RR (Rae Reads)

I love books, and I'm into YA. 
Occasionally, I discuss my feels in words.

Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight - Sarah J. Maas

Well, I certainly like this book better than the first.


Crown of Midnight is definitely more intense and suspenseful. I don't think the first book got me so sucked in as this one. Celaena here is more badass, and absolutely amazing.


And it is with this book, we get sort of a clearer direction of what Celaena is going to do with this series. Also, we get to understand more about the magic that lies in this land of Erilea.


I am definitely #TeamDorian, guys. Crown of Midnight doesn't really feed me as much Dorian as I would like, but I can't help but to enjoy Celaena and Chaol bits. Well, they are both so passionate, it is rather hard to ignore. 


I'm looking forward to what the third book has to offer. Hopefully more deadly Celaena and more Dorian. 

We Were Liars

We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

This book is undeniably addictive and twisted.

It hit me when I least expected it.

The first book to make me cry.


We Were Liars pierced through my heart and broke my tears tank. 


I've just finished it and the feelings still lingers.


No words in Scrabble can describe my feelings for this book.


It's too good.


Well done, Emily Lockhart. 


Dangerous - Shannon Hale

I don't know about you, but I love this book. 


I am a fan of Shannon Hale's work (Goose Girl, Princess's Academy, Book of a Thousand Days), and I was a bit skeptical at first upon seeing that Hale is attempting this kind of genre of YA. I picked it up anyway, and I didn't regret it.


Some might say that the pace is fast, but I think it's alright. It's true that the pace does start face at the beginning, but after that this pace seems normal. Everything is suspenseful and I couldn't put down this book. The storyline went beyond my expectations and I could hardly predict what's next.


I also do love Maisie and Wilder's interaction. They got me hook in their arc in the first few chapters, and how trust me their arc is pretty awesome. 


I have a lot to say about this book, but I just couldn't get it all into words. All I could say is that Shannon Hale did it again - and I loved every single page of this book.


And of course, Wilder. :P


Lucas - Kevin Brooks

Lucas left a deep impression on me. The story is beyond my expectation, and it's a good thing. 


Caitlyn lives on an island with her own complications with the people around her. Her dad drinks too much, but loves her. Her brother seems to be mixing in the wrong crowd. Caitlyn craves for something different. Something more peaceful than what her peers are doing. Then, her whole world seems to change when she met Lucas, the mysterious boy with blue eyes. 


The beginning is a little slow, and caused me to close the book down several times. However, it slowly starts to takeoff and I couldn't put the book down anymore. This is an unusual love story indeed. Lucas is not your regular good-looking boy in a love story. He has a mysterious past and he seems to magical to exist. Caitlyn adores him. This book is not only about Caitlyn-Lucas, but so much more than that. It challenges your view on the reality of this world - how power is so often abused, and how conformation is so often happening that it is becoming somewhat disappointing. 


There is certainly a lot of message in this book and it is delivered well. After each event, it will leave you speechless and wondering. And after the entire book, you can't stop thinking about it. There is something about Lucas that gets to you. Perhaps of its accuracy on the world. Perhaps because you feel sad that a person like Lucas didn't get his ending he deserves. 



This Lullaby

This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen

There is a certain charm about Sarah Dessen's books. I've read four books from her in total, and it's amazing how each book has its charm. Her characters are distinct and the story plot is unique yet generic at the same time. However, of the past three books I've read from her, This Lullaby, is by far my favourite in terms of characters' personality.


Remy grew up understanding that relationships don't last, as her mother remarried five times to date. Remy has her own set rules when it comes to dating, but those rules don't seem to make sense when she meets Dexter the musician.


Both Remy and Dexter are by far two of my favourite book characters. Their personalities are distinct and humorous. They stand out from the stories and I look forward to their interaction every time. Remy, who thought she has everything under control, meets Dexter, who doesn't very much like control. When the both of them are together, I can truly see how love can very much change a person.


I also love how Remy is actually surrounded by people who found love a worthwhile risk, but she can't actually see it - no matter how her mother and brother had reminded her that love doesn't have to be set formula. It just happens. 


The funny thing is, after getting into my first relationship, I find myself able to relate to these characters more. Whenever they bicker, or fight, my heart do relate. Sometimes I do wanna shake Remy into her senses as I can see how much Dexter loves her, but she just can't see it. She loves Dexter too, but she can't see that either.


This book will certainly make you want to root for love - no matter you believe in it or not. This is the power of Sarah Dessen's writing. 


To All The Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han

"What an interesting title!" I am sure that's what crossed your mind when you see this book by Jenny Han. The cover is pretty and eye-catching. Those are one of the reasons why I decide to give this book a shot. Plus, the plot seems interesting.


Lara Jean writes love letters to all the five boys she loved before. The thing is, those letters aren't sent, but are kept in a hatbox in her room. The letters are almost like her diary; they contains things she wouldn't be able to say in real life. One day, her letters get sent out and her love life turns upside down.


The concept is great. The characters are great. But sometimes, I question Lara Jean's maturity. She is a high school student, but at times, I felt her choices were a bit childish. But I guess that's who she is. Impulsive, and real. After finishing this book, and thinking about it, I guess I couldn't really blame Lara Jean for being childish in some ways. After all, she had been living under the shadows of her perfectionist elder sister, Margot. 


This book is really good at twisting my affection towards the fictional boys in this book. At times, I was rooting for Josh, who is basically Lara Jean's best bud. And then, I find myself rooting for Peter, the jock that everyone likes. Personally, I really do love the interaction between Peter and Lara Jean. They are so cute together, really. 


Besides, the big love letters mishap in this book, the emphasis of family is there. Lara Jean lost her mother at a young age, and she looks up to her elder sister Margot. Then, there is her little sister Kitty, and her father. Amidst her problems with boys, she never fails to think about her sisters or her father. The relationship between Lara Jean and her family is very nice to read about.


Jenny Han's 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' may lack some depth, and left us hanging at the end, and I can't help but to wonder if there is a sequel to this... However, all in all, this is a good light read, and may reminds you of the boys you have to fight over with your siblings or best friends. 


Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Reasons why I pick up this book: 1) The colour of the book is too pretty to ignore, 2) I'm a fangirl myself, 3) I write fanfictions as well, and 4) I enjoy Rainbow Rowell's books. 


After reading this book: I might have a crush on Levi. 


Fangirl is about Cath who writes fanfiction about Simon Snow. She has a twin named Wren, and both of them are freshmen in college. Cath and Wren used to do everything together, but Wren decided to not stick with her twin so much for a change. Cath, being alone for the first time in her life, braced through changes in her life such as living with her new roommate Reagan, writing stories with somebody else other than Wren, and meeting someone who might make her heart races, Levi.


I guess Cath is a very relatable person. At times I really do feel her. I just finished my freshmen year in university, and I can relate to all the anxieties she had. Most of time, just like Cath, I want to stay in and not mix with the people. I am also quite reserved in that sense. I write my own stories as well, but the thing is, I am afraid of letting other people reading it - except for a few fanfictions that I wrote, yeah. 


If there is one thing I am really fond of this book is Levi. He is absolutely charming and funny. He is such a nice guy, and where in my university can I find a Levi? Where? Ugh, why do fictional boys always get into my heart...


I am also impressed to how Rowell is able to write several separate stories in one book. She is writing about Cath's life, then the short stories that Cath and Nick wrote, and then the Simon Snow series. I am really impressed. It would take me forever to write, and I may have given up halfway.


Fangirl is definitely a book worth your time. The characters are lovely, relatable and hilarious. It will make you want a twin sister, a brusque roommate, and a hot Starbucks bartender boyfriend.




Matched  - Ally Condie

I CANNOT EXPRESS HOW GOOD THIS BOOKS IS. I may be late to the book, but, sigh, I can't wait to get my hands on the other two books in the trilogy. This book is truly a page-turner, and I really do love the way Ally Condie writes. It's amazing I must say. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.


Cassia Reyes gets Matched to her perfect partner on her seventeenth birthday. To everyone's surprise, she is Matched with her childhood best friend Xander Carrow. As events unfold, Cassia starts to question if Xander is truly her perfect match, as she has found herself falling for another boy. Cassia also starts to wonder if her decision to obey the Society is beneficial. The Society decides everything for them and for that Cassia grows to wonder about the meaning of her life. 


I love the way the story is told. As Cassia's society is a foreign world to me (although not so foreign, 'cause I can see resemblance in our very own society now), information about Cassia's world did not bombard me at once. Each piece of information is told at its pace and it is told all so naturally that I am not overwhelmed by it. It's a really nice approach to filling in the holes. 


Besides witnessing the incredible character development of Cassia who turns from ideal citizen to a girl who wants to have a choice, we see Cassia falling for Ky, instead of her Match and best friend, Xander. 


Now, in the beginning I was so shocked to find out Cassia was Matched with Xander. Why? Because I believe I have already fallen in love with Xander in the first few pages of the book. I was already rooting for him. I was already hoping Cassia will be fighting the Society hand in hand with Xander. So after that Match Banquet, I connected the dots. If Cassia is Matched with Xander...it means Xander isn't going to be the boy Cassia will be fighting for. Can you hear my heart shatters into a million pieces? Can you?! 


Sure, Ky has his charm and I kind of understand why Cassia likes him, but...Xander...poor boy. Now, I really want to read the next book. Not just because to know what Cassia's journey is going to bring her, but to also catch more of Xander.


Again, Matched did not disappoint. I love this book, even though I question Cassia's choice on Ky. 


I think I am Matched with this book. 


Dark Warning

Dark Warning - Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

The reason I picked up this book is because at that moment, I had this wonderful idea in my mind. I was thinking of writing a story of a girl who could see the past and the future of objects. Thus, it intrigues me to see the line "I see things that haven't happened yet. I know things I shouldn't know" on the cover page of Dark Warning.


Taney Tyrell is a red-headed girl who can see things before it happens. The folks called it second-sight. To Taney's father and stepmother, Taney's ability is not something to be praised for. However, to other people, it is a special ability. Taney soon discover the wonderful and the not-so-wonderful things she could do. Her ability may save people, and it may also be harmful. Is her ability a curse or a gift?


Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick's writing is indeed brilliant. For this story is set in Dublin, the storytelling is filled with slangs and actual places. It truly makes the reader feel as if he or she is at Dublin with Taney. 


Dark Warning is a story that is packed with wonder, mystery and human connection. The world in which Taney lives is incredible, and it wouldn't harm anyone to travel to this world. Every time I read this book, I find myself in Dublin, feeling Taney's emotions and the adventure she leads.


Overall, Dark Warning is an adventure not to be missed.

The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

I've been wanting to read this book for months, but never got the time to buy it. Of course, until, one of my friend decided to lend it to me, and I finished it over the weekend. I can safely say, The Fault In Our Stars lives up to its popularity and I certainly love the characters that John Green brought to life.


The Fault In Our Stars is about Hazel, a sixteen years old girl with cancer, and her journey with Augustus, a guy older than her by a year, with cancer. It's a sick love story, yes. The presence of Augustus in her life definitely changes her lifestyle for the better (how could you not love Augustus?).

Of course, it may seems like a simple love story. But Hazel, Augustus, and even their blind friend Isaac are so loveable and hilarious. The conversations they had are definitely insightful and funny. I just really love these characters.

Unfortunately, I did not cry while reading the book, because I never did cry reading any books. But I was shocked to find out what happens. Maybe when I watch the film, I will cry. With the acting, and the background music, I am sure it is able to move me to tears.


I will definitely read more of John Green's work. 


"Okay? Okay."


Fall Girl

Fall Girl - Toni Jordan

I knew it wasn't a mistake on picking up this book. I was in a book sale and I spotted this book when I was about to head for the cashier. It must be fate. 


Fall Girl follows Dr Ella Canfield, an evolutionary biologist with incredible qualifications. She meets millionaire Daniel Metcalf for her research's funding. The problem here is, there is no such person as Ella Canfield. However, there is Della Gilmore, a professional con artist. As much as Della thought she could finish her task easily, as she had done so many before, she might be underestimating Daniel Metcalf. A good-looking millionaire and an attractive con artist...who is fooling who?


Now, this is absolutely the romantic comedy I look for. Della's and Daniel's conversation are funny, filled with sarcasm that I like, and their sexual chemistry is satisfactory. There is one scene in the book that is definitely hilarious, and after that scene, I truly know that Daniel is the funnier one. [Spoiler: That scene with Timothy where Daniel keeps on offering wine. Hilarious.]


Besides the comedic dialogues and interactions, Fall Girl is filled with suspense and surprises. I loved how we, the readers, get to know the life behind con artists and also get to know the high and lows of their career. Besides Della's complicated relationship with Daniel, there is also focus on Della's family and how they cope with their con artists career. I love how everyone cares for each other, even though Della's cousins and brother teases her just like any other family would. I also love how her stepmom Ruby truly cares for Della. She sounds all mighty and elegant and all poise, but she cares for Della and Della knows that very well. Although Della's dad is the reason why Della is a con artist, her father truly cares for her as well. I don't know. It's just heartwarming to know that even between con artists who constantly lie to get money, they care for their family members.


Overall, I am very satisfied with my first book from Toni Jordan. I would definitely pick up more books from her...and perhaps look at con artists in a different light.


Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel  - Cassandra Clare

I usually don't go for books with dark element. I always thought books with vampires or werewolves are lacking in originality because Twilight made in big. But, I was glad I picked up Clockwork Angel (because I had a book voucher and this book was in the spotlight section), and this book might just made me think twice about books with dark elements.


Clockwork Angel, set in the Victorian age, follows Tessa Gray as she arrives in London from America to find her brother. Instead of finding her brother, she was locked in a mansion and was doing forced work by the Dark Sisters. If she doesn't do as she was told, the Dark Sisters will make sure her brother suffer. Fortunately, she was rescued by a Shadow Hunter named Will. Tessa then finds herself in the world of Shadow Hunters and she discovered more about herself; more about her family and her extraordinary ability. Well of course, what kind of YA book will this be if Tessa isn't torn between two dashing Shadowhunters. 


This is my first book from Cassandra Clare and I see why The Infernal Devices is such a hot topic. So is her Mortal Instruments series. The plot is suspenseful and keeps me reading. The characters are very interesting and surreal. I could almost imagine them as I read. As much as I find vampires to be the cliche species, I just love the Lady vampire (sorry, I suddenly couldn't recall her name). 


Of course I would love to read the second and third book to this trilogy (which are already published) but I haven't got the time to get it. Honestly, the only reason why I want to read it might just be finding out who Tessa is choosing in the end. Trust me, I was so curious I started looking for spoilers online.


It's a Mall World After All

It's a Mall World After All - Janette Rallison

I absolutely adore Janette Rallison's books. Back in high school, I've read 3 books from her and I love all three books. Her humour and story plot are just my cup of tea. Her books are one of those books where I can finish reading it in one seating.


It's a Mall World After All tells a story of a girl named Charlotte that works in a mall as a perfume sprayer, if that's the correct term for it. This book follows Charlotte as she tries to bust her best friend's boyfriend, Bryant, of cheating. While that, her relationship with Colton (who is Bryant's best friend) gets very interesting. In the end, all is well with Rallison's magic finish touch, and of course, it somehow ended revolving around the mall.


Although I do think Rallison's books do have a similar formula but it is her formula that works every time into my heart. I do sincerely love the wit and the comedy romance Rallison puts me through.


This may not be her best book, in my opinion, but it has the magic Rallison touch that I adore. 

Lola's Secret

Lola's Secret: A Novel - Monica McInerney

YA is my genre. For sure. But that one day, I went to my local bookstore and stood in front of the 'fiction' shelf. I wanted to try a different genre; a more sophisticated book, perhaps. I picked up Lola's Secret with a totally different impression in mind.


Lola's Secret focuses on an eighty-four years old woman residing in Australia. She stays in a motel run by her for years and now run by her son and daughter-in-law. For Christmas, she decided to invite strangers to stay in her motel for free, and while planning for that, she has to handle a few more stuff including her two granddaughter's rocky relationship, her own relationship with her daughter-in-law, problems in a charity shop she works for, and an old lover she happened to find. 


Prior reading the book, I had never thought Lola's an old woman. And because this is my first Monica McInerney book, I did not have a good impression on Lola. Years of reading books with teenagers, or young adults as protagonists, having Lola as the main character is a change. Of course, I was disappointed to know about Lola's true identity, but I carried on reading in hopes to fulfil my promise to myself to read a different genre book.


The book started at a rather slow pace. Many characters are introduced and different stories are introduced as well. Because there was so many introductions to the characters, the first half of the book is a bit dull for me. It took me about a month to get to the second half of the book.


The second half is truly the starting point of the story. To me it is. Everything started falling into place and without any more introductions, the plot goes on smoothly, and rather interestingly.


In the end, Lola's Secret is overall a good book. It has a lot of family lessons to learn from, and there are a lot of interesting and adorable characters. Although the buildup was rather boring, but it serves a purpose in filling in the blanks of the story.


Right now, I need to go read another book probably from rom-com or YA. Even though Lola's Secret is good, I don't think I will be returning to that side of the genre yet.