazy woman? She's crazy but hilarious and long story short a ridiculously tough boss that the only right answer to her crazy orders is 'Yes Madam'. Reading this I pictured The Queen as Helena Bonham Carter (aka Bellatrix in Harry Potter and The Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland) who is 'The Queen' of crazy and funny!
I do like RJ and Ian and both guys are full of surprises. RJ who is the RA (Residential Adviser aka the 'nanny' of dorms) and kind of a mentor for Zoe. 
Ian... gosh was he swoon worthy and hilarious and as a bonus is super good looking (*wink *wink *nudge *nudge not gonna say much as it will spoil the book but xD). Most of  his dialog made me smile and laugh and his interaction with Zoe were the best though I wish we got to see 'a bit' more of him as he felt a bit vague...
Overall this is like Devil wear Prada/Ugly Betty set in Disney Land and was a freaking enjoyable reads!
I considered this as 'another Cinderella' story as its like a modern Cinderella with its own twist!

Super fun summer contemporary that I literally flew by! Addictive and unique plot, interesting cast of characters, cute romance, sisterly love and realistic situations as well as the ending and plot was freaking mind blowing! This is one of those books that is best to go into without knowing much about.
So keep your hands, feet and heads in the vehicle as this is gonna be a very mind blowing ride!


Also anyone like watching YouTube VIDS??? One of my favorite Youtubers Swoozie used to work in Disney Orlando theme park and he has a couple of Disney Employee diaries/confessions that are freaking hilarious but also really fun to watch the BTS of working in a theme park.

Do you dare work at a theme park after reading this?!?! What character will you want to be cast as?

A part of me want to but not as a princess as I'm kinda tomboyish am the opposite of gracefulness and never was the kid who make believe myself as a princess (lol no joke!) :P Maybe as Alice in Wonderland or Little Red Riding hood I will!