Saturday, August 31, 2013

September 2013

This is something I will be very likely be doing monthly. This is basically housekeeping... I just like to compile a list of novels that are out each month and debate if I want to buy them or not, or should I get them from the library or beg borrow and steal for them... yeah you get the idea. But I thought you guys might like to see the list :) So basically each Monthly Wish List is books released this month that I am DYING/would really like to read. This list may include other stuff, and I'll talk about books I liked this month and maybe other stuff I liked :) 

*NOTE: synopses(the plural of synopsis, I looked it up because I started typing synopsises... heh) may be spoiler-y if you have not read previous books in that series. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. 

United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)
Book: United We Spy (Book #6 in the Gallagher Girls series)
Author: Ally Carter
Release Date: September 17th
Synopsis (as found on Goodreads): 

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.


The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)

Book: The Burning Sky (Book #1 in the Elemental Trilogy)
Author: Sherry Thomas
Release Date: September 17th
Synopsis (as found on Goodreads):

It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

*Another Side Note from Carmen: (you might be seeing a lot of these.. heh.)THE TRAILER JUST SOLD IT TO ME. I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS.

Thornhill (Hemlock, #2)
Book: Thornhill (Book #2 in the Hemlock series/trilogy)
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Released Date: September 10th (MY B-DAY :O)
Synopsis (as found on Goodreads):

Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

Antigoddess (Goddess War, #1)Book: Antigoddess (Book #1 in the Goddess War series)
Author: Kendare Blake
Released Date: September 10th (MY B-DAY AGAIN :O)
Synopsis (as found on Goodreads):

Old Gods never die…

Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.

Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 

These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 

Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 

Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.

The Goddess War is about to begin.

ScorchedBook: Scorched
Author: Mari Mancusi
Released Date: September 3rd
Synopsis (as found on Goodreads):

Don’t leave me here... It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise—her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it...

He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons. 

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head—a dragon that won’t be tamed.

August Obsessions: 
The Tiger Saga (Review will come. Emotional review.) 
Random Stuff:
Plant vs Zombie 2 (WHYYYY WON'T THEY DIE.)
Fruits Basket (Anime-will be doing a review of this when finished watching! SUPER ADORBS. :D) 

Things I Read/Saw in August That I Didn't Review (aka Carmen being lazy):
Siege and Storm (Book #2 in the Grisha series/trilogy) 
Blood-Kissed Sky (Book #2 in the Darkness Before Dawn series/trilogy) 
Goddess (Book #3 in the Starcrossed series/trilogy) 
All I Need (Book) 
Shadow Kiss (Book #3 in the Vampire Academy series)
Body and Soul (Book #3 in the Ghost and the Goth series/trilogy) 
Hemlock (Book #1 in the Hemlock series/trilogy)
Asunder (Book #2 in the Newsoul series/triogy) 
The Girl with the Iron Touch (Book #3 in the Steampunk Chronicles) 

Percy Jackson and the Sea Monsters (Movie) 
Whisper of the Heart (Movie- Ghibli!) 

Comment if you want to see a review on any of them :) 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Blast to the Past: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Welcome to Blast to the Past: a book I've read and reviewed on Goodreads in the past, and decided to post here for you to laugh at my hysterical reactions and fail writing skills. *Review is slightly different because I have the spoiler option on my Goodreads and I can't get it to work here... so no spoiler freak outs. Sorry. Anything in slashed text is a spoiler. 

Crewel (Crewel World, #1)
Book: Crewel (Book 1 in the Crewel World series)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Rating: 4/5 stars- unique and original but destroyed by romance.

Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of other’s destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls. Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

Mixed Feelings.

This book has a great, unique premise. People being able to weave time and matter? PUH-LEASE. When do you hear that premise in a book often? Pretty much never, since this is the only book I've coming across selling this premise. Plus, I heard so many great things about the book... I think it bumped my expectations... A little too high, because Crewel wasn't totally what I was expecting, and just missed the mark a little, because I think the hype that came from it brought the bar up way too high for me, and it missed that bar.

Let's start with writing and world building. HOLY SMOKES THIS AUTHOR CAN WRITE. The world built in Crewel feels very real, which is amusing because it's not real. I'm never confused about setting, and the world was unique and very... soild. No large chunks missing or anything. The writing is simple and effective, which is great, because when authors attempt to make it complicated, I feel like either they mess up, or they confuse me. This book will delivered solidly and effectively, which made it powerful and emphasized the story.

The plot. Personally, it lacked a wee bit of action for me, because I do love my dystopian with action. But fair enough, the plot was engaging enough, and I was never bored either, so I think it made for a good base for books further in the series. So is eliminates the chance of a second books curse somewhat, because I find that only happens when a first book comes on pretty strong. Since that's the case, I fully expect the second book to be a powerhouse of awesome in terms of plot. I felt the middle was somewhat slow, but my biggest problem was the ending. [ What. Like... Cool, so you uh leap out of Arras and into the Earth. Cool. So you just leave the big old fat mess happening up there and just bring along two guys for the ride. Yeah, so uh now I'm really expecting by at least like the third book you go back up there and fix Arras. I mean, the plot suggests you HAVE to. It feels like all those discoveries you made about Arras just kind of got pitched out the window, like : "Shoot, Arras is being run by idiots. Let's get everyone we love and ditch." I mean, OK..? Sure, but. I don't know, the logic in that plot is bothering me. But you know, first book and all, I can deal with it, I just hope it gets resolved. (hide spoiler)]

The thing that knocked off the star this book. The romance. And Adelice herself somewhat.

OK, let me just be clear: All three romance interests pissed me off. I kid you not, PISSED OFF. I could say one or two was OK... But they way the character was presented did NOT click with me.

Cormac: Uh. No explanation for this guy, you can tell he's downright creepy! Not to mention practically the villian in this story depending on the angle you look at.

Erik: His character just didn't click with me. I was convinced for ... The whole book minus 5 pages that he was a traitor. I can see how Gennifer tried to present him as charming, but it just didn't work. He just seemed too self assured and feels like he has that "I'm really actually very vulnerable underneath" WAY, WAY WAY TOO EMPHASIZED. I feel like his character was.. Trying too hard. Not good.

Jost: First, the name. But that's not a big deal with me. My concern: The fact that he's so cliche as a love interest- the sweet, "NO, I will never let you handle anything alone and I will protect you." vibe, and like angst clicheness when he's pissed off at her. DEAR GOD, NOTHING REFRESHING.

UGGGH. If the romance had not been such and integral part of the book, it would've been bearable, 4.5 stars, but it. Killed me.

Then Adelice. She's not weak, but the vibe I'm getting off her is not something I'm "feeling" right now. True, she does put up a fight, but she also seems to be kind of... Slow? She's not smart enough to be aware of her situations, and the dangers she's in, and she takes risks without think- too bold. Naive. Her character felt somewhat bold to me. She's just not a heroine I'm extremely connecting with right now. Not hating, but acceptable.

Crewel could've potentially been an amazing book, and it's not a bad book, but ultimately, I think the romance completely wiped out the book and I really really hope that the second book will do my original hopes of the amazingness of Crewel justice, because the premise/world of this book is so unique- I'm not ready to give up on it yet. I pray, pray that the second book will deliver. I do, however, encourage dystopian fans to take a whack at it. This book is an beautifully written, creative and unique book despite the romance, and it makes for a beautiful read.

P.S. I so do love the cover though. So gorgeous!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived (The Archived, #1)Book: The Archived (Book #1 in The Archived series)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Rating: 4.75/5 stars- chillingly dark and imaginative

Synopsis: (as found on Goodreads)

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.


Oh my goodness. What a deliciously dark yummy book. The idea is fresh and exciting, the characters deep and interesting, the plot tense and exhilarating.. wow. 

A library of the dead, a unique and original idea and Victoria Schwab pulled it off pretty brilliantly. 

What I really enjoyed about the writing of this novel is how there's the past memories that carries the present story. Mackenzie's memories of her and Da learning about how to be a Keeper help us understand a little bit of the current storyline and give it background and information. It was a fun way to add it in and reveal background information that doesn't like tell the audience outright in a really obvious lame manner. 

The plot is was great- dark and twisty, but not very mysterious. I wouldn't consider the plot of this story "predictable" in any way, but it didn't unfold like a mystery to me- there wasn't really any foreshadowing (that I caught anyways, I could have missed all of them to be fair) and each clue just came in and out and just slowly clicked into place until the final piece clicked and boom- the final picture finally makes sense. And the ending of that mystery was wrapped up pretty quick- I wanted a more action filled, butt-kicking situation. But that's probably just me, and plus it made me cry out anyways... (*tears remembering at what happened)

The characters- Mackenzie, the poor damaged soul, I loved watching her grow stronger and became more accepting of her fate as a Keeper, and the way her life was going to run. She was a great character to watch mature.

Wesley. OH MY. I haven't come across such a fun character for so long! He's possibly one of the few love interest that have actually caught my attention and made me totally die for scenes between him the main characters- I haven't come across new love interests like that for so long. I love how he and Mac's relationship in no way overrides the story and in fact, strengthens her character and makes his character so much more lovable. I would like to complain though that there wasn't NOT ENOUGH OF HIM. When you have a character like him, YOU MUST HAVE MORE. Like any other book, I wouldn't care, but MORE. MORE. PLLLLLEASE.

Overall, The Archived is a beautifully dark and vividly imagined novel, I'm excited for the next novel. (And more Wesley. Please tell me more Wesley.) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

K-Drama Review: City Hunter

*Note: my knowledge of Korean dramas is not the greatest, so if you're looking for someone who really knows what they're talking about- that is not me. I would like to recommend Dramabeans. They have episode recaps, and javabeans and girlfriday are just hilarious reviewers along with all the other reviewers. As for me, I just like to give my opinion and ramble about my thoughts. But there also other great reviewers out there who probably know more than me on this subject...

Drama: City Hunter  
Released: May 2011- July 2011
Network: SBS
# of episodes: 20

Synopsis: (As found on Wikipedia as Carmen couldn't find a synopsis that was not too short or too long.. sorry. #fail) 

In 1983, the South Korean president and his delegates are visiting Burma when a bomb planted by North Korean agents explodes, killing some high-ranking officials. This historical event is called the Rangoon bombing (also known as the Rangoon incident). To strike back, five South Korean officials plan a covert operation, codenamed "Operation Cleansweep," to enter North Korea and kill several top members of the North's high command. Lee Jin-pyo and Park Moo-yul, two Presidential Security Service bodyguards and best friends who were present at the bombing, organize a 21-man team for the mission. However, as the team wreaks havoc in Pyongyang, the five officials abort the plan to avoid an international crisis if the mission is discovered. Their major concern is that the United States will withdraw its nuclear protection if the mission is made public, in light of Seoul's official declaration that it will not retaliate.
The operation is successful, but as the troops swim out from Nampo to an ROK Navy submarine assigned for their extraction, snipers aboard the submarine open fire on them. An already injured Park sacrifices his life to save Lee. Lee swims back to shore and returns to South Korea, where he finds out that the assault team's service and personal records have been erased.
Vowing to avenge his fallen comrades, Jin-pyo kidnaps Moo-yul's infant son. He flees to the Golden Triangle to raise the child as his own and trains the boy intensively in combat. Following an attack on a village they are living in, Jin-pyo confesses his long-term plan for revenge to the child, Lee Yoon-sung.
Seven years later, after successfully finishing his college years and attaining a doctorate in the United States at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yoon-sung returns to South Korea to fulfill his adoptive father's plan for revenge. He enters the Blue House as an IT expert under the National Communication Network Team. He is warned by Jin-pyo not to trust anyone and never fall in love, as doing so will put the people around him in danger.
While working at the Blue House, the plot takes off after Yoon-sung meets bodyguard Kim Na-na. Eventually Na-na helps him to take revenge, as they discover that they have the same goal in mind. Problems occur as Jin-pyo's revenge plot unfolds, especially when Yoon-sung defies his surrogate father at several occasions as they try to identify and kill the officials, known as the "Council of Five."

First Kdrama review :)

Oh. My. Holy. Cheesecake. Goodness. What a ride.

Yoon-sung (played by Lee Min-ho) was a terrific protagonist to the story: a damaged soul, torn away and raised in secret, you can see his emotions and conflictions across the screen. His charaer was absolutely bad-ass yet very human, and not to mention it's Lee Min-ho. I MEAN HELLO HOTTIE. No shame to admit I've watched almost all of his dramas. (Boys Over Flowers, Personal Taste, gave up on Faith) 

Na Na (played by Park-Min-young) was in this way less than I would've like. MORE INTERACTION WITH YOON-SUNG PLEASE. But overall, her character supported the story well, and she brought a out a side to Yoon-sung that added dimension with his character.She felt almost the same as the character she played in Sungkyunkwan Scandal though.

Combined with the other supporting characters- Lee Jin-pyo, Kim Young-joo, etc, this makes for an exciting and tense plotline- ultimately the fight for justice and the removal of corruption from society and the revenge of the crime they've committed.

I'm happy the romance didn't take over the plot and it spur the story- the story was spurring the romance. However, it did slow it down a little halfway then picked up again. 

Also, I swear the writers love giving us heart attacks, because I swear EVERY episode ended with a cliffhanger that made me go "*gasp OMG AHHHH!!!" But the ending. MORRRE NOOO WHAT. 

There were sacrifices and just moments that like pulled at you, make your eyes go wide and just a one track emotional train wreck.

Overall- an intense emotionally gripping drama, with strong and interesting relationships and awseome fight chreography with some pretty good eye candy :P I walked away from City Hunter with a whirlwind of emotions and somewhat satisfied- I just wished we saw more ends tied up.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Web Series Review: Welcome to Sanditon

Web Series: Welcome to Sanditon 
Released: May 2013-August 2013
Episodes: 27 
Rating: 3/5 stars- Somewhat engaging in plot. 

Synopsis: (As found on the Welcome to Sanditon website)

Welcome To Sanditon is a modern multiplatform adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel “Sanditon.” 
The series was created by Jay Bushman and Margaret Dunlap, and is produced by the team that created the hit series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Welcome To Sanditon relocates the action from the English seaside to a California beach town, and replaces the novel’s protagonist with LBD’s Gigi Darcy.

Gigi has come to Sanditon, CA to run a beta demo of the Pemberley Digital Domino application. The residents of Sanditon have all been invited to join in the test, and discover how this “life-revealing” app performs.

Review: (may be a little spoiler-y)

I apologize if that was confusing. Let me make that simpler: Basically, Domino, the "life-revealing" app is an app people use to make video phone calls, videos, etc. And you basically are watching those videos and watching the drama unfold in Sanditon from start to finish. 

First web series review guys!! 

Now, I ADORED The Lizzie Bennet Diaries- they're what made me started watching web series in the first place. There is a little crossover from LBD, but it shouldn't be too confusing. But first of all: a disclaimer: I haven't read the actual novel Sanidton (yet), so maybe my comparisons could be unfair, but all in all, I think my opinions are all based off of things that don't quite relate to the novel. Also, about how closely related and tied in this series is to the actual novel, I have no clue. 

The Good: 

Gigi was brought back! I loved Gigi from LBD, and she again was a great protagonist to watch, although I felt like she wasn't shown enough or participated enough in the story line to actually be able to be the character we all know her to be from LBD. 

The way how different types of social media is included in this series is really amazing- it's innovative, creative and just really fun. It's also cool how they allow people to become a character in Sanditon and basically have a role in the story. 

Also, the ship name guys. TOO CUTE.

The Bad:

What I just said is pretty much the bad. The problem with allowing people to play a role in Sanditon where they can just upload a video of them pretending to be like a university student from Sanditon University, or like a grocery store owner is great- but not integrated in the storyline at all. If it actually mattered in the storyline, then that would be a different case. However, there are far too many episodes that showcase the fans role playing that do NOTHING to support the plot of the series. It's fun and exciting to those who get showcased on those videos, but those videos should not happen extremely often, or if they really want to, they should post these videos on a separate channel. This really annoyed the crap out me. I want a plot and a story that moves forward- sorry but I honestly don't care about a fake university that is not a part of the storyline. 

Also, a little too many Clara recipes. (The ice cream shop owner does ice cream recipe videos)  They are fun to watch, but a couple of them felt like fillers and somewhat useless to the plot. They do make you very hungry though. So good job for that!  

Overall, I enjoyed Welcome to Sanditon as the ending kind of picked up somewhat near the end, and they had the cutest ship name in this series! I wished that the plot moved faster and had a little more depth and interest in it, as nothing really dramatic actually happened, and I felt like Allison Paige (who played Gigi) was somewhat wasted in this series. I'm looking forward to her new series, Gloss, which I definitely review when it ends. :D

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An Introduction

Hello Internet, I've finally decided to join the the community of bloggers! *cue really lame applause

The truth is, I've tried this in the past and basically failed at it. BUT. I'm determined to try again! This time with changes and a little less commitment- I made blogging into something like a homework assignment to me, and that wasn't fun. This blog is going to be my hobby... So seriously just don't expect regular posts LOL. The perks of being a high school student: never knowing when you have free time and when you have a 5 pages assignment due. YAY.

Oh and I suck at using computers. Glad we got that out of the way.

But anyways on to the introduction part: my name is Carmen, I am a high school student in Canada (yes the land of polar bears and maple syrup, but no, I don't live in an igloo). I am amongst the many teenagers that have fangirling problems, and share their problem of fictional character obsession and having nerdy obsessions. *cheers from the crowd

So this blog is going to be a place where I can review the things I want to talk about, ramble about my obsessions, and basically for you to laugh at me not having a life. It's a very simple process.

Things I will quite possibly talk about:
(oh yeah also I'm a nerd: I use roman numerals to number stuff.)

i) Books (my LIFE)
ii) Korean Dramas. Or any Asian dramas. Due to my Asian heritage... I'm kinda grew up with these. My mother is just as big as a fan, and watching some of these dramas has also been some of my favourite memories that I share with my mom. :) I'm not a big TV show watcher.. Sorry to the Sherlock and Doctor Who fans!
iii) Animes. Much thanks to my dear friend who got me hooked on this. Now we can squeal over drawings together.
iv) Web series- because who doesn't have a YouTube obsession.
v) Other... stuff. Randomly. Movies?

Main focus will probably be on books because that is my main obsession. :D

Also other random obsessions: Paris, somewhat writing and going on walks with my dog.

As I am not the most active blogger on this planet, there are other ways to find me. I am always extreme active on my Goodreads account (which all you bookworm junkies out there know what I'm talking about) and if you are on Goodreads, shoot me a friend request (I accept all who have at least 30% or so in common with me) or follow me for updates- I always like to post status updates and thoughts about books. I also do reviews on Goodreads, so you can check that out. :) Link somewhere... on the side. :)

So now... I guess I'll go have some dinner. Ok bye.

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