Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Review~Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Pub Date: September 29th 2011
Format: ebook
Pages: 227
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon/B&N ~ Book/Author Site

Synopsis: In this companion novel to "Anna and the French Kiss," two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think.
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. 
When Cricket - a gifted inventor - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Rating: 7.5/10
Source: Bought
Cover Talk: I really like this cover! It's pretty and cute. But the best thing is the details like the blue bands on Cricket's wrists and Lola's purple hair.

My Thoughts: I did enjoy parts of the book but as a whole I didn't like it much. While I loved Anna and the French Kiss, Lola was a disappointment.

Story: The story was nice-ish but a bit boring. It felt like parts were missing in between and some things happened too suddenly. I did like the ending, it was pretty cute. But during most of the book I found my mind wandering. I just couldn't immerse myself in the book.

Writing: The writing was really good. Despite me not enjoying the story and liking the characters, the writing itself wasn't bad. It was funny at times and realistic at others. I do like Stephanie's writing style, it feels very real.

Characters: Lola was annoying and immature and selfish. I didn't hate her but I didn't like her either. She made me mad at times but mostly I just didn't care about her at all.

Cricket was cute. Too bad it seemed like he was a secondary character. Seriously, there came a time when I was wondering if he was the leading man or Max because he made an appearance so rarely. I did like him though. I wish he was mentioned more, had more scenes. He is the "hero" after all...

Were there two Max in the book? Did he have multiple personality disorder or something? Because there was this great, responsible rockstar Max we get in the beginning. And then he turns into this completely opposite mean, jerk rockstar Max in the end. I liked Max. I actually liked him more than I liked Cricket. But what's with the sudden personality change?

All the minor characters were meh and easily forgettable. Except Etienne & Anna of course. I did enjoy Anna & St. Clair parts. I kinda like Calliope too. I could have liked Lola's best friend had she been mentioned more. Lola's parents were okay. They were kind of cute and funny.

Overall: I sort of enjoyed parts of this book but as a whole I didn't like it much. The best part? It had Pushing Daisies references and Anna & St. Clair.

About The Author:

Hi, there! I'm Steph, and I wrote ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. I also edited (and contributed a short story to) a romantic holiday anthology called MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME. My next YA novel will be horror—a teen slasher published by Dutton.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cover Reveal & Giveaway~Rekindled Desires by Debbie Macarter


About the Book

Title: Rekindled Desires
Author: Debbie Macarter
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Anticipated Release Date: February 7th, 2015
Book Links: Goodreads

Book Blurb: On her best friend’s wedding night, Becca Lawson becomes distressed when she runs into the man who once held her heart and shattered it completely. One night of intense emotions and daring confessions is all it takes to rekindle long-lost emotions. Fearing another heartbreak, Becca shuts herself off completely, denying herself a chance at true love.

On the surface, it seems Austin Blackstone has it all. He’s rich, young and strikingly good-looking; but deep down, his heart aches for the unforgettable girl who slipped through his fingers. When a serendipitous encounter places them together on a tropical paradise, all of his deepest and darkest secrets threaten to spill over. He’s willing to forsake everything he has built to finally get what he truly desires.

Rekindled Desires is a touching love story of second chances and new beginnings. Can two vastly different people forget their rules and take a chance at love? Fans of Deborah Bladon are sure to love this sweet tale set on a beautiful, Caribbean island.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Did-Not-Finish Book Review~Ten Short Tales About Ghosts by K.C. Parton

Title: Ten Short Tales About Ghosts
Author: K.C. Parton
Publisher: Matador
Pub Date: June 19th 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 196
Genre: Short Stories, Horror
Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon

Synopsis: In a radical departure from his previous works, K. C. Parton has turned his prodigious imagination to the unsettling genre of the world that is sometimes glimpsed but never understood: the supernatural. This thrilling new collection of ghost stories explores the traditions of Edwardian horror placed in a contemporary setting. With compelling reads including, ‘The Last Train’ and the evocative ‘Ghost of Spetchley Bridge’, K. C. Parton portrays how people react when forces move beyond their control. Diverse locations and memorable characters are used in every story to maximise the disturbing effect. Old factories, the South Downs and Southend-on-Sea provide a vivid backdrop for these spine-chilling tales. With unearthly movements, strange noises and mysterious disappearances K. C. Parton creates an eerie atmosphere. Whether it is the creeping discomfort of a man being forced to challenge his understanding of the world, or an eerie appearance at the local cricket club, he transports the reader to the supernatural world. 

Ten Short Tales about Ghosts is a haunting read that will interest fans of gothic literature at any age. Characteristics of both Edwardian and Victorian ghost stories are present in this collection. Residents of the county areas mentioned in the stories may also be interested to explore the paranormal potential at their local landmarks. K. C. Parton has been inspired by the writing style of Susan Hill. His admiration for M. R. James encouraged him to develop his many characters of the collection. These spooky short stories, inspired by the genius of M. R. James, explore extraordinary things happen to ordinary people. Local stories of ghost sightings and strange hauntings also enabled K. C. Parton to find amicable settings for his characters to develop in.

Rating: 2/10
Source: NetGalley.

My Thoughts: I really feel guilty for not finishing this book but sadly it was way too boring and just not for me. I read 5 out of 10 stories and I skimmed through stories 4 and 5.

Story: The stories were not scary at all. They were extremely boring and had way too much unnecessary information. It was really hard for me to get through them. There were moments when they were slightly interesting but not enough to keep me reading.

Writing: The writing was okay. It wasn't awful but it wasn't good either. As I wrote before, there was way too much unnecessary information and the descriptions weren't scary. The writing felt old and it felt like I was reading a book written in the 1900s.

Characters: The characters were uninteresting and did not feel like real people. Their personalities and the way they conversed was not at all like actual people are. The characters felt too fake and I didn't relate to any of them. I didn't even like or care about them.

Overall: I didn't enjoy this book and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone either.

About The Author: Born in Sussex, K. C. PARTON studied at Southampton University and joined GEC as an apprentice in Birmingham in 1949. He remained there for 21 years, finishing as a senior manager. He then held similar posts in Plessey Telecomms and ICL before retiring in 1993 to become a specialist electrical consultant. His book, Tales from the Toolbox (Matador, 2013) is an amusing account of his time at GEC. His previously published work also includes, Peace and War (Matador, 2013) and The Digital Computer (Pergamon Press, 1964). He retired in 2005 and now lives in Worcester where he continues to write more short stories.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review~Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Publisher: Speak
Pub Date: December 2nd 2010
Format: ebook
Pages: 264
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon/B&N ~ Book/Author Site

Synopsis: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. She is less than thrilled about boarding school in Paris - until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, he has it all - including a serious girlfriend. Will Anna get her French kiss?

Rating: 10/10
Source: Bought

My Thoughts: Aaaaaahhh!!! This was the cutest book ever!!!!

It was exactly what I wanted to read right now and I finished it in one go. I loved every part of it!

Story: The story was amazing from finish to start. The romance was adorable and amazing! I felt more excited about the hand holding and the slight touches than about the kisses. I love romances that make me feel that way! The side stories were handled really well and it was a really enjoyable read.

Writing: I loved the writing! I loved how it made me feel like I was in Paris when I've never even been there. Stephanie Perkins writes brilliantly! Her characters, even the minor ones, felt real and her story had perfect pacing.

Characters: I loved all the characters! They were so real and flawed and relatable. I really liked Anna. In a lot of ways she was very much like me. I'm scared of breaking the rules and taking risks too. She was nice and funny and very human. The thing about her not being able to keep friends was exactly like me! It is very hard for me to keep friends because it's very hard for me to talk frankly with people. So yeah, I saw a lot of myself in Anna. Now if only I can find someone like Etienne ;)

Etienne, oh Etienne! He was gorgeous and so sweet! I love bad boys as much as the next girl but sometimes a nice sweet guy is exactly what you need to bring your mood up! I loved Etienne! He was nice, a great friend, and even though he was stuck in a tight spot I understood his decisions. It all made him very human. I could so imagine him being my friend.

I really liked all the minor characters. I don't have much to say about them though. Josh was very interesting and I would love to read more about him. Guess I'm in luck 'cause the third book in this series is about him! :D I really liked Rashmi, she was very real. I've met people like her, who seem rude but aren't really that bad once you get to know them. Meredith was sweet and I felt kinda sorry for her... But I liked her.

Overall: I really enjoyed this book. It was super adorable and I would recommend this to anyone who is in the mood of a cute, light read.

Favorite Quotes: 

“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?” 

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” 

“I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.”

“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.”

About The Author:

Hi, there! I'm Steph, and I wrote ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. I also edited (and contributed a short story to) a romantic holiday anthology called MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME. My next YA novel will be horror—a teen slasher published by Dutton.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Mini Dramas~Mini Reviews

I've been watching a lot of mini dramas lately. Since I can't write a full review for each of them I will write mini reviews in one post. So here you go...

Love Cells was cute. The ending was sort of confusing and I am sad that Kim Woo Bin had only a few scenes. But the guy was cute and Kim Yoo Jung did a really good job! The story was funny and sweet. My rating would be 8/10.
This 30 minute movie was so amazing! Everyone should watch this! It was cute but also heartbreaking and I don't know how they did it but I fell in love with the characters and the story and I felt like I was reading a book. That's how invested I was. My rating is obviously 10/10.

I love Song Ji Eun! She is an amazing singer, probably my favorite female Korean singer. And I love Lee Won Gun! I've seen him in Wild Chives & Soy Bean Soup and he was adorable! He has the cutest smile ever! And both of them were adorable in this drama! The story was sweet and I really enjoyed it. I've never seen Ji Eun act but she was pretty good. In my opinion Won Gun was better in WCASBS but he was good here as well. I loved the romance! Mainly because it was best friends turned lovers. My rating would be 9/10.
This was probably my first sageuk. It was so funny! I loved the story and the characters! My favorite part was the musical numbers by the three village girls. Siwon was great! And I loved Hyang Dan! The drama was sort of slow but definitely worth a watch! Chun Hyang and her mother were really fun characters and overall I enjoyed the drama a lot! My rating is 9/10.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Best of 2014~Dramas

I know I'm a bit late. I didn't get time to write this post until now. I watched a lot of dramas this year, especially ones that aired in 2014. I'm going to break up the list in different parts and tell you my favorites in each part. I've added ones that aired in previous years but I watched this year too because a lot of the dramas this year were meh and the ones I loved deserve to be added.

Best Action & Suspense Dramas

Probably the best drama I watched this year. It had great acting, a suspenseful story and masterful directing! It was full of action and suspense and most episodes had me on the edge of my seat. The mystery was great and the cast was one of the best I've ever seen. Everyone played their roles flawlessly and brought these characters to life. A must-watch for anyone who enjoys action & suspense. Read my review here.
Wow! This drama was nothing like I expected. It was amazing and so twisted but in a good way. It was so engaging and really thought-provoking. The cast was awesome, especially Shin Sung Rok! This guy plays creepy, evil so well! It was a really good drama and you never see the plot twists coming. You can read my full review here.

Best Melodrama
This is the only melodrama I have seen. Like ever. I don't really like melos much. But this one was mind-blowingly good! It was a bit slow, yes, but the cinematography, direction, writing, acting, everything was so amazing! Especially the chemistry between the leads! Highly recommended for someone who wants to watch a more mature drama.

Best Romantic Comedies
This was such a cute and funny drama! I laughed out loud plenty of times and I fell in love with these characters! The actors did a great job. It got a bit boring towards the end but it's worth a watch. A great rom-com! Read my review here.
I know this is a 2013 drama but I watched it this year. I can't believe I waited so long to watch this! This drama was really good! I loved the supernatural element and the romance. It has a great story and an awesome cast! So Ji Sub <3 My review.
I know this one is old too but I watched it this year and it's one of the best dramas I have ever watched! I hardly ship couples much but Kim Boong Do and Choi Hee Jin were so adorable together!!! Ji Hyun Woo & Yoo In Na had great chemistry! And this drama had an awesome story! You can read my review here.

Best Mini Dramas

Be Arrogant was such a fun drama! It had womance and girl power and I loved the story and the acting! It was really well-made and executed. Read my review here.
This drama was so funny! And Sungyeol was amazing in this drama! It was really a fun watch and I loved every minute of it! You can read my full review here.
This was probably my first sageuk. It was nothing like I expected though. It was so funny and I loved all the actors and their characters! Especially the main couple. The story was great and those singing village girls were the best part!

Best Couples

One of my all-time favorite couples! These two were so amazing! They had great chemistry and convinced me of their love. They were cute and adorable but also hot and sexy and I loved them together!

The actors as well as the characters have an almost 20 year age difference. But these two proved that age is just a number. These two actors had such great chemistry and their characters' love was so sweet but so intense! 

Even though this wasn't the main couple of the drama they were so cute together! I really wanted them to end up together, they were perfect for each other! I wish I could have written the ending of this drama... Read my review of the drama here.

Best Actors
This was the year of Shin Sung Rok! No seariously, I've never seen anyone play twisted, psycho villains so well! He was amazing and so creepy in both YWCFTS and Liar Game and I enjoyed his characters more than I enjoyed the leads. He is doing an awesome job in The King's Face as well. He has made it onto my all-time favorite actors list and I would love to see what he does in the future!
I liked Park Hae Jin in YWCFTS but I fell in love with him as the hot psychopath Lee Jung Moon in Bad Guys! He did such an amazing job in Bad Guys! I didn't expect him to be this good but he really gave a mind-blowing performance and I fell in love with his character!

I haven't seen Yoo Ah In in anything else but I will definitely be checking out more of his works. He was amazing in Secret Love Affair! He played his character so naturally.
I have seen almost everything Seo In Guk has done and it is no secret that I think he is an amazing actor. He was great in Master's Sun but I absolutely loved him in High School King! He played his character as a high school student so well!

Best Actresses

I've only seen Han Groo in Marriage, Not Dating but I loved her in this drama! She played a difficult character but she made her character so likable! She was funny and believable and I fell in love with her!
I love Yoo In Na! She's one of my all-time favorite actresses! And I absolutely loved her in Queen In Hyun's Man! She is gorgeous and a really good actress. I love how she plays strong, independent characters. She was also amazing in My Secret Hotel even if the drama was a train-wreck.

I was pleasantly surprised by Jo Bo Ah's performance in Surplus Princess! I've seen her in Shut Up Flower Boy Band and she was okay in that but she did an amazing job in Surplus Princess! She played her character so well! She was funny and adorable and I loved her performance!

This ahjumma is gorgeous! Does she look like she is 47? Yes, 47! But not only is she stunning, she is also an amazing actress and I was highly impressed by her performance in SLA!

Best OSTs
The drama was meh but the songs were simply amazing! If only the drama was as good as the songs. I loved each and every song on the My Secret Hotel OST, especially Secret and Trap. All songs are beautiful!
The songs of Marriage, Not Dating OST were so fun and bubbly. Just like the drama and it's characters. My favorites were Love Lane, Call My Name & Stop The Love Now. They never fail to bring a smile to my face.

The songs in Queen In Hyun's Man are beautiful and amazing, even the instrumentals. They are soulful and I love listening to them. My favorites are I'm Going To Meet You, Same Sky Different Time and the instrumental My Man Kim Boong Do.

Honorable Mentions

I really loved the cast of Bad Guys, excluding Kang Ye Won. I already wrote how Park Hae Jin played psychopath Lee Jung Moon so well that you can't help but sympathize with him even though there is a possibility that he might be a serial killer. Jo Dong Hyuk was amazing as Jung Tae Soo! He was charismatic but a total sweetheart and I just loved him! Ma Dong Suk played Park Woong Chul so well! He was a big adorable teddy bear! Kinda weird I'm talking like this about criminals. But seriously, the actors did an awesome job and made these characters likable. And then there's my favorite ahjussi Kim Saang Joong playing Oh Gu Tak. He was amazing! And I loved the bromance between these 4 men!

I'm a pre-med student and hopefully some day I'll be a doctor. I kinda want a boss like Gook Cheon Soo. He is strict, yes, but he is also nice. That being said, Lee Pil Mo was amazing as Chief Gook! I really enjoyed his acting and character. And if I want Chief Gook as my boss, I want to be like Shim Ji Hye. Not only is she gorgeous but she is so cool! And Chief Gook and Doctor Shim were adorable together!

I kinda have a crush on Lee Soo Hyuk... What?! He's gorgeous! And he was amazing in High School King of Savvy! And I'm loving him even more in Valid Love! Gotta love it when he plays broken bad boy! 

I was pleasantly surprised with both Jin Woon's and Sun Hwa's performance in Marriage, Not Dating. Even though they were idols they did a really good job and played their characters really well! I loved these two!

I love Song Jae Rim! I love his voice and accent! I love his face! I love how he is so adorkable and funny! I loved loved loved him as Kwon Shi Kyung in Surplus Princess! And I am love love loving him in We Got Married with Kim Soo Eun! Yeah, I love Song Jae Rim.

Baby Gook is the cutest thing ever!!! And the best thing about Emergency Couple! He is ssooo adorable!! Throughout the second half of the drama I waited for his scenes. Actually, I may have watched the second half only for him. Seriously, he is the cutest baby ever!!

This ahjussi was awesome and so funny! I loved both of his characters, An Ma Nyeo in Surplus Princess & Kim Geum Bo in My Secret Hotel. 

Biggest Disappointments
I love Ji Hyun Woo, Shin Sung Rok & Jung Eun Ji. 3 of my favorite actors are the main cast of a drama. What could go wrong? Apparently a lot. This drama was a wreck from the start. I loved Eun Ji's performance! I even loved Shin Sung Rok as something other than a psycho villain. But Ji Hyun Woo was a mess! Not only was his character lame, his acting was very poor. The story was stupid and boring. And Eun Ji & Hyun Woo had zero chemistry. So this drama was a huge disappointment. Read my review here.
Again, I love Rain, I love Krystal, I love L, I even like Kim Jin Woo! But what was with the musical dramas this year? Like Trot Lovers, My Lovely Girl was a huge disappointment! Rain was good but his character wasn't well-written. Krystal's acting was bland and L's acting was awkward. The story was extremely boring and by the end I was struggling to finish to. You can read my full review here.
I really wish this drama were as good as it's OST! I loved the premise but I don't know what the writers were thinking. They made this into this boring cycle of miscommunications and the characters were so frustrating! This drama could have been so good...

I'll tell you a secret. I didn't like this drama. I didn't even finish it. It was way too cheesy for my taste. I loved it in the beginning but soon the cute got boring. The melodrama was stupid. And I really couldn't make myself go through to the end.
This drama could have been a cute high school drama but it turned into this wannabe mello in which every episode had someone crying and me rolling my eyes and wanting to kill these characters. Seriously, I loved this drama like crazy in the beginning! But it turned into such a mess that I'm angry just thinking about it! You can read my full review here.

And that's my 2014 in dramas. Which dramas did you watch and loved? Comment below!
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