February 13, 2016

Review ~ The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

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After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother--or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

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First chapter, first thought: Is this gonna be like I am Legend but with aliens instead? A little bit disappointed that it's not at first, but the story turned out to be awesome.

I first heard about The Fifth Wave from a friend (co-blogger, A) and when I found out it will star Chloe Moretz in the movie I got a little bit excited about it. I had a little dilemma on what to do first: to read or to watch the movie? I opted for reading it first, as suggested by my cousin.

I haven't watched the movie so I can't (and won't, if I think about it) do a comparison. I'll start with the bad points first.

The first part is filled with flashbacks, which (I think) took too long (or maybe it's just because I was reading it slowly; I don't have a lot of free time these days). That part dragged a little, but Rick Yancey turned it around before I lost my interest.

I like how Cassie is portrayed, thinking she was the last one on Earth, craddling an M16 like a teddy bear even though she does have her brother's teddy with her. I think if the book took the direction of the movie I Am Legend, it wouldn't have changed the impact of the book on me. I liked the image of Cassie, fending off for herself, trying to survive with only her M16 as her companion (in which this would be like the dog Will Smith had with him in the movie), maybe dodging alien drones that are after her. I thought it was going there for a while, but the author injected other characters masterfully in a very satisfying way that did not disappoint.

It's kind of a scary thought if I stop to think about it (which I did), how aliens will come with the sole purpose to destroy us. Not just enslave, but to destroy, us. Cassie's way of thinking reflected my own thoughts if that had happened in real life. How we would be on the verge of extinction, but as humans we would unite to defend our home. But how would we defend ourselves when we couldn’t see the enemy? If the enemy is wearing the face of your friend, your love ones, and have superior technology.

That's the scary part about it. The book perfectly mixes different feelings—from being the sole survivor of a destroyed camp, being hunted by an invisible Silencer, finding solace in writing your story down, to remembering the mundane stuff you use to mule over to the action scenes.

It is a new angle on an old genre of dystopian and alien invasion. I would like to see to which heights the Rick Yancey would reach with this series. 

~ Djan 

February 12, 2016

Review ~ See Me by Nicholas Sparks

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See me just as I see you . . .

Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he's determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.

Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.

A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria's past begin to surface.

As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria's life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they've begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour?

Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, SEE ME reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize.

Purchase links:
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In all of Nicholas Sparks's novels, See Me didn't even make it to my list of favorite.

I am sorely disappointed with this book. Of course, having been written by Sparks, it is written well. The plot is good and the characters are honed. However, See Me is missing that Nicholas Sparks element that makes his novels romantic and swoon-worthy.

I have become used to this author writing dreamy novels, so not having that element in his book is both surprising and disappointing. Sparks is my favorite romance author, so I have come to expect swoon-worthy stories from him, which he failed to deliver in this book.

I liked the story enough, and the suspenseful climax kept my eyes glued to the book until the very last page. I am just so disappointed that nothing in this book made me swoon, which is basically what I crave for in a Sparks novel.

~ Zee

February 11, 2016

Review ~ The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

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The Girl On The Train has garnered a lot of attention from readers last year and I must say as a connoisseur of psychological thrillers it deserves all the hype.

The author took an everyday thing we do (riding a train) threw in a person desperate for a release in her current reality so not unlike us everyday humans, and threw in a heinous crime that will curl around your head and live there.

The complexity of the characters, how they were interwoven in the story gives it life. Take Rachel, the alcoholic who has an obsession for her ex-husband who married the woman he cheated her with. Anna, who just wants to have the normalcy of a family, forever afraid of the shadow of her husband's ex-wife who is showing signs of getting tired of the shit Rachel is pulling and getting angrier and angrier about it. Tom, the husband in question, trying to be the peace maker but standing firm that he has moved on and Rachel should too. Then there's Rachel's "Jess and Jason" as she calls them. The couple who lives near her old house and now where her ex-husband lives with his family. She see's them be a couple and she makes it up in her head how perfect they are, how so alike they were when she and Tom were married. But in reality they have there own problems.

The story made me see that sometimes what under the surface is a much darker place. Sometimes what we see as happy is just one side of the story, that there could be an ugly side in an otherwise perfect life. How truth can be twisted by words, especially if it is from someone you trust. How not seeing past the exterior can be deadly.

This is a heart-pounding and mind fucking book that will in all sense satisfy every thrill craving you have.

I recommend reading this book while on a train to somewhere not for any special reason but because you will feel a little bit closer to what Rachel experience. Look out the window, see the cars, houses and people passing by and try to imagine, make up the story. It feels really satisfying that way.

~ Djan

February 10, 2016

Review ~ Thin Love by Eden Butler

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Love isn't supposed to be an addiction. It isn't supposed to leave you bleeding.

Kona pushed, Keira pulled, and in their wake, they left behind destruction.

She sacrificed everything for him.

It wasn't enough.

But the wounds of the past can never be completely forgotten and still the flame remains, slumbers between the pleasure of yesterday and the thought of what might have been.

Now, sixteen years later, Keira returns home to bury the mother who betrayed her, just as Kona tries to hold onto what remains of his NFL career with the New Orleans Steamers. Across the crowded bustle of a busy French Market, their paths collide, conjuring forgotten memories of a consuming touch, skin on skin, and the still smoldering fire that begs to be rekindled.

When Kona realizes the trifecta of betrayal—his, Keira's and those lies told to keep them apart—his life is irrevocably changed and he once again takes Keira down with him into the fire that threatens to ignite them both.

Purchase links:
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Thin Love is a very angsty read.

I liked it for the most part. Like I said, angsty. Kona and Keira's journey to happiness is loaded with a heavy burden. At some point their relationship became very unhealthy for them both, but neither is willing to back down or cool off. They challenge each other in every way. I liked it that Keira didn't let Kona push her around. I do love my female MCs with a backbone.

I have slight problems with the writing style, though. It switches from present to past tense narration, which bothers me to no end. I know I'm not perfect when it comes to the English grammar (or any grammar, for that matter--yes, even my own language), but I can't help but be bothered with the inconsistencies because it's easier to spot them when you're the reader. This is a published book, and I expect it to be in its best form. I learn from these books, so it really bothers me when I spot a lot of, um, mistakes. It makes me confused which is the right way to write.

Anyway, back to the story. The way the book is divided into two parts didn't suit my taste. I think I would have liked it more had their past been revealed in snippets as the story goes along in the present. There were times when Part One felt redundant and dragging, especially when it came to Kona and Keira's love/hate relationship with each other, which dampened my reading enthusiasm. I don't like seeing the same circumstances twice in one story line because it makes me feel like I'm just gong in circles and the characters are not developing.

The second part of the book felt rushed. This is one of the reasons why I prefer had this book been written in the present with snippets from the past as the story progressed. I felt like I watched a marathon of TV drama. The way the books is written made it feel like I read for about ten years.

All in all, this book surprised me with how much I liked it. I didn't know what to expect when I started reading, and I'm always skeptical when it comes to NA romance because I feel like the characters in all the books have the same traits, but I ended up liking Thin Love more than I thought I would.

~ Zee

February 09, 2016

Review ~ The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks


For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly - and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics - and cultivate a flair for death.


This trilogy had so much potential. The plot was compelling, the storyline sound. The book has some great characters you can follow. Personally I think this should not have been a trilogy, but a series. The author should have expanded and given more time to tell the whole story.

I hate how after one part, it will skip to another part days later without even a clear explanation on what happened. At times, the timeline would be confusing, skipping ahead or zeroing on some characters view which is different from the view of the previous chapter.

There are some useless characters that were given limelight. The author should have just focus on the important characters POV instead of inserting background characters POV thus the reason for the confusion. There are even characters who are important at the start who slowly dwindled to being background characters, losing their solid part in the story.

Sad, but I was disappointed. I just finish the whole thing so I could honestly say that.

~ Djan