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Review: The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

Sunday, June 29, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
Carrying just a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother are immigrating to England from Poland. Kasienka isn't the happiest girl in the world. At home, her mother is suffering from a broken heart as she searches for Kasienka's father. And at school, Kasienka is having trouble being the new girl and making friends. The only time she feels comforted is when she's swimming at the pool. But she can't quite shake the feeling that she's sinking. Until a new boy swims into her life, and she learns that there might be more than one way to stay afloat.
Kasienka has been forced to leave her home in Poland and relocate to England with her mother, where her mother hopes to find her husband/Kasienka's dad (who left them a few years back) with the hope of starting over. Kasienka is subject to adapating, living in poverty, being bullied and discriminated. Her self-worth and confidence takes a huge hit.

Kasienka is dragged from door to door asking the neighbourhood for news about her father since her mother speaks Poor English. The author created a captivating voice for Kasienka. The poetry style was really fitting (e.g. I really liked the use of tabbed sentences when stairs are mentioned) and the select words without the lengthy descriptions really pulled me in. It was like I was reading her thoughts just as they occurred.

The Weight of Water was a heartfelt coming of age read. Kasienka was a relatable character, with her trying to fit in a foreign environment. The only thing I disliked was the overwhelming lack of support she had from the adults (mother, father and teachers). Anyway, It was a joy to read Kasienka's thoughts transform from pessimistic to optimistic when she learnt how to make the best of her situation.

Review: Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

Thursday, June 26, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.

But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down. When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.

Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.
Come Back to Me was a pretty predictable story and the voice wasn't quite unique amid all the new adult offerings out there; a variation of the naive female lead not being so innocent after all, her being able to show her true self when she is undertaking her passion (art/music) and/or when she is with the male lead, and the male lead being more experienced and seeing everything of the female lead to be perfect. However sometimes you just feel in the mood to read these kind of books and this is one I gobbled up.

The first chapter of Come Back to Me pulled me in immediately with a gut-wrenching situation, leaving us hanging on a question by rewinding a few weeks and starting the story again. Kit Ryan and Jessa's brother Riley return home from their marine posts for a month, which is the time when Jessa and Kit kindle their love for each other. It's not without obstacles though, with Jessa's dad's mood swings and disapproval of the Ryans, Kit's image to Riley as one who plays around and doesn't commit and the question of how Jessa and Kit will manage without each other when they part in a month. Throughout the majority of this time, Jessa and Kit are forced to keep their attraction and meetings a secret. There definitely was sizzling chemistry between them and progressively steamy scenes hot enough to warm me up during the cold winter! It did come to a point where the story was basically about when Jessa was going to lose her virginity before Kit returned to his military post (there were only a few times when they really talked and appreciated each other's company other than in the physical way). The story does pick up steam (in a different sense!) near the middle with the return to the first chapter and the answer unfolding to the nagging question which was always in my thoughts. From there on, the topics of forgiveness and the importance of family were explored.

Even though it was tied up a bit too neatly, I liked the closure of the book. All in all an engaging read.

Note: I received an advanced reader's copy from Pan Macmillan via NetGalley to review. This review is my honest opinion.

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Saturday, June 21, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
With the introduction of new characters, I was worried whether I would get enough dosage of Prince Kai and Cinder. Holy stars, I was not disappointed!

There's so much happening in the book though at times it would feel slow because certain things dragged out but this was counteracted with the different point of views so we didn't stay focused on one/group of characters for too long. I didn't really like Cress and she joins Scarlet as a character that I wasn't fully invested in but didn't mind. I get that she was a bit weird because she was a prisoner up alone in a satellite, working for Sybil and Levana. Her fantasies were funny at times but, like she wanted to be, she came off as a slightly annoying damsel in distress. This just made me like Cinder even more...

Queen Levana's threats are taken to the next level and impending doom is about to strike Earth. How will Cinder possibly save the world (literally!)?

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?
What disappointed me most was the heroine of the book, Celaena. She was the land's most deadly assassin, prisoned in salt mines of the beginning of the book. She was brought under order of the Crown Prince to compete against twenty odd others, to become the King's Champion. I expected a kick-ass heroine who was likeable but that wasn't delivered to me. Celaena was a self-absorbed showoff who annoyed the heck out of me! There were so many times she talked the talk but failed to walk the walk. I would've liked to see her actions define her but instead I was fed lines about her confidence in beating everyone/attracting attention.

Two love interests were provided to her and many other men stared her way, no doubt feeding her arrogance and bloated ego. I still can't see why the men pined after her even after finishing the book... OK, It was unique the way Celaena liked to dress prettily and cared about looking good, but some of the things she did e.g. throwing a fit at not being invited to a feast/ball, shouting at the pool ball for not going in the pocket and smirking when capturing the attention of men with her beautiful looks, eroded her credibility as a deadly assassin especially since we pretty much only had her reputation and behaviour to go on (as not much was revealed about her past assassinations and how she came to be).

The story otherwise was quite good with an unexpected focus on magic. I quite liked the supporting characters but unfortunately Celaena is the lead.

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
This is not the fairytale you remember.

But it’s one you won’t forget.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner...
The twist on the Little Red Riding Hood was noticeable at the beginning but as the story progressed, I quickly dispelled all I knew about that fairytale as the book became more unique and unpredictable.

Scarlet introduces us to some new characters, some of which I liked and some which I was kind of neutral about. Thorne was a welcome addition, bringing much appreciated upbeatness and humour to the story. I'm hoping he gets explored more in future books, like his past or maybe a love interest? It would be interesting to see how things play out with his fun nature! Scarlet I found to be alright. Unfortunately, Scarlet didn't seem to grow on me like Cinder did for me in the first book. Neither did her love interest! Overall, I found that I looked forward to and enjoyed Cinder's and Prince Kai's parts more than Scarlet's.

It was awesome the way the author crossed Cinder's and Scarlet's paths. What started out as separate seemingly unrelated stories gradually connected together to form a bigger story. The world of Luna was further explored and gave me more reason to be scared of (and more reason to loathe) Queen Levana and fear about the fate of Cinder and Prince Kai.

I wonder how Cress will feature everyone introduced so far along with additional characters? I don't want my time reading about Cinder and Prince Kai to be cut even shorter!