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Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Sunday Post #31 + Stacking the Shelves #34

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This special post will provide a recap for posts that have been written for the week (August 26 - 31, 2013)





Stacking the Shelves is a meme first initiated by Tynga. This segment will showcase the books/galleys/ARCs we've acquired/purchased/borrowed for the whole month of August.

Fuse by Julianna Baggott
Crimson Frost by Jennifer Estep
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Sylo by D.J. MacHale
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Rush by Eve Silver
Stung by Bethany Wiggins
Skylark by Meagan Spooner
A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard
The Program by Suzanne Young
Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep
False Sight by Dan Krokos

Dianne of Oops! I Read Again's copy of Jay Kristoff's Kinslayer

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
The Salt God's Daughter by Ilie Ruby

Reboot by Amy Tintera
Icons by Margaret Stohl
Sylo by D.J. MacHale

Pinoy Book Tours - a copy of The Oathbreaker's Shadow
(Check out the review here)


When The World Was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach

Many thanks to Caroline Lambe of Strange Chemistry!


Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott


   Countdown by Michelle Rowen


Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

Huge, huge thank you to the Harlequin team x Netgalley!

Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

Thanks to Indie Inked x NetGalley!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Twins on Thursday: Prodigal by Rektok Ross

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: Prodigal
Author: Rektok Ross
Format Acquired: eBook
Publication Date: January 31, 2013
Publishing House: lc13 Books
ISBN: 9780988256811
Source of Copy: Sent for review by author


It was supposed to be Lexy Quinn's year.

The hard-working wallflower has finally landed the coveted spot as Editor of her school's newspaper. Then the rug is ripped out from under her when she finds out her mom is sick, and the family is moving half-way across the country to Preston Hills, Texas. Lexy can't think of a worse place to be than at a school full of snobby rich kids where she'll have to start all over to get people to notice her writing, or - who is she kidding? - notice her at all.

When the most swoon-worthy boy in town, who also happens to be the jock celebrity quarterback, gives her an exclusive interview, Lexy's life takes an unexpected turn. Ash Preston is the perfect guy, and even better, he sees Lexy as she wants to be seen. But can she trust him?

(Image, summary, and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Just when Lexy Quinn lands the most coveted job of newspaper editor in her school, her parents drop a bomb on her. Her mother's sick and they'll have to uproot to Preston Hills, Texas. Lexy's convinced that she'll once again be the dirt under every rich kid's shoe in Preston Hills, but when Ash Preston, the most popular guy in school, offers her his help in nabbing a spot at the school newspaper, Lexy may find that things are looking up. And just as much as she needs Ash in this confusing and terrible time, Ash might just need her as much.

Ross has created for herself a decent batch of characters. Lexy is determined, relatable and so very forgiving. She's got a few issues with her dad but they're both just trying to cope with her mother's sickness. Ash is the resident bad boy and heartbreaker, he's got his own fair share of issues and demons that get in the way of him having a stable relationship. He's managed to push away his friends and develop trust issues. The thing we liked about Ross' characters is how they don't fit a certain mold. The mean girl isn't just a mean girl, the brooding bad boy isn't just a jerk because he wants to be one or because it's ingrained in his system. 

The romance may have progressed a little bit too quickly for our taste but it wasn't that bad since Lexy and Ash are cute together - especially when Ash gets all jealous.

We were also caught quite off-guard that this was Christian fiction. It's not that we have anything against God or anything, but some books we've read that had God in it was just too preachy for our liking. Thankfully, Rektok Ross' Prodigal is anything but a YA version of a droning sermon from your local priest / pastor. The faith is applied in context, so the stuff on faith isn't exactly triggered by random events. 

We recommend this book to people who are on the lookout for an adorable story about love and finding your faith. But, as we said, its not preachy or anything so anyone on the lookout for a sweet, contemporary read, we do suggest that you pick this one up.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: That Time I Joined the Circus by J. J. Howard

Title: That Time I Joined the Circus
Author: J. J. Howard
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Publishing House: Point
ISBN: 9780545433815
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York city girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake - and facing a terrible tragedy - Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi's mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.

When Lexi arrives at her new three-ring reality, her mom isn't there... but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She also lucks into a spot as the circus's fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.

But then Lexi's ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it's Lexi's own future that's thrown into question.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


When the book basically promises you a grand time at the circus, you get excited. You wonder if there's gonna be some wild animals involved, and whether there would be a lot of drama going down in such a fun and exotic setting. But J.J. Howard's That Time I Joined the Circus isn't really more of what happens in the circus, per se.

When Lexi suddenly lost her dad to a traffic accident, she has nowhere to turn. The private school basically suspends her from getting an education, and she might have screwed things up with her friends when she hooks up with her best friend, Eli. Oh, and she's getting booted from the place she's staying at. Her best chance of survival is to find her estranged mom, and the rumor is that she was hanging with the circus. With nothing left to lose, Lexi then wanders into the circus and tries to figure out her part in the grand scheme of things.

Lexi would be the kind of protagonist I would love to push into the dung she shoveled when she first started out. She's whiny, almost always focuses on the ME! ME! ME! aspect, and plays the poor-little-old-me-boo-freaking-hoo card every chance she gets (Hoo boy, and can she play it.) Did I mention that she claims to "feel something" for every cute guy that catches her eye? Oh, and she lands the fortune teller gig, because girlfriend is of course, coincidence of coincidences, pretty good at reading tarot cards. She also judges people pretty harshly before she actually gets to know them, and I couldn't help but wish that she'd just keep her petty little observations to herself. The love interests were banal and predictable at best, and I'd just have to say that Lexi must have saved a country in her past life because the girl is so lucky that almost everything goes her way in the end. (Cue the endless rolling of eyes.)

If you're actually contemplating picking this book up for the circus aspect, you'd be disappointed. I often thought that the sequence of events were just so random and all over the place. If anything, this is a shot at a confusing (and annoyingly frustrating) teenage romance that just happens to take place around the circus. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick + Novel Nails #5

Title: Gorgeous
Author: Paul Rudnick
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publishing House: Scholastic Press
ISBN: 9780545464260
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Eighteen-year-old Becky Randle is an ordinary girl who receives an impossible offer. She meets Tom Kelly, the world's top designer, and he promises to create three dresses to transform her from a nothing-special girl into the Most Beautiful Woman Who Ever Lived.

Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he's producing a hidden camera show called World's Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she's remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself - an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness.

Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue and the new Hollywood darling. Then she meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And for that, there's not enough magic in the world.
(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I grew up in what some people would call a mobile home and what other, snobbier people might call a manufactured home, but I was always fine with calling it a trailer. That's right, I said I grew up in a trailer. F-ck you.
And just like that I fell hook, line, and sinker. Of course, I had my reservations at first. After reading that opening, I dramatically clutched the book to my chest and wailed, "But what if you become weird and incomprehensible as the novel goes on?!" And just as magical as the story itself, the book consoled me, "My dear girl, you must read on - or else you will never know!"

And read I did. Actually, no. I devoured it. My greedy eyes read faster than my mind could ever process, and before I knew it I was laughing out loud, and re-reading sections before I could even properly finish the book. There was no doubt about it. Paul Rudnick's Gorgeous is more than just gorgeous.

When Becky Randle's mother dies, leaving her with a calling card of some guy named Tom Kelly, never in her wildest dreams did Becky deign to think that that Tom was the Tom Kelly, fashion designer extraordinaire. Most surprising of all, is that Tom Kelly wants to transform cashier girl Register Associate cashier girl Becky into the Most Beautiful Woman Who Ever Lived for absolutely n-o-t-h-i-n-g (not even to lure her into becoming "a sex-slave hooker on some rich creep's yacht in Vietnam", which is what Becky thinks). And so Becky is transformed into the drop dead gorgeous Rebecca, and thrust into countless opportunities millions of girls over the world could only dream of. But physical beauty, as Becky realizes, can only go so far... especially when true love may be in sight.

I love Becky, but I bet you already knew that. I'd be hard-pressed to find a single character I did not love/like. I then present you another dilemma I'm facing: I also hate this book because every one of them - yes, every single one - I wanted to exist in real life. Even the obnoxious Tom Kelly, because let's face it, he's fabulous. I love what Rudnick has done with Becky's character development, and I adore that she's whip-smart and utterly deserves the life-changing experience. 

What I did have some reservations about, was the romance. Yes, I wanted Gregory and Becky to end up together, but there were times when I thought that their courtship just went too fast. Normally, I would dock points for the unrealistic pace of their romance, but I'm just too swept away with the book that I couldn't really bring myself to be bothered.

The narration, which is told from Becky/Rebecca's point-of-view is laugh-out-loud hilarious. When I was supposed to be doing other things, my eyes would inevitably wander to Gorgeous, so I had to put everything aside just so that I could "get over with it already", which is an admittedly lame excuse because at that time, I didn't want to let it out of my sight.

I do believe that this is one of 2013's best YA novels, and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a romantic comedy in book form, without all the cheesiness.


"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Hi guys, Michelle here for Novel Nails for the very first time! I got addicted to creating nail art in my sophomore year, but that interest soon waned, so I haven't really done nail art in a loooong time. You guys will just have to make do with my "skills". 

I actually had a hard time thinking of nail art for Paul Rudnick's Gorgeous. I wanted something classy - something that Becky and Gorgeous-inspired girls alike could wear with Tom Kelly's approval. While we all don't have a top designer who makes the most fabulous clothing and some of us may even have some clothing restrictions when it comes to work and school, I do think that you can get around that with a stunning red nail polish.

You just have to peek at your fingers and - aha, the world is in your hands, baby. Red is dangerous and alluring, and it does wonders to boost confidence. There is a red out there for everybody, and I believe that anyone could easily rock red nail polish.

These are some of my favorite reds. (Sorry for the blurry pic!)

From left to right: Dior Red Royalty, Deborah Lippmann It's Raining Men, China Glaze Poinsettia, Zoya Sookie, Chanel Cinema, NARS Jungle Red

My nails in Chanel Cinema (taken from my Instagram).

For more fashion, nail polish, travel, and book goodness, you can check out my Instagram (MichelleReadsYA)

Will you be rocking red nails any time soon? Tag us! #thetwinsread

Monday, August 26, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Dark Light by Sara Walsh

Title: The Dark Light
Author: Sara Walsh
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: August 28 2012
Publishing House: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781442434554
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


Mysterious lights have flickered above Crownsville for as long as Mia can remember. And as far as she's concerned, that's about the only interesting thing to happen in her small town.

That is, until Sol arrives. Mia's not one to fall for just any guy, but she can't get intense Sol - or the brilliant tattoo on his back - out of her mind.

Then Mia's brother goes missing. Mia's convinced that Sol knows more than he's sharing. But getting close to Sol mean reevaluating everything she once believed to be true. Because Sol's not who Mia thought he was - and neither is she.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Strange lights flicker over Mia's town and she's somehow convinced that they're related to the missing boys. Then Sol appears, he's the new guy in town with a strange tattoo on his back. The same tattoo that her brother has. When her brother goes missing, Mia's pretty sure Sol's got something to do with it, or at least has an inkling of the strange disappearances. She's now determined to do whatever it takes to bring her brother back home, like stepping into those strange flickering lights.

Speaking of strange lights - those lights send whoever calls them into another world that overlaps with ours. Its got magic and demons and other supernatural things that go bump in the night. This is the world that Mia enters when she steps into the light, right smack in the middle of an ongoing war between this evil magician and the king of their realm.

Mia is an unremarkable character. She's not very interesting and can be annoying sometimes. Running into the middle of things without any idea what she's doing? Yeah, that's a sure way to get yourself hurt. I mean she's obviously incapable of protecting herself in light of the fact that she can't wield weapons and has no fighting skills to speak of and she wants to siege the enemy castle/base? Right. I wasn't very fond of the way she pined after Sol too, I mean yes he's a pretty boy but that's just about all I got from him. I mean he's a warrior, he's part of a rebellion to overthrow an evil sorcerer and all but aside from that... Nothing. He's not very swoon-worthy.

Why didn't I enjoy the book? It's boring. And the characters didn't help either. There was too much information crammed into the story. So much was happening all at the same time and I'm not exactly sure why, or how, but the story was extremely slow paced despite all the things going on. 



Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Sunday Post #30

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This special post will provide a recap for posts that have been written for the week (August 19 - 25, 2013)



My net's still down because as it turns out, some idiots cut my telephone wire. As soon as my net's back, things will get back to normal. Promise. - Michelle

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Title: Reboot
Author: Amy Tintera
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: May 7 2013
Publishing House: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062287458
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


Five years ago, Wren Connolly died. After 178 minutes, she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, but also less emotional. The longer Reboots are under, the less human they are when they return - making Wren 178 the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, her favorite part of her job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worse she's ever seen.

As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically still human. His reflexes are too slow, and he's always asking pesky questions, and his ever present smile is freaking Wren out. And yet...he's still her newbie. When Callum falls short of Reboot standards, Wren is told to eliminate him.

But the perfect soldier is done taking orders.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


The longer time a person spends under or "dead" before they return, the deadlier they are. Wren Connolly is the deadliest, clocking in around 178 minutes. She's got a reputation and its no surprise both Reboots and humans alike give her a wide berth. Enter Callum Reyes, a 22, who's far too human, just a new Reboot up for training. He's impertinent and irreverent, too curious for his own good. When poor Callum is declared not up to par with standards, Wren is ordered to eliminate him. But Wren is starting to questions things - the Reboot system, the politics involved and the uncomfortable feelings Callum stirs when he's around.

I liked Wren as a heroine, she's human and yet at the same time she's not. Being 178 means she's the least emotional Reboot, the strongest, the most dangerous. Wren isn't exactly emotionless though and I loved being able to see her grow into her feelings and accept that she's not as cold as she initially thought, they're just buried deep down. It was like watching a robot given feelings trying to make sense of it all. She's a fierce fighter and very resilient and I couldn't help but fall in love with Wren's tough innocence. Her interaction with Callum was adorable. He's obviously intrigued by her and isn't afraid to show it - his incessant questions and digs at her were amusing. 

Callum is undeniably appealing, he's not like your usual male hero/love interest. He's not stoic, domineering, or alpha in any way. He's like a puppy, an adorable, cute little puppy who follows Wren around to get some scraps of attention. This doesn't mean he's a wuss though, he's got backbone. Just a little emotional and expected seeing as he's only a 22. 

There's never a dull moment in Reboot, it's fast paced and action packed. There's Wren's trouble with Callum combined with the strange experiments the humans are doing to the lower ranged Reboots; her roommate included. Add to that the fact that Wren's planning on hightailing it out of the Reboot compound - something which means certain death - all the while having to deal with rebels and a mystery Reboot sanctuary of sorts.

The reason im deducting a half star from its original rating is the ending. I mean yes, everything that has happened so far was building up to this moment but somehow it seemed too rushed, easy and a little bit anticlimatic all the while being a little too convenient for Wren and Callum. I'm not complaining and I would definitely recommend this to people who're looking for a sci-fi dystopian read that's fast-paced and easy to read. The endearing characters count too. 




[Blog Tour] MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch

Title: The Oathbreaker's Shadow
Author: Amy McCulloch
Format Acquired: ARC
Publication Date: June 6, 2013
Publishing House: Random House Children's Publishers 
ISBN: 9780857531810
Source of Copy: Blog tour


Fifteen-year-old Raim lives in a world where you tie a knot for every promise that you make Break that promise and you are scarred for life, and cast out into the desert.

Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one knows where it came from, and which promise of his it symbolizes, but he barely thinks about it at all - not since becoming the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the most important day of his life, when he binds his life to his best friend (and future king) Khareh, the string bursts into flames and sears a dark mark into his skin.

Scarred now as an oath-breaker, Raim has two options: run, or be killed.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Raim is on the run. What should have been the best day of his life became the worst when he unknowingly broke an oath marked by a simple bracelet around his wrist. Instead of being the Chief Yun to his best friend and future king Khareh, Raim is now regarded as one with the Chauk, people who didn't keep their promises - the lowest of the low in Raim's oath-important society. Marked for exile and ruin, Raim must find the answers he needs to save himself, and the people from a fate worse than breaking an oath. 

The Oathbreaker's Shadow is set in a hot environment that I could only envision only too easily. Granted that the country I live in may not prove to be as dusty and scorching as Raim's world, McCulloch is a genius at crafting a world where the reader might feel the need to turn up the air conditioning. Some descriptions are lush and vivid, which is why I am giving it three stars because I am, if anything, a sucker for detail. But while some areas are fine tuned, I did find some aspects of the book lacking and puzzling. 

Today's world where promises and oaths are taken lightly highly contrast the depiction of the importance of oaths and promises to Raim and his society. Oaths made before the age of sixteen don't account for much pain or consequences, on account of kids just being kids. Raim wasn't exactly the protagonist I had in mind when I started with The Oathbreaker's Shadow. Of course he has the mad skills to be a good fighter, but he's a little too bland and a little too girl-crazy for my liking. While he was supposedly on the quest to find some answers, I just thought that he kept deviating from his mission and focused too much entirely on the girl. I like it when romance springs from something interesting, but what I just get from the both of them is that they're teenagers, and they lack people their age around. I didn't feel any sort of spark between them, only that there had to be kissing. What I did like was Raim's relationship with Draikh, because they do evoke some really fun times together. On their own, well, not so much. 

As I said, some details may be lacking, and McCullock didn't actually explain a lot of the goings-on of the scenarios. They're not exactly cumbersome in the way that it actually bothered me though. What only really irked me was the flow of the book. Sure, it was entertaining, but I couldn't help but hope that it wouldn't keep readers hanging with a cliched end to book one. 

While lacking in some areas, Amy McCulloch's The Oathbreaker's Shadow spins an original tale about a society that above all else, cultivates dignity and honor. If you want to try something new, you can try to check if this one is right up your alley. 



Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Sunday Post #29

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This special post will provide a recap for posts that have been written for the week (August 12 - 18, 2013)



Hey guys, Michelle here. Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Things have been crazy, so we couldn't really post much stuff here. And on top of that, I currently have no broadband at home (Boo, PLDT!) so I have to rely on my mobile internet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Tidal by Amanda Hocking

Title: Tidal
Author: Amanda Hocking
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publishing House: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9781250008114
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Gemma and Harper Fisher are facing the fight of their lives. Gemma has been cursed with extraordinary powers that have a terrifying dark side, but she's finally found what she needs - a way to break the curse and become human again. However, finding the means to do it will be her greatest challenge yet. And now Penn, Lexi, and Thea - the gorgeous but deadly creatures who cursed her - are determined to kill her before she has a chance. Making matters worse, Penn has her sights set on Daniel - the guy Harper loves - and Penn always gets what she wants.

As Gemma and Harper race to break the curse before it's too late, they're thrust deeper into a mythical world of immortal secrets. They must delve into their enemies' past to find the answers they need, even if it means being drawn deeper into their savagely beautiful world. But one of the girls is not what she seems... and Gemma finds an unlikely ally as she struggles to save herself. Will it be enough to break an ancient curse that no one has ever escaped from alive?

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Tidal is the third book in the Watersong series. You can check out the review for Wake (Watersong  #1) here, and for Lullaby (Watersong #2), here.

Penn and the other sirens may have taken temporary residence in Capri, but that doesn't mean that Gemma is off the hook. In fact, Penn and Lexi are eager to get her out of the way and replace her with someone who actually can fulfill her duties as a siren. But what drew the sirens once more to the once sleepy town of Capri wasn't a possible substitute; it's the fact that there are actually two guys who are quite resistant to the lull of the watersong. With blackmail and deception threatening the people she holds dear, Gemma must quickly find a way to break the curse and save everyone who put their lives on the line for her.

Tidal is definitely my favorite from the series so far.  If I were bold enough, I really thought that the series would be taking a nosedive, given behind the seemingly weak reason behind the sirens' staying in Capri. (If anything I really thought it was just a flimsy excuse on Hocking's behalf so as to save Gemma from the evil girls.) So you can imagine my surprise when I unsuccessfully tried to put the book down again and again. Also, if you take a look at the covers - from a serene-looking Wake to a turbulent-looking Tidal - it's really quite amazing at how quick the books have turned darker and darker which each novel.

It is in this book, I think, that Gemma is finally taking charge of her whole situation. In Wake, while Gemma did think that she could had it all under control, she was still someone her sister had to coddle. In Lullaby, she has given in to her animalistic urges, and while she has matured a bit, it's nothing compared to the Gemma we meet in Tidal. Sure, people around her are still looking out for her, but this time around, Gemma's looking out for herself more as well. Sure, Harper's still looking to save Gemma from her siren-state, but Gemma's doing her own share of the tough work as well, especially since Harper's on her way to college and Gemma would rather die than be the reason she stays behind. The relationship between the sisters is really nice to read about, and I think it's a dynamic that you don't always see in Young Adult. In fact, I'd attribute it as a reason why the Watersong series works so well. I mean, aside from the fact that Harper and Daniel are adorable together.

Penn still manages to evoke strong feelings from me because she portrays the perfect antagonist - witchy, manipulative, selfish, and arrogant, but Tidal also shows a little bit (a really small piece) of what's left of her humanity as well. 

Tidal's pacing is as great as the previous books, and there are no sudden YA cliches thrown in just to confuse / prolong the series. It knows how to work with what it has, and that definitely earns points in my book. 

Fans of Amanda Hocking's Watersong trilogy will definitely love Tidal, and will have a hard time waiting for Elegy, the last in the series. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #4: The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan

Title: The Beautiful and the Cursed
Author: Page Morgan
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: May 14 2013
Publishing House: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780385743112
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and her younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city f Paris.

In Paris there are no grand balls, or glittering parties for Ingrid, and, disturbingly, the house her twin brother, Grayson, was sent ahead to secure for the family isn't a house at all. It's an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.

And Grayson is missing.

Yet no one seems worried about his whereabouts save for Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.

Ingrid is sure her twin isn't dead - she can feel it deep in her soul - but she knows he's in grave danger, and that it's up to her and Gabby to find him before all hope is lost.

The path to Grayson will be twisted, leading Ingrid to discover dark secrets and otherwordly truths that, once uncovered, can never again be buried.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I was on the lookout for something different when I came across this. I mean, gargoyles? I haven't read a book with gargoyles in it so I thought, yeah, why not?  

Moving to Paris in light of the scandal Ingrid caused, she finds herself stuck in an abbey which her brother secured for the family. To start anew, they said. No balls or parties, but what's worse is that Ingrid's brother is strangely missing and no one seems to care save Ingrid and her sister. Then there's the creepy gargoyle statues along the roof which Ingrid may or may not have seen move and Luc, a servant who is oddly antagonized by her presence. But those things don't matter, not when Grayson, brother and Ingrid's twin, is missing and it's up to her and her sister to find him.

The Beautiful and the Cursed is told in the alternating points of view of Ingrid, Luc and Gabby. Grayson's too, once in a while. What to say about the characters... for one, I wasn't too fond of Gabby. She's too quick to anger and can't keep her mouth shut and is at times childish and selfish, then there's that odd romance with that Scotsman which I find amusing, and not in a good way. Nolan, said Scotsman, seems to be too mature for Gabby and they just didn't fit, its like they were playing at a relationship. Her sister Ingrid I liked better. She's smart, determined and I was surprised at how well she took gargoyles into stride. Open-minded? Before I move on though, can I mention that she starts developing powers? Yeah. Superpowers. 

It's during Luc's point of view that I got to learn about the gargoyles. They're ugly, they hate demons, they have this uncanny urge to protect any and all humans that reside in their territory, they committed a heinous crime against a holy man during their life which turned them into gargoyles upon death. And lastly they are kept in check by the angels. Yes. There are angels and demons in this book too - tolerable because the angels don't make much of an appearance and demons... well, they just want to take over the world as usual. 

This book also features a love triangle. Ingrid and Luc, the handsome servant who turns into a gargoyle and Ingrid and Vander, the also handsome shop owner who also has powers and is part of that obscure group of people who help protect innocent people from those nasty, nasty demons. 

It's towards the end that things get messy; bad angels, bad demons, gargoyles, traitors, fight scenes and  kissing scenes abound. Things get a little confusing but the author somehow clears a little bit of it up. Hopefully the next book provides more answers. If you're looking for a paranormal read that's got no vampires or werewolves in it then maybe you'd like to check this one out. 



"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

Yes. Nicole again for Novel Nails. As you all can see, this week it's inspired by Page Morgan's The Beautiful and the Cursed. I wanted to try and capture the whole smoke-ish effect on the cover through marbling. Actually...I'm not even sure if what I did is considered marbling. 

Here's a list of the nail polish I used.

Base: Zoya Jacqueline
Marbling effect: China Glaze Peachy Keen and
 a bottle of skin food polish I unearthed...
Tips: Orly Liquid Vinyl

Left hand.

Both hands. I actually like my right hand better which is surprising. And if you look at the picture carefully the focal point is my right hand ring finger. Sorry.

With the book. I'm all matchy-matchy.

Another close up.

That's it! I hope you liked my mani. It's kinda simple and I hope this week's feature has better pictures than the last few. Sorry! I'm still getting the hang of taking shots of my nails. All photos were taken under natural lighting with a DSLR and a tripod which I forgot I owned.

Thank you! Feel free to check out our other Novel Nails features and if you want to see my past nail art, just head on over to instagram and look for