Friday, December 30, 2011

Flower Net by Lisa See

Synopsis from

In Flower Net, Lisa See rips the veil away from modern China -- its venerable culture, its teeming economy, its institutionalized cruelty -- and highlights the inextricable link between China's fortunes and America's. This is a Gorky Park for our time, a complex, suspenseful, beautifully written novel in which a Chinese cop and an American attorney team up to uncover the deadly conspiracy of Chinese gangs, government and big business that lies behind a series of gory, high-profile murders.

In the depths of a Beijing winter, during the waning days of Deng Zioping's reign, the U.S. ambassador's son is found dead -- his body entombed in a frozen lake. Almost simultaneously, American officials find a ship adrift in the storm-churned waters off Southern California. No one is surprised to find the fetid hold crammed with hundreds of undocumented Chinese immigrants -- the latest cargo in the Chinese mafia's burgeoning smuggling trade.

What does surprise U.S. District Attorney David Starke is his discovery that among the hapless refugees lies the corpse of a "Red Prince," the name given to a child of China's political elite.

The Chinese and American governments both suspect that the deaths are linked and, in an unprecedented move, they join forces to solve this cross-cultural crime. Stark heads for Beijing to team up with Liu Hulan, whose unorthodox methods are tolerated only because of her spectacular investigative abilities. Their investigation carries them (and the reader) into virtually every corner of today's China -- from the glitzy karaoke bars where the nation's new elite cut deals, to the labyrinthine hutongswhere working-class Chinese have lived and died for centuries.

Here is China as readers have never seen it: a surprisingly strange nation at once admirable and frightening. Here too is an utterly original story more taut and timely than anything else on the fiction shelves today.

My Comments:

This is not the first book of Inspector Liu by Lisa See that I have read. Am pleased to say that this book did not disappoint me.

The pace of the story is just fast enough without readers having to lost track what they are reading.

Love the chemistry that shows up in Inspector Liu and her ex-boyfriend David Stark. I like the way how their relationship was reveal slowly in the story.

Food for thought : is there really such thing as  elite group of Red Princes and Princess in China ?

Well, be it real or imaginary, it was a good read for me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For by Alexander Potter

For me this is a charming romantic comedy.

Do you ever wish for something without thinking? Maybe like when you go out of the house, you just wish the day be sunny and that the car would start properly?

Well, Heather Hamilton was forever wishing for things. Some she does consciously and some unconsciously. But luck doesn't seems to be on her side.

One day, things had gone pretty bad for her. She was drenched in rain when a gypsy peddler stopped her to sell he a lucky heather.  In order to get the gypsy woman off her back, she bought it.

And from that moment on, everything goes smoothly for her.

Cab stopped for her. She was able to find parking anytime she wish for.

The gorgeous man, James, that she had a crush for asked her out for a date. And he seems to be the Perfect Man that she had wish for. But how come even though things are perfect, she still feeling like somehow things are not complete?

And there is this handsome American came to rent a room at her flat.

I love this book. Reading it gives me a happy feeling.

The plot were smooth and light heart. Although the story does not have heavy emotional stuff, I find it not too sweet. Not like the plot is unbelievable.

I can see this book have good potential to be make into a romantic comedy. The character Heather and Gabe were fun and complement each other well.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter

Taylor Young had the perfect life. A loving husband and three gorgeous kids. She had her dream house which is the envy of the community. She is involve in her kids school activities and is viewed as the Super Mom. Everyone look up to her.However, nobody noticed that she is just a fragile woman underneath her perfect image.

Only one woman marred her perfect life...Martha Zinsser who is a self sufficient and confident lady.

Taylor thought this is her only problem till one day suddenly out of the blue her credit cards wouldn't work anymore and her husband suddenly on an "extended" business trip.

Then thing start crashing down on her. Those whom she thought were her friends avoided her like a plague. And unexpectedly, she received help from one corner which she had never expected...Martha Zinsser.

For me, this book is just okay. Nothing much outstanding about thing.

The plot and story were pretty much predictable.

However, it is commendable that the author managed to bring up the image of Taylor from a weak woman into a pretty determined woman in the end.

I didn't quite catch what character Taylor's husband is supposed to play in the story. In the beginning he was portray as strong and confident but at the ending he was something like a crying baby. or me the changes was not as convincing as the changes in Taylor. It could be due to the husband figure was not given enough space to expand.

Nevertheless, this book has been a good try. There is potential for development.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Third Circle By Amanda Quick

Synopsis at

Leona Hewitt, disguised in men formal evening clothes, has secretly made her way into Lord Delbridge's private museum to retrieve a relic stolen from her family. But someone else is in the dimly lit gallery on the same errand: a tall, blackcloaked man whose very voice is enough to cause her to fall into a trance.

Thaddeus Ware, a mesmerist with psychic gifts, is accustomed to fearful reactions from others' women, in particular. After all, a man who can control the minds of others could rob a lady of her virtue—completely unbeknownst to her. But Leona shows no trace of hysteria in his presence. A gifted crystal worker, she exerts a rather hypnotic power over the hypnotist himself. And she is determined to keep the coveted crystal they manage to recover by giving him the slip at a run-down London inn.

Thaddeus, on assignment for the Arcane Society, knows the menace Leona is courting by absconding with the crystal. A source of remarkable energy, it holds the potential for great destruction. Lord Delbridge has already killed to acquire the crystal, his key to membership in the elite, shadowy group known as the Third Circle. And, with the help of a ruthless hunter of preternatural skill—dubbed the Midnight Monster by the press Delbridge intends to find Leona. With the stolen crystal in their possession, the danger is only beginning.

My Comments

The beginning of this book was full of suspense and mystery. However, the suspense sizzled out for me in the middle of the book. 

For me the plot was rather predictable.

Sad to say, the Chemistry between the hero and heroine did not really spark off for me. I think it's my fault as I have read many of her romance. Guess, this one is not one of her best work.

However, I like the way she added super natural element into the story instead of the usual boy meets grl and they fell in love.

Overall, for me this book was okay. Good for light reading.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mr. Maybe by Jane Green

Synopsis at

To Libby Mason, Mr. Right has always meant Mr. Rich. A twenty-seven-year-old publicist, she’s barely able to afford her fashionable and fabulous lifestyle, and often has to foot the bill for dates with Struggling Writer Nick, a sexy but perpetually strapped-for-cash guy she’s dating (no commitments–really). So when Ed, Britain’s wealthiest but stodgiest bachelor, enters the picture, her idea of the fairy-tale romance is turned on its head. Libby soon finds herself weighing the advantages of Nick’s sexual prowess and tender heart against Ed’s luxurious lifestyle and unlimited retail therapy. But when the diamond shopping commences, Libby is forced to realize that the time for “maybe” is up.

Taking romantic comedy to a hip, sparkling new level, Mr. Maybe is a classic tale of what happens to one girl when her heart and her head aren’t looking for the same thing. With a laugh a minute and a heroine whose struggles in the dating jungle will remind you of your own, Mr. Maybe is a story that will leave you smitten

My Comments :

This is my first Jane Green book. Someone recommended this author name to me. I was unsure what to expect when I bought this. 

I find that the main character, Libby, is quite shallow. Nothing much outstanding about her. At times, I found myself irritated by her indecision.

For me it was just an okay type of read. Plot were pretty much predictable.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The House in Amalfi by Elizabeth Adler

This is the second Elizabeth Adler book that I have read. The first being "Sailing to Capri" given to me by Cleffairy which I had enjoyed very much.

The House in Amalfi tells the story of a widow, Lamour Harrington. Her husband had recently pass away in an unfortunate accident. To her she had lost the love of her life.

Her best friend did not want to see her ruin her life just like that and hence told her a devastating truth about her late husband.

Unable to find peace, Lamour decided to return to her childhood home in Italy. The home which she neglected since the mysterious disappearance of her father many years ago.

Her presence there opens up a lot of old wounds for the people there. There are some people who would not want her to be there nor poke around the past.

She acquired a hostile neighbour and also a suitor. But in this circumstances, can she find love?

This book is certainly has its charms. It describe a place where its Paradise. Wonderful sun, sea and sand. With an admirer or two. The scene was very serene. Good for those who wish for a little escapism.

The little mysterious plot about her father's disappearance also added a bit of suspense in the story.

What I dislike about his book is that she is flirting with both the father and the son at the same time which lower my opinion about Lamour.

Overall, it's an acceptable read for a quiet day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer

This is the 4th book in the series. It was a bit hard for me to read as this book is linked to the second book.

From what I gather Opal Koboi was the leader of an uprising in the second book. Opal was defeated by the LEPrecon Unit with the help of Artemis Fowl. But as she was captured, she faked a coma. Currently she was held in asylum.

Opal managed to escape without anyone noticing and planned revenge herself against all who had foiled her plans.

First to go was  Commander Root and Captain Holly Short. Captain Holly was framed for something that she did not do.

Meantime, continued on with his criminal ways after he and his bodyguard were mind wiped. He was trying to steal a famous painting. Unknown to him , he was being watched by his nemesis, Opal koboi.
 Captain Holly Short came to his rescue just in time.

Despite not being able to recall who is Captain Holly, both of them teamed up against Opal.

And at one point of time, Artemis and his bodyguard, Butler, regained their memory.

At the end of the story, Holly Short was so frustrated that she didn't something unpredictable.

Overall it's an enjoyable book. I love the part where Artemis was very optimistic of everything eventhough they were in dire circumstances.

I hope this book won't be turning into a romance in the following instalments as there seems to be some under current going on between Artemis and Captain Holly. Maybe I just read the clues wrong.

Frankly am amazed that Eion Colfer put codes under each page of the book. It must have taken a lot of hard work and attention. Kudos to him.

It's not easy to write a fantasy novel let alone with an added excitement for readers.

I am sure there are plenty of die hard fans for Artemis Fowls Series who are delighted to dechiper the codes. Hence I cheated and read up the translation of the codes in

Friday, December 16, 2011

Artemis Fowl : The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer

If I am not mistaken, this is the 3rd book of the series. Am quite pleased to say that despite missing book 2, I can still pretty much catch up with the story.

In this instalment, Artemis Fowl had invented device called C Cube that can do a million thing that current computer can;t do. If this device is released to the whole in general, the whole computer technology  industry now would be made obsolete.

He attempted to sell C Cube to Spiro a master criminal who also holds a very large share of the current world technology. Unfortunately, Spiro would not deal. Instead he took the C Cube by force. During the shoot out, Artemis trusty bodyguard whom he considered as his closest friend was mortally wounded.

Artemis had no choice but to seek help from the Underworld. And should come to his add but Captain Holly Short. But in order to gain the help he required, he has to make a hard bargain.

Like Book 1, this is an exciting and fast paced book. The plot were unpredictable hence keeping readers to their toes.

To me it's like reading Sherlock Holmes. At times I was unable to understand why he do a certain action for example agree to a mind wipe. But all will be revealed at the end of the book.

This books is not only about the action but also shows the importance of friendship and the bonus is that there is humor in the book. That is what I like best about it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Someone recommended this series to me a long time ago. Only recently did I purchase this as the price was right.

The story is about 12 years old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire and a boy genius devising a plan to increase his family fortune after the disappearance of his father. His mother was not in her right mind after his father disappeared.

Left alone, Artemis Fowl had become a master criminal.

Now he had devised a plan to capture the Leprechaun Gold. He doesn't know how much trouble he is in when he kidnapped a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. The whole force were out to take back what was theirs.

Hence in came the better of the magic and human wits.

Despite this book being targeted at young adults, I find myself enjoyed this book immensely.

The story is fast paced and exciting. Descriptions were vivid and colorful.

It's fun to learn that it's not your normal story. The fairyland here is similar to our world with laws and orders.

Yup, am giving this book a thumbs up.

By the way, there is a special code at the bottom of each page of the book if you care to try and decipher it but if you can't just login to and read the translation there.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story by Hanan Al-Shaykh

Synopsis at

My mother wrote this book. She did not want my voice; she wanted the beat of her own heart, her anxieties and laughter, her dreams and nightmares. She wanted her own voice. 

Brought up in poverty in a village in southern Lebanon, Kamila never had the opportunity to go to school, although she longed to. 

She was nine years old when she moved to Beirut and only eleven when her brothers tricked her into getting engaged to a man - her uncle, eighteen years her senior. Kamila was expected to be stone-bearing donkey - to live a domestic life. 

But it is the sounds, stories and imagery of poetry and films, and a beautiful boy called Muhammad, that fascinate Kamila. Muhammad is enchanted by her spirited and wily nature and they fall in love. 

Despite scratching, screaming, biting and crying, Kamila's battle against her arranged marriage is fruitless. At fourteen she is forced to marry and share her husband's bed. That night, her first daughter is conceived. 

Her second, Hanan, is born three years later. 

What follows is an incredible story of love and loss, tragedy, community and strength.Risking their lives Kamila and Muhammad continue to see each other in secret, sharing ideas, poetry and laughter. 

It takes eight years before Kamila can bring herself to divorce her husband, as to do so means abandoning her daughters. Evoking the dusty streets of Beirut and the fabric of life in Lebanon this is a remarkable and moving memoir about an extraordinary woman told with heartbreaking insight and raw honesty.

My Comment :

I bought this book from the Big Bad Wolf Warehouse Sale 2011. In fact, I bought this book twice. Guess I just fell in love with the cover.

However, I am glad to have bought this book coz to me it is a good book.

Many books that I have read, the woman involve are from Royal family or some rich family who are forced to marry a brute. However, this is the story of a woman from a poor family standing up for what she believe is right for her.

It's really amazing to read of her life journey. She is not a Saint but she have a good heart. There are time where she is ruthless in chasing her love. 

The book makes me feel like I can relate to what she had gone through. Despite all the heart break and tough life, she managed to create happiness for herself.

Don't say I didn't warn you. Better get ready a box of tissue paper when you start reading this book.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

12 Days: A Modern Twist on The Twelve Days of Christmas edited by Shelley Silas

Synopsis at

A modern twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," this collection of playful tales makes a perfect stocking stuffer.

"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…" From a partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming, here is a collection sure to please even the Scroogiest of readers. Taking the classic Christmas song as inspiration, these twelve stories from some of Britain’s finest contemporary writers are in turn playful, funny, poignant, suspenseful, and magical. No matter what you feel about the festive season, you will find stories here that will lift the spirit, warm the heart, and entertain.

My Comment :

As with most compilation of short stories, there are bound to be some stories which i like and some I don't really care about.

In this book, I found myself disliking many of the stories rather than liking them. On particular story that I like was Nine Ladies Dancing by Lauren Henderson

Some authors are born to write novel and not short stories. Maybe that's why when they write short stories, I find that the short are lacking in character and the unique charm which each of the author had when they write novel.

For me it's not a very Christmassy read.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom

Sorry, I have been silent for so long. It have been a very busy month. I have been busy going for book sales and whatnot. Grabbed a whole load of great books.

Have been reading average 4 to 5 books a week, so fast that I haven't had the time to post up any review.

This is one of the good books that I have pick up during one of the book hunting trip. This round it's from Bookalicious at Summit USJ .

What would you do if you are approach by your Rabbi,  Pastor, Priest or someone who is the Religion Leader of the community with a request to do his eulogy when he is gone?

That was what happen to Mitch Albom. He was request by the Rabbi. He decided in order to deliver the complete eulogy, he had to get to know of this old man more. At first he thought maybe it would takes 2 or 3 weeks to get to know him as a person but the weeks drag to months and then years. And pretty soon, friendship formed.

Simultaneously, the book also tell the story of another person. Henry Covington was introduced to Christ at a very tender age but again and again he fell away from the religious part. He become a thief, robber and a drug addict. How did he found his way back?

As Mitch understand more of these two men lives, he also understand more of himself.

I like this book but there are some parts which is hard to "process". Guess, ones have to have a calm mind to read this book.

This book promote religion tolerance. No mater what religion it is, all religion promotes goodness. It's men that twist and turn the thing.

Yes, I would certainly pick up this book again to read.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Secret Son by Laila Lalami

Synopsis from

Raised by his mother in a one-room house in the slums of Casablanca, Youssef El Mekki has always had big dreams of living another life in another world. Suddenly his dreams are within reach when he discovers that his father—whom he’d been led to believe was dead—is very much alive. A wealthy businessman, he seems eager to give his son a new start. Youssef leaves his mother behind to live a life of luxury, until a reversal of fortune sends him back to the streets and his childhood friends. Trapped once again by his class and painfully aware of the limitations of his prospects, he becomes easy prey for a fringe Islamic group.

In the spirit of The Inheritance of Loss and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Laila Lalami’s debut novel looks at the struggle for identity, the need for love and family, and the desperation that grips ordinary lives in a world divided by class, politics, and religion.

My Comments :

I feel very frustrated when I read this book. The character Youssef is such a shallow young man who would ditch his mother and friend just for an unknown father. A father who is even too ashamed and scared to acknowledge him.

The plot about the mother and son relationship and father and son relationship was pretty much predictable. Halfway through the book I could foreseen what would happen between them

I was rather put off by the terrorist theme. Feels that the author tries to create suspense in the novel but it's not successful for me. I feel like there are something missing. Like part of the novel have been chopped off. One day Youssef was very close to his friend then suddenly the thread broke off. There is no mention what happen to his friend which convert him into a terrorist. 

Am rating this book 2 stars as I love the way the author use her words. It's beautiful and easy to read.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Engaged To Die by Carolyn Hart

Virginia Neville is a rich widow who holds the purse string of late husband family. It's no surprise that there are no love lost between her and her step family. She had always declared that she would return her late husband fortune to the step children after her death but fate had other things planned for her.

She fell in love with a young artist, Jake O'Neill who is half her age. Just imagine their surprise when she told them that she will announce her engagement to Jake O'Neill in a gallery opening.

Unfortunately, on the night of the gala, something happened. A murder prevented the announcement.

Annie Darling is a Bookstore owner and she has an interest in solving the murder and help her young store Assistant, Chloe. She have to do it even though she is to come up against her beloved husband, Max.

I am always game for a good mystery story.

The plot kept the pages turning till the very end. The ending was so unexpected that I had to pause for a moment to think. It was a clever twist. 

If there is anymore of her book, i would certainly pick it up. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere

Gretchen Daniel with her two children, Emma and Ethan, moved into a new apartment building in Grandon to be nearer to her elderly divorce mom.

Just as they were settling down and unboxing, there was an unexpected knock on the door. The stranger was looking for her neighbour, Mellisa McCreary, is said to be Mellisa mother's Landlord. Unfortunately, Melissa was not around.  

In view of that, the Landlord left a message with Gretchen to inform Mellisa that her mother Ramona had pass away. Mellisa is expected to clear her mother's apartment. This makes Gretchen felt obliged to offer a helping hand in clearing the apartment.

When Melissa got the news, she was not tearful. Her relationship with her mother at its best can be said as rocky. She blames her mother for it. 

The apartment was like a disaster area. Most of the things in it were junk. Nothing of value exept for a few photographs and a note. It's just scribble with two lines. It was a real surprise for Melissa to find that she have siblings that she didn't know about.

This is an interesting book. It's being told in the voice of Gretchen and Melissa. At times, I feel rather irritated by Gretchen's interfering ways although she had meant kind and helpful.

The characters are well developed and love the plot. The unexpected twists in the plot kept me intrigue and kept the pages turning. 

It's a good gift for Christmas. Very heart warming. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuesday Child by Louise Bagshawe

This is one of the Chick-lit that I managed to grab from the previous BBWS.

Lucy Evan was a Tomboy and she was happy with her life. She had a great job as reviewer of video game magazine although it pays peanuts. She shares a flats with her best mate, Ollie. And they have been the best of mate since they met. They shared almost everything.

Then things came crashing down. Ollie came home from a date one day and told her that his girlfriend, Victoria, had proposed to him and he had accepted. That is the good news. The bad news is that Lucy had to move out from the flat since Ollie is getting married.

Things got worse when the magazine that Lucy was working for was sold off and she finds herself without a job and no place to stay. She does not have qualification for another job.

Ollie pulled some string and got her a receptionist job. The only hurdle she had to go through is to makeover herself from a Tomboy into an English.

This is where the annoying and "vicious" Victoria comes in. She is the the perfect image of feminine. Her mission is to "help" Lucy to makeover herself. Would Lucy manage to do that? It came not without a price. Victoria also took the change to warn her off Ollie.

Lucy found herself with a gorgeous boss, Todd, who seems to have feelings for her. He lavished her with many splendid things. Branded clothes, lavish dining, great big rent free penthouse to name a few. But can Lucy accept him as her boyfriend and will Lucy chance who she is to be with Todd. Will her friendship with Ollie end just like that? 

I find that this one is a delightful read. The characters are well developed. The innocent ones are are pure a white rose, the bad ones stick like a bad egg.

It's really amazing how the events and things fell in place so comfortably.

There was also a rather unexpected ending in this book.

I noticed that there is a discrepancy in page 360 and page 428 whereby for the same scene, the former was said done by Melissa and the latter was done by Buffy.

It's a fun read if you happens to be down.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Running Away From Richard by Chris Manby

Chris Manby's "Running Away From Richard", is the Book 2 of the Lizzie Jordan series.

The story is about Lizzie Jordan who just graduated from drama school. She is looking forward to a glittering career and hopes to be Mrs Richard Adams. She have been living with her artist boyfriend, Richard for four years and she know that he is going to propose soon.

Her best friend, Mary is getting married and Lizzie is to be her Chief Bridesmaids. Then a week before the wedding Richard threw Lizzie a bomb. He broke up with her and kick her out from the flat which they shared. Lizzie was devastated but harbor hopes that Richard would come back to her.

Lizzie moved back in with her parents. But a month later, she finds herself in Los Angeles because she can't stand her brother's patronising tone. She though she can have a new beginning in L.A but life have other plans for her.

She found herself in a cockroach infested  house with her ex-housemate Fat Joe who had turned from a he into a she. Sharing the house with them is Brandi, an optimistic wannabe actress. Lizzie found herself with not much money and had to work in a notorious transvestite bar.

She was offered a job by the hottest gay Hollywood director; not in movie but to act as his fiancee to deceive his mother.

I find that this is just an average read.

First half of the book is dedicated to the sobs story on how Lizzie moping after Richard. Most of her friends saw through Richard and yet she still won't give up. It was really pathetic.

But thank goodness the second half of the book was saved by introducing some colourful supporting characters like Fat Joe, Brandi, Eric and Eric's mother.

Things could have been improve with less whining from Lizzie about Richard. It's just so irritating when it was repeatedly hammer into my brain that Lizzie still holds feelings towards Richard. Plot was rather predictable .

I have read several of Chris Manby books and for me this is not one of her better works.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Confessions of A Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Synopsis from

After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her level of Austen mania has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperons, condom-less seducers, and marriages of convenience.

This looking-glass Austen world is not without its charms, however. There are journeys to Bath and London, balls in the Assembly Rooms, and the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who may not be a familiar species of philanderer after all. But when Courtney’s borrowed brain serves up memories that are not her own, the ultimate identity crisis ensues. Will she ever get her real life back, and does she even want to?

My Comment:

When I buy this book I was  expecting it to be adventurous. Why not? After all the main character time travelled and have the chance the experience life in that era. There should be some fun in it. Instead I find that there is too much whining in here for my liking. Not much of romance as in normal Jane Austen novels. 

Some things does not makes sense to me. Courtney is said to be an addict of Jane Austen's novels and whenever she is unhappy, she will bury herself in the novel. If this is so, wouldn't her character be more tune down when she suddenly found herself back in time instead of hype up on what they don;t have there like makeup and a daily bath? A true Jane Austen addict would know what to expect in that era. Wouldn't she be enjoying the scene there or in the very least exploring instead of lamenting about her old  life which in the first place nothing to shout about?

This book have potential if only more mystery and a bit more suspense were added into it. Good job in portraying the hygiene during  that era. Just imagine it..not taking bath daily. Yuck. 

This is only my personal opinion. Others have read it and liked it. Have a try. Maybe you will like it.

News Flash! The Big Bad Wolf Book Aftermath Sale 2011

Just saw this announcement in The Big Bad Wolf Books Facebook.

"Minions! This is the announcement you've been waiting for. The Big Bad Wolf Book Aftermath Sale begins 24-28 November 2011!

We are selling the remainder of our books at the Big Bad Wolf Aftermath Sale! Some are damaged, dented or in less-than-perfect condition. But EVERY REMAINING BOOK MUST GO.

If you missed us at MAEPS, THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE at a Big Bad Wolf Book! After the sale, you may never see these books ever again. Spread the news to friends and family, before your treasured reads are all snapped up. Numbers--and time--are limited. Will you accept the challenge to snag these remainders in the aftermath?

As for the prices...we'll be announcing them after lunch. Stay alert!"
Check out their Facebook at for further developments

Updates !

Venue : South City Plaza, Seri Kembangan

Time : 10am - 9pm

Price Range : RM5 or LESS

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Late For Tea At The Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi

Synopsis from

A lyrical, haunting, multi-generational memoir of one family’s tempestuous century in Iraq from 1900 to the present.

The Chalabis are one of the oldest and most prominent families in Iraq. For centuries they have occupied positions of honour and responsibility, loyally serving first the Ottoman Empire and, later, the national government.

In ‘Late for Tea at the Deer Palace’, Tamara Chalabi explores the dramatic story of her extraordinary family’s history in this beautiful, passionate and troubled land. From the grand opulence of her great-grandfather’s house and the birth of the modern state, through to the elegant Iraq of her grandmother Bibi, who lived the life of a queen in Baghdad, and finally to her own story, that of the ex-pat daughter of a family in exile, Chalabi takes us on an unforgettable and eye-opening journey.

This is the story of a lost homeland, whose turbulent transformations over the twentieth century left gaping wounds at the hearts not only of the family it exiled, but also of the elegant, sophisticated world it once represented. When Tamara visited her once-beautiful ancestral land for the first time in 2003, she found a country she didn’t recognize – and a nation on the brink of a terrifying and uncertain new beginning.

Lyrical and unique, this exquisite multi-generational memoir brings together east and west, the poetic and the political as it brings to life a land of beauty and grace that has been all but lost behind recent headlines

My Comments :

At the beginning it was hard for me to start reading this book. However, once I got the hang of it; it was good.

I like the way it was presented with photographs peppered at the relevant section of the book.A photo worth a thousand words? 

Not much problem for me to follow in on what described there. Their culture and customs. I can imagine Bibi's worries about her marriage and the ability of giving birth to a male heir.

However, there are parts where I find the book was a bit slow and dragging. Too lenghty description of the politics and stuffs like that. If only the book could be edited down by 100 pages or so, it would be an enjoyable read. Guess, can't do so coz this is history of the family. The flow would not be there if some of the events was edited out.

I feel sorry for Bibi for it took a long time before she could "get back" to her homeland.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry

Synopsis at

A novel for those who loved Behind the Scenes at the Museum, The Poisonwood Bible and The Lovely Bones.

Raped then murdered in Japanese occupied Hong Kong, 1942, Lin Shui's 'Hungry Ghost' clings tenaciously to life. Holing up in a hospital morgue, destined to become a school, just in time she finds a host off whom to feed. 

It is 12-year-old Alice Safford, the deeply-troubled daughter of a leading figure in government. The parasitic ghost follows her to her home on the Peak. 

There, the lethal mix of the two, embroiled in the family's web of dark secrets and desperate lies, unleashes chaos. All this unfolds against a background of colonial unrest, riots, extremes of weather and the countdown to the return of the colony to China. 

As successive tragedies engulf Alice, her ghostly entourage swells alarmingly. She flees to England, then France, in a bid to escape the past, only to find her portable 'Hungry Ghosts' have accompanied her. It seems the peace she longs for is to prove far more elusive that she could ever have imagined.

The Hungy Ghosts is a remarkable tour-de-force of the imagination, full of instantly memorable characters whose lives intermesh and boil over in a cauldron of domestic mayhem, unleashing unworldly spirits into the troubled air.

My Comments:

I  was expecting the usual Asian ghost haunting story. Oh boy...I was wrong. This is the story of Alice instead of the ghost Lin Shui.

Not much were written about how the ghosts makes Alice life miserable. It was mentioned bits here and there of things smashing down and stuffs like that which Alice's family took it as her fault

I find that the story was rather dragging and rather depressing to see how Alice's mother hated her. And how her siblings have problems of their own. Too much depressing things without a hint of light gets me down.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Amazing Grace by Tara FT Sering

Grace is desperate to be married and she was delighted when Mike asked her to marry him though the impression that I have of her is that she wants to marry for the sake of getting marry.

Mike is moving to overseas to work. The long distance relationship did not go well. Grace was going to surprise Mike with a visit but she had a nasty shock when she saw Miken had taken up again with his old flame.

She was determine to get him back. She dragged her chums to chase Mike over 3 countries in order to have him back.

I find that the plot of this book is very simple and predictable. The characters are pretty much shallow. There is nothing amazing about Grace

This is only my opinion. Others may find that they will like this book. Have a try and see.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Undercover Tai Tai by Maya O Calica

First thing to remember when reading this book is to throw logic to the wind and you will enjoy it more.

The story is about Amanda who is having a dead end sort of live in Singapore. Her job sucks and even her housemates can't recall her name.

Agent Brian is an officer who bakes when he is depressed and he was depressed coz his girlfriend left him for another guy.

His Boss came to him and gave him 48 hours to find a partner in order to solve the mystery of the missing rich widow, Jasmine, who is the widow of a rich man, Tony.

He some how managed to rope in Amanda , a civilian, who was his sparring partner in a self defence class to be the undercover agent. And a series of funny incidents happen

As I have said earlier, this novel is not that logical. However, it have moments of fun.

It's not logic that Singapore Police would use dubious method to force a civilian to help them especially in undercover job.

If I a rich and would wanna flee, I would have had the brain to create a new identity and squirrel all my asset to the new identity instead of waiting for the Police to freeze my asset.

If I am dead and my death is know to everyone, the Bankers surely would have frozen my asset long time ago. I have said there were some fun scene too. Love the way the author wrote about the blossoming romance of Brian and Amanda

You can try reading this as you might enjoy it thought I didn't

Monday, October 03, 2011

Tourist Trap by Emma Harrison

This is a book for young adult.

Cassandra Grace or better know by her friends and family as Cass is a responsible and level headed girl. Her home is in the country side. Nothing much happen there.

Her current aim is to teach as many student as possible on horse riding in order for her to have enough money for entrance fees to County Horse Riding Competition.

The prize is USD20K. If she won, she would have enough money for her living expenses in college.

Well, that was her aim until the "Invaders" came. That is the term where the country folks calls the people that come from the city for their summer vacation in their vacation home at the country side.

This year there was a big huha as rumours spread that the notorious Kent family is coming back to town.

Cass bumped in to the handsome Jared Kent when she was horse riding. Then things started to change. She started to neglect her duty, friends and family.

Is this a summer fling for Jared? Will she realised in time what she is doing to her friends and family? and what was the Kent notorious for in the past? Nobody in town wish to talk about it.

Overall, this is an average read. Plot was quite predictable.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Hermie, a Common Caterpillar by By Max Lucado

Hermie is a Caterpillar. Pretty much common except that the fact is he can talk to God!

Yup...whenever he and his friend Wormie feeling particularly down because they sees themselves as common, nothing special, ordinary; they would pray to God.They ponders why they not like others for example Antonio the mighty ant or pretty like the LadyBug

God answers their prayers patiently. He told them not to worry as He is not finish with them.

Well, no surprise there on what Hermie turned into in the end.

I find that this book is perfect for my 3 year old son and me. He is forever asking "why this...why that....why...why..why". At times, it gets to my nerves. After reading this book, I feel that I should be more patience with him.

Yes, this book teaches kids(and adults like me) to be more patience and put their trust in God. Somewhere along the line when kids grow up to be adult, we tend to forget to put our trust in God. This is a good reminder for us.

In my opinion, this book is a good way to prepare the kids to enter school life. When they goes to school, they are bound to be face with classmate who are prettier or richer or stronger or even learn faster than them. There will always be someone better than us but don't worry as God is not done with us yet. God have plans for us. If our kids believe in this then they will surely excel in whatever that they do.

I like this book. It's a good book to keep at home.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Friday, September 30, 2011

Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick

Lavinia Lake have a strong feeling since Tobias March burst into her little antiquities shop in Rome and insisted she and her niece to get away from the shop. He insisted that he was trying to save them as a gang was using the shop to exchange message.

She and her niece went back to England but as fate had it, Tobias March is not that easily banished from their life.

Lavinia was blackmailed by someone and she decided t find out who it is. That was how she bumped into Tobias March again over a corpse. They had to join forces in order to find the one who is holding the secret. And it leads to some very awkward situation for the two of them

I feel that this is not one of the author's better historical romance. The plot at the beginning of the novel was not that convincing as based on Lavinia's strong characteristic, it's quite impossible that she would listen tamely to Tobias and evacuate from the shop and never to go back there again especially her antiques and beloved books are still in the shop.

For me the romance level rated around 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

With a Delicate Air By Pearl S Buck

This is another great find from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme thanks to nylusmilk.

There are a total of 14 stories in this book which covers stories from the West and of the East as Pearl S Buck's trademark

In the story of "A Certain Star" a father found time and started to understand his own family.

While in "The Beauty" a wife went in search for her husband who strayed and met with the woman that had entertained her husband. The become friends.

Personally, I love "The Gift of Laughter" the most where a mother found herself face to face with the woman which her son loved.

It's also amusing to read "The engagement" which is about the couple faced with doubts whether they should get married or not.

My only regret is that I was unable to enjoy the last story, "Francesca" to the fullest last two pages were torn from the book.

Overall, this book is something different from the modern novels nowadays. I love it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany

The story is set in Cairo. It's something like the Chinese movie "The 72 Tenants". It's about this grand building which once was one of the grandest building in Cairo. The richest and famous people stayed there. That  is till the war changes everything.

The building started to be occupied by the high officers and their family. It's still grand but some people from the lower class moved on to the rooftop of the building. It was like two different world.

Among those staying in the building were an aging playboy, a gay editor of Le Caire, the ambitious son of the door keeper and the beautiful daughter of an old widow.

At first I was apprehensive whether to buy this book or not as I have another book "Chicago" which is written by the same author. Have tried reading that book but kept getting stuck in the first few pages. Maybe will return to it later on.

Anyway, I found that I like this book pretty much. Love the author's sense of humor and the corruption that he revealed in this book. Makes me wonder if the world is as corrupted as that. Nevermind the said, it was still fun to read about how the way things works over there.

This book makes me feel happy and yet a bit sad at how some of the things ended in the story.  The author is brilliant and able to draw readers to feel the emotions that the characters are feeling.

Overall I give it 4 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Asimov's Mysteries by Isaac Asimov

First of all, a big thank you to Nylusmilk for helping me to get this book from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme. Do check out their Facebook for the dates of the next book exchange.

People say "don't judge a book by it's cover". I'll say the same for this book. The cover maybe old and worn out but in it there are 13 terrific stories which captures ones imagination. Included was foreword and sometimes afterwords in nearly each story.

It's hard to write sci-fi let alone sci-fi with mysteries. It sure takes a lot of imagination and a lot of up todate science knowledge. But not matter how up todate ones is, there is always a danger on future event or discovery may mess up the plot of the story.

This is seen in the story of  "The Dying Night" where in the Afterword Isaac Asimov commented that the story was published in 1956 where Mercury was thought to keep one side always to the sun. The plot of the story was built on that. But later in 1965, Astronomers discovered that Mercury have a rotation period of about 54 days. Hence all side would be exposed to the sun at one time or another. Well, that does spoil the plot a bit but it does not affect the enjoyment of the story.

I particularly like "I'm in Marsport without Hilda" where Max had to solve settle a "problem" fast and get to the place of his female "friend" for a little good time. Another good one was "Obituary" where a domineering husband who wanted to be famous somehow got the chance to read his own Obituary".

Yes, this book is for keeps.

A Cry In The Jungle Bar by Robert Drewe

Synopsis from

Big, bullish Dick Cullen, light sleeper, former rugby star and present expert on water buffalo, is lumbering through his tour of duty with a UN agency in Asia. Totally out of his depth among his small, deft, knowing colleagues, he lurches sweatily from bar to bar across various tropical states of emergency. Only in the Nameless Nightclub does he realise it is just a matter of time before his nightmares become reality...

My Comments:

I have tried reading this book but can't seems to be able to connect with it.  Can't make the head or tails of it. 

Guess this book is just not for me.

This is just my personal opinion as not everyone will have the same opinion on this book. I have read through some review who give this book high rating. Maybe you can have a go at it and discover what a gem it is.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Sweet Dates in Basra by Jessica Jiji

Synopsis from

Just when her family should be arranging her marriage, Kathmiya Mahmoud, a young Marsh Arab maiden, is sent from her home in Iraq's idyllic countryside to the unfamiliar city of Basra, where she must survive on her paltry earnings as a servant. Her only asset her exquisite beauty brings more peril than peace. Worse, her mother appears to be keeping a secret about her own mysterious past, one that could threaten Kathmiya's destiny forever.

In this lost Iraq of the 1940s, a time of rich traditions and converging worlds, Kathmiya meets Shafiq, a Jewish boy whose brotherhood with his Muslim neighbor Omar proves that religion is no barrier to friendship. But in a world where loss of honor is punishable by death, the closeness that grows between Kathmiya and Shafiq becomes dangerous as a doomed love takes root. When British warplanes begin bombing Iraq and the country's long-simmering tensions explode, the power of an unbreakable boyhood bond and a transcendent love must overcome the deepening fractures of a collapsing society.

Set during the tumultuous years surrounding the Second World War, Sweet Dates in Basra is the redemptive story of two very different cultures, and a powerful reminder that no walls can confine the human spirit.

My Comments:

I finds that this books is very refreshing from the ones that I usually read. The story here is about young loves and the frustration in life where their love is forbidden.

Am quite surprised that the character, Kathmiya, is quite relax. No terrible torture nor gory involved. Hence, I find this to be a rather fun read. It might have spicy up the story if the hero and heroine got captured and was tortured till half dead. But most of the book about Iraq and Iran have things like that already. Now it had become too common. And at times it makes me feel depressed.

What was written in this book is mostly about Kathmiya emotional life. How she feel and stuffs like that. I can feel sad without being depressed about it.

I like how the author brought Kathmiya to life. Not only that she have her strenght but also portray her weaknesses.

However, there are still room for improvement. I hope I can get my hands on the author's first novel "Diamonds Takes Forever".

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Cherished, by Kim Cash Tate

Book Description from

How can she believe God cherishes her when she can't forgive herself?
Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her while she slept. She dreamed about Brian too, that the love they shared would be a forever kind of love. But choices she'll forever regret upended her hope . . . and turned her dreams to dust. When those dreams come knocking once more, she's forced to deal with the pain of the past.
Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control—first, an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band that left her devastated. Broken and alone, she cried out to the only One who can save her. And He did. But that's just the beginning, because now she must leave behind the only life she's ever known.
Two women with shame-filled pasts form an unlikely friendship. What does God's forgiveness look like for them? Will they ever believe that He loves them . . . and can still offer them a life where they are cherished?

My Comments :

The first thing that strikes my mind when I read the synopsis of the book was  "Yes, the story of these two young ladies lives  could have been true stories".

I discovered it was rather hard for me to start reading the story as I kept mix up who is who in this book. But after awhile, the story flows smoothly for me. 

Both Kelli and Heather had encountered personal set-back. Made some mistakes in their lives. They have regrets and had wish that they could turn back time but however, God have different thing installed for them

I am not perfect and I am prejudiced.  I can say that I don't sympathised with Heather much for having an affair with married man when I read the synopsis. But when I started to read the book, am amazed on how good Kim is in plotting out the story. It made me felt Heather's anguish and regrets.

After many years, both of them found ways to heal their pain and open their hearts to God. 

Even if this book is a work of fiction, it does gives hope. Hope that things will be fine in future and that no matter how dark today is, the sun will come out tomorrow and happy days will be back again.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Perfect Holiday by Cathy Kelly

Is there such thing as a Perfect Holiday? That is the title of the book. Well, the holidays of the three heroine were far from perfect.

Claire and Anthony went to this idyllic Greek island to see if they can savaged their marriage and if they can banish the demons that is haunting Anthony.

Jessica was recently widowed with two grown sons. Both were not living with her. She felt that she must do something to heal the emptiness inside of her. This is the first holiday which she took without her husband by her side. Hopefully she can start to heal and learn to live her life again

This holidays is one of Susie last girlie holiday getaway with her best friend, Chloe. Susie will getting married soon. They thought they have booked into a resort with a lot of night life and stuffs like that. Unfortunately, a mis-spelling had cause the dearly.

Things comes to the climax for each of them during their flight home. And by the time they landed, they learned what is important to them and what they most do next.

I like this book. It's a quick read with only 87 pages and the font were big.

But most important of all is that this book gives hope. Yes it did. It teaches that when bad things happen, we must take a step back and look into what is really important to us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughin and Nicola Kraus

I was hoping for a bit of light reading when I pick up this book. Unfortunately it's not.It's a rather thought provoking sort of book.

"Nanny" is a student struggling to graduate from NYU. She advertised her service as a nanny in order to support herself and to afford the tiny studio apartment which she shares with another.

She literally bumped into A Mrs X's little boy or rather the boy bumped into her. They chatted and that was how she become the nanny to Mrs X's little "monster".

As the story goes, Nanny and the oby grew fond of each other. However, the longer Nanny was with the Xes, the more she was drawn into their webs of lies and deceits.

It was a tense 9 months where Nanny tried to help the boy, to maintain her own integrity and also avoid to be drawn into the domestic squabbles of the Xes.

Sometimes it's really scary on how a book can mirror life so vividly. Time and time again, Nanny was used mercilessly by Mrs X. At first,  Nanny would just tried to accommodate her ridiculous requests and made sacrifices. However, Mrs X seems to have taken Nanny for granted.

The despicable Mrs X also likes to dangle a carrot in front of the horses nose.

I love the part near the ending where Nanny realised what a conniving lying ahem ahem Mrs X was. All the frustration and anger described in that part was what I felt after the evil scheme was revealed.

I guess all these things made this novel such a great success. It got innocence, greed, envy and totally wicked.

I like this book. Reading this makes me want to watch the movie.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano

Alice and Mattia are both "prime numbers" destine to be alone in their life. When they were just kids, something happen and it changed their life forever.

When they met each other in their teens, they knew that they are kindred spirit. It was so natural for them to tell each other the deep hidden secret of their soul which they never told anyone before.

As they grew older, their fate tied them together and yet it forced them apart.

It was very interesting to see how the story developed. Wondering if the two of them will ever get through the barrier and become a couple.

In this story, it's not the ending that counts, its the journey itself. I love the way the author unfolds each chapters of Alice and Mattia's life. The flash back were not too frequent that I would loose track of the story. It's a book well written

Then only downside is I don't really understand the symbolic meaning of the ending of this book.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Boy In The Dress By David Walliams

Thanks nylusmilk for passing this book for me to read.

It's about a boy, Dennis, who lives with his father and elder brother. Their mother left them. Both the father and brother were not good at hugging and stuffs that involves showing emotions. 

More often, Dennis, who misses his mom does things on his own.That is until he met Lisa, the notorious and most envied girl in the school. His life suddenly changed.

Nope, this is not a teenage love story. It have a hilarious and yet innocent feel to it. Some parts, I feel sad for Dennis and at others I can't help laughing at the predicaments that he got himself into.

At a glance, this seems to be a light weight sort of book. A book that you read just to pass time. Like a comic. However, I feel there is a deeper meaning/issue that the author was trying to project into this book. For example how we tend to hide our feelings and build a wall around us in order not to get hurt and that wall in turn become our jail instead of protecting us.

Yes, this is a good read

Friday, August 05, 2011

Death On The Nile by Agatha Christie

Guess ones could never go wrong with an Agatha Christie book. Death In Nile is no difference.

Linnet Doyle was a woman who have everything. She is beautiful, rich and married a handsome fella after a whirl wind romance. Unfortunately, on top of this..she also have plenty of enemies. 

She was on honeymoon cruise at the Nile when she was found death. Shot in the head. Who is the murderer and what is the motive? 

Fortunately, Hercule Poirot was also on board  to lend a hand or rather a head. Pardon the pun. 

I love this novel. What is not to like? Suspense , mystery, romance and everything under the stars being lump together.

Thank you very much to nylusmilk for passing this book to me.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Help Alyssa by Buying Book Titled "Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure" by B.K. Bostick

Recently I have been introduce to a kind hearted author by Cleffairy.He is none other than B.K. Bostick.

He is the author of "Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure" which is going to be launch soon

Here is the synopsis of the book taken from

When his grandfather dies, Huber Hill is devastated---until he opens Grandpa Nick's mysterious box. An old gold coin and directions to a hidden Spanish treasure send him and his friends off on an mind-blowing adventure, but he's not the only one on the hunt. Filled with dangerous animals and cryptic puzzles, this book will have you on the edge of your seat until the last page.

This is not a paid review nor have I received any ARC of this book. But I heard from Cleffairy, this book is great.

Anyway, reason that I write this post is because I have recently became a fan of B.K. Bostick in his fan page in FB.

Being the busybody that I am, of course I read some of the statues he posted in FB and last Friday he posted something about his incredible neighbour, Alyssa.

Alyssa was diagnosed with a Meningioma Brain Tumor on 5th December 2010 and the only way to get it out is by brain surgery.

B.K.Bostick had pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds from the sales of his new book ,"Huber Hill and the Dead Man's Treasure", from 1st to 16th October 2011, to Alyssa and her family. So, mark down these dates in your calender now! Help Alyssa and at the same time, you get to enjoy reading a great book.

And if can, do help to spread the words through your Facebook, Twitter and/or blogs about this fundraising.


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