Dec 25, 2010

On My Wishlist #1

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Click here to find out more.


I'm greedy...there are a lot of books on my wish list right now. But for the time being, I really wish to get my hands on a few books based on Arthurian legend.

"Here Lies Arthur" Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard - a traveler and spinner of tales. But Myrddin transforms her - into a lady goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all - and turn the leader of a raggle-taggle war-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.

"Queen of Camelot" On the night of Guinevere’s birth, a wise woman declares a prophecy of doom for the child: She will be gwenhwyfar, the white shadow, destined to betray her king, and be herself betrayed. Years pass, and Guinevere becomes a great beauty, riding free across Northern Wales on her beloved horse. She is entranced by the tales of the valorous Arthur, a courageous warrior who seems to Guinevere no mere man, but a legend. Then she finds herself betrothed to that same famous king, a hero who commands her willing devotion. Just as his knights and all his subjects, she falls under Arthur’s spell.

"Merlin's Harp" Among the towering trees of magical Avalon, where humans dare not tread, lives Niviene, daughter of the Lady of the Lake and apprentice to Merlin the mage. Her people, the Fey, are folk of the wood and avoid the violence and avarice of man. But the strife of King Arthur’s realm threatens even Avalon’s peace, and Merlin needs his apprentice to thwart the chaos devouring Camelot. And so Niviene will use her special talents to help save a kingdom, and discover the treachery of men and the beauty of love.

"The Road to Avalon" When the young Arthur is suddenly revealed as King Uther's heir, he discovers that Morgan, the beautiful girl he has grown up with and loves passionately, is his aunt and is forbidden to marry him. He is forced to marry Gwenhyfar for dynastic reasons, but his enduring love for Morgan sows the seeds of disaster.

Dec 22, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday #1

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week is 'Timeless' by Alexandra Monir, which will be released on January 11, 2011.

Description: When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

Dec 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays (Dec. 21)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted at Should Be Reading.

The objective is to open to a random page of your current reading and post two teaser sentences from anywhere on that page.

This week, my read is 'Last Sacrifice' by Richelle Mead. It is the 6th book in the Vampire Academy series.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. Now the law has finally caught up with Rose - for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch.

My teaser: Dimitri didnʹt acknowledge my comment. Instead, he grew pensive again. I could see turmoil behind his eyes, some inner war. (pg 165)

Dec 19, 2010

Review: Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon

Title: Pictures of Lily
Author: Paige Toon
Publication Year: 2010
Genre: Chick lit

Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn't have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can't forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart - and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.

My two cents: Chick lit is not really my cup of tea. If I be honest, this is the first time I ever finished a chick lit novel. People say not to judge a book by its cover but I picked up this book initially because I was attracted to its cover. It is just so beautiful I couldn't bring myself to put it down. I was delighted when I read the synopsis. I've always liked stories where the main characters are not supposed to love someone but they do anyway.

I've never read any of Paige Toon's previous writings, so I don't really know about her usual style. But this book is divided into two parts. For the first half of the book, it is about 16-year-old Lily who just arrived from London, England in Adelaide, Australia with her mom. There, staying with the man her mum met on the Internet, Michael and his son, Josh, she ended up accompanying Michael to the conservation park where he worked. It was at this conservation she first met Ben, who was 12 years older. As soon as Ben was introduced, I knew that he was the one Lily referred to in the prologue. Right after Ben left, the story moves to 10 years later where 26-year-old Lily was now living in Sydney and had a boyfriend of two years, Richard. Soon after Richard proposed to marry her, she was reunited with Ben who was now working in Sydney Zoo.

Lily's emotions are well described and though I never fell for an older guy when I was 16, I could totally feel the pain Lily had to go through and it was easy to understand why she was still hooked on Ben. If I have to be honest, I cannot help but feel that the second half of the book is quite rushed. I didn't get enough time to form my opinion on Richard before Ben was brought back into the picture. Surprisingly, I find Richard to be likable. But, I can't connect with him as much as I do with Ben. But then again, maybe this is purposely done.

The story follows not only the main character's life in two different cities but it also provides the readers with vivid description of the settings. The beauty of Adelaide is well described and I couldn't help but wish to be on the ferry Lily took everyday to commute in Sydney.

All in all, a pretty good read. An easy one too. It isn't hard to get into the story just as soon as the novel starts. I'm glad my first chick lit read was a pleasant one. The story is just as beautiful as the cover.

My verdict: 3.5/5

Review: Postcards from No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers

Title: Postcards from No Man's Land
Author: Aidan Chambers
Publication Year: 1999
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Jacon's plan is to go to Amsterdam to honor his grandfather who died during WW2. He expects to go, set flowers on his grandfather's tombstone, and explore the city. But nothing goes as planned. Jacob is not prepared for love - or to face question about his sexuality. Most of all, he is not prepared to hear what Geertrui, the woman who nursed his grandfather during the war, has to say about their relationship. Geertrui had always been known as Jacob's grandfather's kind and generous nurse. But it seems that in the midst of terrible danger, Geertrui and Jacob's grandfather's time together blossomed into something more than a girl caring for a wounded soldier.

My two cents: This novel is about two stories, one is that of the young Jacob in the present day Amsterdam (well, in 1995) and another of Geertrui in the war-stricken Oostorbeek in 1944. These two stories, separated by 50 years in time, are told interchangeably between chapters.

I'll be honest. For the first few chapters, it wasn't an easy read. It was rather confusing, all over the place and left me trying to figure out the connection between one sentence to another. But it was purposely written in that way...and as the book progressed, I found it became easier and easier to relate each character to the main stories. Life in time of war is told from Geertrui's perspective and it wasn't easy reading all she had to go through during the war. Somehow, it makes me realise how lucky I am to live somewhere where war is just a history. As for the modern day Amsterdam, it is told from the perspective of a visiting English teenager who is yet to discover himself. It shows us the cultures and customs of Dutch as well as an English boy's perspective on the city and its people.

Originally, I picked up this book because I wanted to read something about love during WW2. And, was I disappointed? I'd have to say, not at all. There is love, self-discovery and sacrifice all in one both stories of young Jacob and of young Geetrui. Though, if I had to choose between the two, I loved Geertrui's story a bit more. Her story was truly tragic yet beautiful. Her love for soldier Jacob and how she dealt with losing the people she loved to war are the aspects that touched me the most.

And I have to say, there's a lot of history in this book, from WW2 and its famous Anne Frank to Rembrandt to the history of the two families featured. Also, the book is full of philosophical quotes about life and memories. All in all, the author managed to intertwine the lives of two main characters, Jacob Todd and Geertrui in a very beautiful, clever and awesome sort of way.

At the back cover of the book, it is written "...teens may remember not only that they read it, but also where and when they read it." This is particularly true in my case. I still remember that I read most of this book while I was sitting in the food court of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre waiting for WCOA session for that particular day to end.

My words would never be enough to describe this book. Just go and pick it up whenever you have time. I believe it won't be a disappointment.

A few of my favourite quotes:

"You have to know your own truth and stick to it. And never despair. Never give up. There's always hope."

"Here is memory. For me now there is only memory. Memory and pain. All life is memory. Pain is of now, forgotten as soon as gone. But memory lives. And grows. And changes too."

"Events separate people quite as much as time and distance. What has happened to one in the absence of the other makes foreigners of them."

There are more but I can't seem to locate them now. Don't blame me for being too lazy to go through each chapter, it is 3.30 in the morning.

Note: According to the author, this book is a part of 'The Dance Sequence' which consisted of 6 books. But, it can be read as standalone.

My verdict: 5/5

Welcome to 'Candy Chapstick'

Some may be asking...'why such name?' Honestly, I don't even have an answer. It just came to me and I thought, 'hey, this should be the name of this blog. Who cares anyway, right?'

While my other blog is aimed at posting my personal experience and documentations of things I find interesting, I aim for this one to be a review blog, be it book, movie or music review.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...