• 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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Eleanor and Park

Eleanor & ParkEleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says.

"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers.

"I’m not kidding," he says.

"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen."

"What about Romeo and Juliet?"

"Shallow, confused, then dead."

''I love you," Park says.

"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers.

"I’m not kidding," he says.

"You should be."

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Published February 26th 2013.

I think I fell in love with the cover at first glance. The truth is, you don't often see covers this simple and straightforward on the shelves. But, for Eleanor & Park, this cover encapsulates the essence of the novel perfectly-- just the right clean and sweet tone for a story about the blossoming of young love.

This is the story of Eleanor -- red-haired, awkward, big-boned and with certain family scandals which keep her in fearful rebellion.

This is also the story of Park -- black-haired, aloof, lithe and the son of a perfect American family.

However, beyond their seemingly stereotypical images, they are different -- not just from each other, but also from the rest of the world.

Park is a half-Korean and half-American sixteen year old kid-- lover of punk music, taekwondo-practicing and a comics extraordinaire. And he loves with a heart-wrenching kind of impulsiveness and surety. When Park meets Eleanor, the new girl on the bus, their foray into young love is slow and raw, glazed over by the innocence that comes with their era-- the 1980s. 

Eleanor, on the other hand, is an outright misfit.  

      Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

She lives and breathes and pulses with a vibrancy that inspires a million quote-worthy moments. As they grow from love to love, my heart was warning me that nothing good can ever come out of it (after all, Romeo and Juliet was the best testament to the tragedies of young love). 

But something beautiful did come out of it. For after Eleanor meets Park, there can never be two people who will ever love each other in the same way again. And Rainbow Rowell's gorgeous purple prose finally made me cry in the end (something that was pretty much inevitable from the very beginning), 
         “Nothing before you counts," he said. "And I can't even imagine an after."

She shook her head. "Don't."


"Don't talk about after."

"I just meant that... I want to be the last person who ever kisses you, too.... That sounds bad, like a death threat or something. What I'm trying to say is, you're it. This is it for me.”

In essence, this was both the most heart-wrenching and the most heart-warming book I've ever read in my entire life. It made my heart swell with love and then carved out a tiny piece from it. Because of that, there will always be a part of me which can never forget the aching emptiness after reading this book and the memory of the sweetest, truest and most glorious first love which fulfils, hurts and ultimately, heals. 

This is a book that will love you-- hard to find, hard to keep & hard to forget. Don't let it pass you by.

Source: From St. Martin's Press for review purposes
Via Netgalley.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog Tour: Character Interview with Eleanor & Daniel (A DARKNESS STRANGE & LOVELY)

NOTE: The interview has been added to this post as of 16/07/2013.

Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.

Let's have a sneak peek into the adventures that Eleanor, Daniel & the Spirit-Hunters will have in Paris in this exclusive interview! 

1)  Daniel & Eleanor, after the great showdown with the Undead last time round, what’s the first thing you had thought you would say when you see each other again?

Daniel: Er… “How’s your…wrist?” Wait, no. That’s terrible. Maybe, “You look mighty fine, Empress.” Yeah—that’s a bit better.

Eleanor: A simple “It’s lovely to see you" would suffice.

Daniel: *rolls eyes*

Eleanor: I think I’ll settle on a, “Hello, Mr. Sheridan. Broken any more hearts since we last met?”

2) Since Paris is a world fashion capital, tell us one or two of your favorite French fashion pieces!

Daniel: I can't say that it's French--maybe it is?--but I've grown pretty fond of the monocle as a fashion accessory. Those things are blazin' useful when I'm working with delicate items in the lab.

Eleanor: I mostly just envy the effortless way French women put themselves together. They're always in the latest style, they exude confidence, and it all looks so easy. My new friend Laure perfectly epitomizes that. Also, how the devil she manages to make her waist so tiny, I will never know.

3 ) What are some new tricks that you've learnt in A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY when combating the Undead?

Eleanor: Well, we have a whole host of new inventions thanks to Mr. Sheridan.

Daniel: *scowl* Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Sheridan. It's "Daniel", dammit. And yeah, I've managed to improve all of our tech from Philadelphia. I even got to spend a few weeks studying in Germany with some brilliant engineers--I've got one big piece of equipment I expect all of Paris will love.

4) What are some of the most memorable places you've visited in Paris?

Eleanor: The Tuileries Gardens and the River Seine--oh heavens, there's nowhere else like them! Just seeing all the gray buildings that hug the stone riverside and how the chestnut trees list in the breeze--it makes my heart soar.

Daniel: She asked memorable, Empress, not your favorite. I'd say the Palais Garnier had some pretty memorable events.

Eleanor: *glare* And not the Richelieu library? Hmph.

5) What’s next for both of you? Tell us a hint of what will be coming in the third book— more romance, battles with the Undead &… Egypt?!

Eleanor: I don't want to spoil our Parisian adventure for readers, but let's simply say that although we do save Paris, we're not even close to ending this battle. The war has really on just begun, and now we're headed for Marseille--possibly even further.

Daniel: But this is what Spirit-Hunters do, and we'll fight this until the very end.

Eleanor: Until the very end.


Susan Dennard is a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She used to be a marine biologist, but now she writes novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (she really likes swoon-worthy rogues).

She lives in the Midwest with her French husband and Irish setter, and her debut, SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, is now available from HarperTeen.


Well, that's the spirit! Awww, the bickering between these two are simply adorable :) The next time I'm in France, I'll definitely drop by these places mentioned in the book & in this interview. Here's a picture of the Richelieu library to make us book-lovers drool:

A huge thank-you to Eleanor, Daniel (& of course, the ever-amazing Susan Dennard) for making an appearance on Bookcase to Heaven today :)

And also, the awesome ladies at Rockstar Book Tours!


GIVEAWAY (Aw, yeah!)

Tour Schedule (do pop by the subsequent tour stops!)

Guest Post
Guest Post
Guest Post ideas


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Current State of the Union: What's up with the blog?

I'm off on a three-week hiatus for the month of July, dealing with my exams :) I haven't been reviewing much lately, but don't fret, I am currently reading an excellent selection of books (and the reviews will come out at the end of the hiatus; I have so many thoughts burning in my mind, but I just haven't had the chance to sit down and pen them down into a coherent review). 

Just to give you a sneak peek, the books I'm reading/I've just finished reading/I'm going to read right away:

I. Eleanor and Park (read--review half done)
II. All Our Yesterdays (reading)
III. Fangirl (going to read ASAP)
V. One Night That Changes Everything (read--review not done yet)
VI. The Lonely Hearts Club (reading)

Since I like pretty book covers and this post would be horribly lacking a certain something if I do not put up a picture, here's one gorgeous cover to keep all of us happy!

      A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Lots of love,

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