• The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

    What can I say? This couple had my heart on my sleeves.

  • Never Let Me Go

    A beautiful story of the fragility of life viewed through skewered lenses.

  • Night Circus

    The world that Morgenstern crafts is one that reeks of the cigar and smoke of the turn of the century England with its glamorous parties like The Great Gatsby, men with bowler hats in the Victorian Era, all with a splash of magic and romance.

  • Piratica I

    Piratica is a swashbuckling adventure, an over-the-top comedy, and of course, an unforgettable love story.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Review: Incarnate



Author: Jodi Meadows


New soul
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
No soul
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies--human and creature alike--let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Published 31 January 2012



This was a book that I just could not focus on.

Imagine. God, I had to skip the first ten or so pages until I chanced upon a remotely exciting character, Sam. Yet, here comes another boring male lead who heroically saves a girl, falls in love, performs kind deeds out of no reason, lies then does some hasty actions to cover up. Oh, and it turns out that he never really lied and everything ends up as a happily-ever-after.

No mind-blowing plot, no in-depth characters, no wondrous world-building. It's all the more sad as Incarnate was one that I saw with lots of potential.

What a new and brilliant concept of a city of reincarnated souls!

The first two pages illustrated to me a resplendent setting full of possibilities. And it went downhill.

Jodi Meadows should have focused more on the world-building. Because, she had me confused as to what world it was.

Vehicles with dragons. Heat detectors with centaurs. Machines with cottages.

It could have come off as a fantastic piece if well-executed, but it was not.

I had to skip chunks in between to arrive at the scene when Li (the mother of Ana) takes her away from Sam, and then jump to a dragon war, then go all the way to the end when Sam talks about playing the piano with Ana.

I wanted to crack my head open. What's this thing about love nowadays?

We read YA fiction because they open up a horizon of prose that can be painfully alluring, beautifully inspiring, meticulously crafted and light and free and brimming with youth at the same time. We can accept love wild and uncontrolled, we can accept love shallow and instant, we can accept love beyond all sensibility and reason, but we cannot accept love that has no meaning and essence.

Give me a book that has more than just a simple-minded romance, give me a book with a setting and a tale that challenges our imagination and brims our capacity to love.

I would still give Incarnate a chance. It might just turn out into something more.

Source: EPUB

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Birthday: Spotlight On You

Today is a very special day.

You see, I went to the Science Center and showed off some amazing photography skills!

But, you see, we finally have another Valentine's Day behind us, and with it, vanishes the hearts, the chocolates and Cupid... Oh, but today comes the Birthday Cake!

It's February the 22nd!

Happy 14th Birthday to a very good friend and also a loyal member of this blog, Wong Shi Le!

Thank you for reading my blog faithfully, offering encouragement, and most importantly, withstanding my insufferable advertising!

I didn't give you a birthday present in school today because I have a much more special one prepared!

Yesterday, when I was talking to you in SMO Training, I talked about giving you a book. However, the book I wanted to give you could only be found in Kinokuniya. So, guess what, I ordered it on Book Depository (*coughs* your address) and it's going to be... (drum roll)... delivered to your DOORSTEP!

It might only arrive after a week or so, I'm really sorry that it can't make it for your birthday, but it's the thought that counts, right?

The book title shall not be disclosed, but when we are in boarding school together, maybe you will get a call from your parents about a package and get a huge surprise!

All this is to bring a smile to your face, so be happy today on your 14th birthday! It only happens once in a lifetime.

Stay happy forever!

Dedicating this post to you and your iPhone which has my photos of you and your photos of me >:)


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Tag I

I was tagged by Rallu a.k.a. The Daydreamer3. It sounds really fun, like an exclusive interview, but I'm buried under my pile of homework so it took me ages to complete this.

1. Who was your last book boyfriend and why?

I think this means which boy I liked the most in a novel... Hmm... Well, I'd say it's Four from Divergent. I finished the book a month ago but he is still on my mind <3

Grounded, adventurous, trained, smart and handsome. What's there not to like?

2. What is the last 5 star book you read?

That would be Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. Click here for the raving review!

3. If money were not an issue, what would you buy yourself at this very instant?

I'd buy myself Kinokuniya (my favourite bookstore in Singapore)! Oh, no, scratch that, that was the first thing that came to my mind. Perhaps, a plane ticket to China? I miss my grandma! 

4. What is your favourite movie?

Oh, goodness me. This is a hard one. I'd have to say it's narrowed down to this few: The Pirates of Carribean, The Mummy, Titanic, The Sound of Music & Life Is Beautiful.

5. What is your favourite song this week?

Right now, it's Cascablanca by Bertie Higgins. It's awesome, check it out here!

6. A book you've read at least 3 times?

Possibly, Wolf of The Plains by Conn Iggulden.

He's an amazing historical fiction writer, and this is the first book of the Conqueror series. Unfortunately, the series went downhill after this breath-taking epic story...

One of my favourite books of all time!

7. What Tv Shows are you currently watching?

None. Not watching any, but I just finished a Korean Drama, City Hunter!

8. Do you like spoilers (Not major ones)?

Actually, truthfully speaking, yes. It's a habit I've been trying to break. When I see a book with a love triangle, I want to know who the main protagonist ends up with. When I see a sequel, I want to know if the ending is a tragedy or a happily-ever-after. When I see a promising novel, I want to see if there's romance. Oh God. Same goes for dramas...

9. What's your favourite Genre?

By far, I love all kinds of literature or fiction. But, Young Adult Fiction has a special place in my heart!

10. What book/series got you hooked on reading?

I got hooked on reading when I was seven. It was the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne. I stopped reading it the same year when I finished all 35 books then. But, I was dazzled by books and had a whole new world before me waiting to be explored!

11. Why did you start blogging?

That's a hard question. I started blogging when I was ten, but I stopped because of the heavy committments in school. To me, it was relatively hard to treat my blog as an online diary about my innermost thoughts and feelings so I took a break for about two years. Then, last year, I had this sudden stroke of inspiration.

I wanted to blog about writing, about books! It would be amazing to share my thoughts about the books I read, to help others find good books that would inspire them and at the same time, get to know more books as well!

Never before have I ever imagined how big the Book Blogging Community would be out there. I was stunned, and now I'm getting the hang of it!

I've met lovely friends who are bookworms & discover beautiful blogs that are each unique in their own way. Most of all, I want to thank my friends around me who are driven past insanity with my constant advertising and rambling about my blog! ^o^

I would love to follow the rules and tag 11 people, but my pile of homework makes me unceasingly guilty... So here goes:

This set of questions is open to every reader of my blog! If you choose to do it, I'd love it if you can drop a comment and I'd head over to hear your take on this!

A lovely lovely hug for all those out there who are mugging their schoolwork~

Sel :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine: My Love Goes to You (Part III)

There was a blind girl who was filled with animosity and despised the world.

She didn't have many friends, just a boyfriend who loved her deeply, like no one else.

She always used to say that she'd marry him if only she could see him. One day, someone donated her a pair of eyes, and that's when she finally saw her boyfriend…

She was astonished to see that her boyfriend too was blind…

He told her, "You can see me now, can we get married?"

She replied, "And do what? We'd never be happy. I have my eye sight now, but you're still blind. It won't work out, I'm sorry."

With a tear in his eye and a smile on his face, he meekly said, "I understand. I just want you to always be happy. Take care of yourself, and my eyes."

Two butterflies were in love.

One day, they decided to play Hide and Seek.

As they were playing, the Boy Butterfly suggested, "How about a small game between the two of us."

 "Okay," said the Girl Butterfly.

Boy Butterfly said, "The one who sits in this flower tomorrow early in the morning is the one who loves the other one more."

Girl Butterfly smiled, "Okay."

The next morning, the boy butterfly waits for the flower to open so that he can sit before the girl butterfly does.

But, finally, when the flower opened...

What did he see?
The girl butterfly had died inside the flower.

She stayed there all night so that early in the morning, as soon as she sees him, she can fly to him and tell him how much she loved him.

This is true love...

Life is love.

Valentine: My Love Goes to You

I'd tell Four in Divergent how much I loved him, but never would it be as much as Tris.

I'd tell Peeta in Mockingjay how much I liked his smile, but his smile would only be for Katniss, wouldn't it?

I'd tell Noah in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer how much I would love for him to stand beside me, but what would he be without Mara?

We each have someone waiting for us, a true love that belongs to us and us only.

Every Valentine's Day, we celebrate the love that's in our world, those great love stories that sometimes put some novels to shame.




One day, maybe ours will be told with the same reverence by others.

Because, you see, everyone has a Prince Charming waiting beyond the horizons.

And you ask, will today be the day you find me?

Hope you've had enjoyed the three-day Valentine Event! Try out the quiz and check the profiles of the boy you are matched with >:)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine: My Love Goes to You (Part II)

The 4 great YA boys who were featured in the spotlight yesterday are:




Here's a more intensive profile for these four hotties! I am getting totally caught up in the mood!


Name: Patch Cipriano
Patch, a new senior at Coldwater High, is described as a “dark-Levi’s dark-Henley dark boots kind of guy” who smells of mint and earth. He is Nora's biology partner. He keeps his past under wraps and is accused of more lies than truth from Nora- he is not, in fact, lying, he simply avoids the questions. He can be sly and brooding, and frequently leaves Nora alternately furious or tongue tied. He invades Nora's thoughts and puts images into her head and speaks into her thoughts multipule times. He uses his charms as a way of getting what he wants and avoiding unwanted questions, though he begins to open up as the novel progresses. He spends most of his time playing pool at Bo's Arcade.

He is described to have slightly curly, long, black hair, black eyes and six-foot-two.
"She'll kill me if she finds you in here. Can you climb trees? Tell me you can climb a tree!"
Patch grinned, "I can fly."


Name: Peeta Mellark

Peeta is 16 and has bright blue eyes and blonde hair, unlike most families that live in the Seam. Peeta is gentle and kind, but when he is threatened, he fights well. He's bold; he announced he was in love with Katniss to the entire nation. Peeta thinks on his feet very well and is very kind despite his somewhat better upbringing than Katniss. He is also wise beyond his years in his approach to the Games and able to work with Haymitch on goals and strategy even though he does not possess any strong talent with weapons except a knife. Peeta is very self-depracating, and willing to do anything to protect Katniss, the girl he loves. Peeta is also very persuasive, able to sway crowds in his likable way and have them do what he says, even Katniss admitted he was better with words than she. It was his declaration of love for Katniss that began to sway the crowd to rethink the morality of the Hunger Games. Peeta is an excellent liar, but only lies to protect the people he loves. In Catching Fire, Finnick states that Peeta is one of the only truly good people to survive the arena.

Stocky build and medium height with bright blue eyes and ashey blonde hair that falls in waves over his forehead.


“It’s lovely. If only you could frost someone to death,” I say.
“Don’t be so superior. You can never tell what you’ll find in the arena. Say it’s actually a gigantic cake —” begins Peeta.
“What about you? I’ve seen you in the market. You can lift hundred pound bags of flour,” I snap at him. “Tell him that. That’s not nothing.”
“Yes, and I’m sure the arena will be full of bags of flour for me to chuck at people.”
“I’ll kill and you cook,” I say. “And you can always gather.”
“I wish there was some sort of bread bush out there,” says Peeta.


Name: Four (Tobias)

Who knew a cliche could ever be so good! Roth doesn’t call Four dark, she doesn’t tell us Four is dangerous, she shows us. Where a lot of YA books these days sell us these tall, dark, handsome and mysterious lead males, most of them fail to deliver. DIVERGENT doesn’t. Four isn’t perfect and again I love him (and Roth) for it.

He is grounded and trained, and known for his fearlessness.

Dark, dangerous, drop-dead gorgeous.

“Can you be a girl for a few seconds?"
"I'm always a girl" I frown.
"You know what I mean. Like a silly, annoying girl"
I twirl my hair around my finger. "Kay.”

“Yeah, well," I say, "I left Abnegation because I wasn't selfless enough, no matter how hard I tried to be."
"That's not entirely true." He smiles at me. "That girl who let someone throw knives at her to spare a friend, who hit my dad with a belt to protect me-that selfless girl, that's not you?"...
"You've been paying close attention, haven't you?"
"I like to observe people/"
"Maybe you were cut out for Candor, Four, because you're a terrible liar.”

Name: Edward Cullen

Edward is described in the book as being charming, polite, determined, and very stubborn. He is very protective over Bella and puts her safety, humanity and welfare before anything else. He often over-analyzes situations and has a tendency to overreact, especially in situations where Bella's safety is at risk. He retains some outdated speech from his human life in the early 20th century. Edward sees himself as a monster, and after falling in love with Bella, he desperately wishes that he were human instead of a vampire.
Like all the vampires in the Twilight series, Edward is described as being impossibly beautiful. At various points in the series, she compares him to the mythical Greek god Adonis.

What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy? 

Can you walk, or do you want me to carry you again?

Do I dazzle you?

Honestly — I’ve seen corpses with better color. I was concerned that I might have to avenge your murder.

Psst... Do all of you have a date for Valentine's Day?

Valentine: My Love Goes To You (Part I)

My Dreamy YA Valentine

Enough being said, Valentine's Day is coming!

Bookcase To Heaven will be kicking off a three-day event with a test to see which YA Boy is THE ONE for you!

Dive straight in!

1. There's a new boy in school. You heard that he is a fighter (bad boy). You:
a) try to catch his attention
b) avoid him at all costs
c) pokes around his past
d) go on with life

2. You like the way he speaks as he:
a) pierces you with his intense gaze
b) speaks his way to your heart with sarcasm and humor
c) smirks with confidence and layers his words
d) toys around with formal language that sounds royally charming

3. How do you want to spend a Friday night with him?
a) in an arcade with loud music and lots of dancing  
b) taking a walk and sharing about ourselves
c) an adventure, the more thrilling the better
d) dinner with slow music and fancy forks

4. Your latest crush was your:
a) partner (i.e. table partner, lab partner etc.)
b) friend who had helped you more than once
c) senior, mentor, trainer, teacher etc. (older than you)
d) the guy you thought you hated and whom you thought hated you

5. You would want his hobbies to be:
a) snooker, games
b) baking, stuff related to food
c) sports, all kinds
d) reading and music and collecting cars

6. You would love it if he asks you out like this:
a) corners you and "kidnaps" you
b) properly with gifts, words and everything
c) gives you a hand (it's your choice he cares about, nothing else)
d) appears when you need him the most and automatically becomes your date

7. In short, you prefer boys (who are):
a) sexy and dangerous and hot
b) charming (good with words), kind and caring
c) smarter than you and stronger than you 
d) protective, mysterious and doting

And you ask, will today be the day I find you?



Answers to the Test:

Mostly As: Patch (Hush Hush)
Mostly Bs: Peeta (Hunger Games)
Mostly Cs: Four (Divergent)
Mostly Ds: Edward (Twilight)

Tell me who you are matched with!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Piratica I

Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure Upon the High Seas (Piratica #1)

Author: Tanith Lee


Artemesia is the daughter of a pirate queen, and she's sick of practicing deportment at the Angels Academy for Young Maidens. Escaping from the school, she hunts up her mother's crew and breezily commands them out to sea in a leaky boat. Unfortunately, Art's memories of her early life may not be accurate-her seasick crew are actors, and Art's infamous mother was the darling of the stage in a pirate drama. But fiery, pistol-proof Art soon shapes her men into the cleverest pirate crew afloat. And when they meet the dread ship Enemy and her beautiful, treacherous captain, Goldie Girl, Art is certain that her memories are real. The Seven Seas aren't large enough for two pirate queens: Art will have the battle of her life to win her mother's title—and the race for the most fabulous treasure in pirate lore.

Published 27 September 2004


I read this a while back, but I decided to post a review on this fantastic masterpiece!

Hmm... Loads of good books lately, I'm quite tickled!







Piratica is a swashbuckling adventure, an over-the-top comedy, and of course, an unforgettable love story.

It's been long since I last described a novel as a blockbuster. Piratica is one, just like one of my top books of 2011, Heist Society. Like a vibrant scroll of swirling colours, Tanith Lee's wonderful tale unfolds like an epic drama.

Piratica has a mesmerizing premise right from the start. First things first, I love pirates (Take Captain Jack Sparrow or Bloody Mary) and Art was a great personality to add to my list of suave pirates.

And then there's the HUGE twist, and by huge, I really mean it. It completely blew me away, and I was staring at the story with a slack jaw. Was Tanith Lee kidding me?! Aren't they supposed to be pirates? What on Earth was she thinking?

I almost put the book down, but thank goodness I didn't. I marched on, doused from head to toe with bewilderment. And, then I couldn't put the book down.

How would I know that the TWIST which I had looked upon with disbelief was to be one that would make Piratica so uniquely breath-taking?

Because of the TWIST, we get to see how she becomes a pirate from scratch. Because of the twist, we see the emotional depth of the book that is astounding for what I believed was just a showy pirate tale. Because of the twist, Piratica is to me more than just an average adventurous story. Instead, it becomes a coming-of-age novel where Art finds her past, her ship, her life, her destiny and her love.

Oh, need I talk about Felix?

This is one rare YA boy.

Don't raise your eyebrows at me because he is firstly, not a bad boy. Uh-uh, not a prince charming either. Nope, not a brooding mystery boy. Nah, he's not a gentle and caring male lead. His existence is a mystery that I completely didn't see from the start.

With dark blue eyes and ice blond hair, he is really hot, at least that's how I imagine him anyway. But he is more of ridiculously beautiful than jaw-dropping handsome. Just before you rule him into the kind of pure hottie category, listen to this-- his hair used to be black, but at the tragedy that befell his family it turned white.

Now, your eyes grow slightly wider.

But wait, when Felix first meets Art, she holds him up and steals his coat. She locks him in an abandoned house with no particular effort as he does not retaliate. While being chased by an angry mob who thinks that Felix is the notorious Highwayman Cuckoo Jack, Felix is rescued by Art and her crew.

Now you nod, thinking that maybe he is one of those spineless boys who are always in need of stronger girls (like Shay in Nightshade? *coughs*).

No no, he is a strategist, one that plans but not fight. He secretly plots to turn the crew in to the English authorities, but later falls in love with Art and saves her life at her hanging.

And now you are in love again. But, sorry, you have to halt in your tracks for a moment.  People took him up for his talents-- singing and drawing.

You are albeit a little confuse as to how to classify him.

So am I.

Because Felix Phoenix (his false name) cannot be classified. He is a rare boy, a royal person, a planner, a strategist, a kind heart and a soul on an evil mission for revenge. He is charming enough to avert a pirate battle (between Art and Goldie Girl), but cunning enough to charm the one girl he swore to kill; he is cunning enough to plan a seamless revenge, but not cunning enough to keep himself for falling in love.

What can I say? You can simply read Piratica for him. But, don't forget the TWIST and the amazing and astounding Artemesia Blastside (funny last name?).

Find this book and kidnap it home. I give 5 stars with no hesitation to this wondrous creation of Tanith Lee.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Piratica.

Source: Read while snuggled in a huge jacket on the Library floor


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Falling Under (Falling Under #1)

Falling Under (Falling Under #1)

Author: Gwen Hayes


Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.
As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Published 1 March 2011


Before you say anything about how clichéd it sounds, hear me out in six words: this is one good book, darling!

I know that there's a huge mountain pile of books that have been circulating around the YA book pool-- the forbidden romance (Twilight) kind of books. But they are currently on the wane, thank God.

I know you might be rolling your eyes over the crazy similarity Falling Under's synopsis seems to have to this specific pile of books. But, be prepared to be surprised!

I know you might be growling with exasperation at the stereotypical YA heroine who is naive, innocent and oblivious to her charms, and the bad boy demon prince who is both a curmudgeon as well as a jerk. Nah, nah, you are more than mistaken.

The story completely won me over with its clever twist in the plot. That, and that only. The boldness and generosity of Gwen Hayes fully shone through her amazing control of the storyline.  

Yes, the characters are more than typical.

But guess what, the story takes on a complete turn in the second half, with the two of them suddenly switching roles. And, guess what, our male lead, Haden, is actually brutally honest with the fact that he is a jerk and acknowledges it straight to Theia's face. Let's take a look at his frank confession with Theia:

“This isn't a crush, it's obsession. You are never not in my thoughts.
Your scent carries across a room and paralyzes me with longing.
I don't want to hold your hand.
Part of me wants to set you on fire and hold you while the flame consumes us both, to eat your heart so I know that only I possess it entirely.” 

Like whoa. He totally got me there, what a 5-star character!

However, I had a slight problem with our Little Miss whom he was talking to. At this point of time in the story, she was still strutting around as a one-dimensional character. Honestly, I do understand that it's hard for authors to portray innocent girls in YA books as they all unavoidably fall into a stereotype. 

But, thank you Gwen Hayes, for showing me another side of the story and making Theia a stronger heroine with your brilliant twist. 

Yes, the TWIST. 

Let me go into that. 

In case you haven't noticed yet, many YA novels are either cut off at the climax or hand you only one climax in the entire tale, telling you to buy the sequel to find out what happens next. However, Gwen Hayes hands us a really rich tale, with several climaxes. There were a few times when I thought that the story was drawing to an end, but the twists came one after another, weaving together to form a fully-developed story worth my time. 

And, thankfully, I can't help but say this with vigor: no love triangles

The romance was pretty okay since it's the norm now that the YA female would always be irrevocably in love with the ridiculously handsome dare-devil. Oh, but to give the author due credit, the two other romances (her best friends and x and y) being illustrated in the novel was pretty satisfying too!

One other fantastic point about Falling Under is the dark tone of the book. The creepy horrors of Hell are fascinating-- sewn-together ladies, butlers with no empty faces, the nightmare realm of love and death...

Dangerously alluring and deliciously dark, Falling Under is a book that had me skeptical then delighted. How wicked, how lovely.

Source: PDF


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