My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick (Book Review #111)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 26/02/17

My 4th book this year.)

The Garrett family are loud, open, untidy and the number of children keep growing. Scraping by with a hardware store they have a roof over their heads and food on the table but anything else must be earnt through hard work. 

Samantha lives next door. The rich girl with a trust fund and everything just falls into place in her life. That’s what people think of her. But her life is far from perfect. She works hard, studies hard but family life is just a show for the rest of the world. Samantha’s mother is running for senator but the man behind her is a very questionable character. 

Samantha finds watching the Garrett family calming and soothing. The inevitable happens and she is finally noticed by a Garrett boy. Her life begins to bloom as she is accepted by the family. 

All is well until something happens that will destroy Samantha but she needs to decide which family is more important to her.
***SPOILER ALERT***

What a wonderfully paced book. I really enjoyed Samantha and Jase’s relationship. Watching first love, reliving memories and feelings. Perfectly portrayed. 

The Garrett’s are a wonderful family with their family troubles but they stick together and have a strong bond.

I would definitely recommend this book to other readers just for the relationship growth between Samantha and Jase. Beautifully written story.

Written by Ling Lee (26/02/17)

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A Beautiful Lie by T.E. Sivec (Book Review #110)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 03/02/17

My 3rd book this year.)

Milo and Garrett are best friends. They both cross paths with Annabelle at the same time, they both fall for her, but Milo speaks up first. Garrett has backed off but secretly he fell for her at first sight and has never been able to let go of that feeling. 

The three become a great trio. Both men play a big part in Annabelle’s life, then tragedy strikes and one of them is no longer there for her anymore.

Together Annabelle and what remains of their inseparable friendship, they must find out what happened to their other friend.

Uncovering lies and secrets, disbelief and shock hits them hard as they try to stay strong for each other to uncover the whole truth.
***SPOILER ALERT***

I was really enthusiastic about the storyline but somehow the story was just ok. I love how people’s feelings are torn and put to the test. Yet it didn’t feel realistic from either of the main characters. 

The twists and turns became more and more over the top. Some moments were getting good but then Sivec seems to try too hard at throwing in unnecessary and inapropriately placed sex scenes. 

This story could have been amazing but unfortunately it didn’t quite capture my heart and apologies to the author but I would not recommend this book to other readers.

Written by Ling Lee (03/02/17)

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One Tiny Lie by KA Tucker (Book Review #109)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 18/01/17
My 2nd book this year.)

Ashton is Princeton’s most handsome jock. Full of mystery and secrets about his past, he is troubled but chooses to forget his problems partying and being with girl after girl. But every female on campus still wants to be with him.

Livie’s parents died and she only has her sister Kasey left to look after her. Livie’s is the perfect child, trying to fulfil her parents wishes, trying to make them proud. Kasey took the alternative route until they met Dr Stayner. The psychiatrist helps Kasey get back on track but now Kasey thinks Livie needs help to live like a real teenager. To stop being just what her parents wanted her to be.

Somehow Livie gets caught up in Ashton’s life. The stress and problems stem from here because Livie’s boyfriend is Ashton’s best friend, Conner.

***SPOILER ALERT***
I didn’t much enjoy the way the story was told. Dr Stayner’s presense, suggestions, advice and character just didn’t work for me. Totally out of place and unprofessional.

I fell for Ashton. I should have liked Conner more as he was cast as perfect boyfriend material, but Conner didn’t feel right. I shouldn’t have liked the way Livie was behaving but it didn’t feel like she was being such a bad girl because Conner just didn’t feel right. Usually I would feel the guilt and feel the hate.

I enjoyed the storyline and I loved the parts with both Ashton and Livie but that was barely enough to rate his book a 3. Apologies but I would not recommend this book.

Written by Ling Lee (18/01/17)

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What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (Book Review #108)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading 05/01/17
My 1st book this year.)

Alice bumped her head and after waking up at hospital, her life is quite a shock. She has lost every memory within the last 10years of her life. It’s amazing what can happen in 10years. She is 39 but thinks she is 29.

Her marriage, kids, family relationships and friendships have taken a huge turn, but she cannot remember HOW she has become this person that she definitely dislikes.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I really enjoyed this book and found it fascinating how Alice became a complete new person in 10years.

I love how we go through events with her as she learns ‘new’ things about herself everyday and is completely shocked by the type of person she has become. I love the memories,the pain and the drama.

I wish her memory returning was more subtle. I would have preferred to learn about Alice much more slowly rather than a quick conclusion summarised within the final 10% of the book.

I love Nick and Alice together. I really enjoyed reliving Alice’s younger years as she catches up to reality.

Definitely a recommended read. Now I am at a loss as to what to read next.

Written by Ling Lee
(05/01/17)

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Book Review #107)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 10/12/16
My 22nd book this year.)

Amy, the stunningly beautiful, intelligent, funny, perfect New Yorker that every girl wants to be. Nick, the handsome all round perfect man. They were made for each other. When their lives entwine, they both realise they have found their lifelong forever.

On the day of their 5th anniversary life is turned upside down for Nick. Amy goes missing. The evidence doesn’t make sense, the clues are cryptic and now the story really begins. Their perfect lives slowly unravel dishonesty, deceit, paranoia, and their love for one another has become unstable.

***SPOILER ALERT***
Wow. This book is well and truly twisted. I kept wanting to find out what happens next but at the same time I felt annoyed with the over the top twists and turns.

I took Nick’s side right from the start even though I had my doubts like the author intended.

I didn’t really engage with any of the characters yet I was still excited to find out what was coming next.

I absolutely hated the ending but it was the most unexpected end to a story like this.

A difficult one to express my views on without ruining the whole story. I would recommend this book only if you have the patience to read the whole thing. If you are a romantic, I guess the book becomes much more appealing.

Nothing amazing. If you can get over the absolutely crazy twists and not think about it too much, this book is worth considering.

Written by Ling Lee.

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Extras by Scott Westerfeld (Book Review #106)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 05/12/16
My 21st book this year)

Aya is on a mission to broadcast any story on her personal web feed. In this society, fame means everything. The more famous you are, the more important you are. To get famous you need followers, viewers and stories to keep people interested and to spread the word.

Aya is trying to uncover a story about the “Sly Girls”. A secret clique full of surprise and adrenaline rush antics. She is trying to uncover who they are and what their secrets are. As she gets deeper into her discovery she finds a whole new story that could change the world so she must tell everyone and become extremely famous to be the one to broadcast it first.

Along the way Aya and her already famous brother, Hiro, are intercepted by the most famous person of all, Tally Youngblood. Together they face this discovery and together they make their appearance and story well told.

***SPOILER ALERT***
The least appealing of the ” Uglies” series. This book lost the originality and felt completely different to the others. It felt to me like the author ran out of inspiration and was forced to churn this one out.

I would not recommend this book although the rest of the series was much more exciting.

Written by Ling Lee

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Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Book Review #105)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 04/11/16
My 20th book this year.)

When society is made to believe that love is a disease, you must become of age to be given the cure. The government arranges the one you will be paired with forever. But for those who have already fallen in love, they want their freedom to choose.

Lena fell in love, she chose freedom, to live in the wilds, but society want to eliminate every person who doesn’t want to be cured, or cannot be cured. Those on the outside must fight for what they believe in, for love, freedom of choice and life itself.

Hana was Lena’s best friend a long time ago. But Hana has been cured and is about to marry the new Major Fred. Perfect match according to statistics, but Hana has her doubts. Fred demands obedience whatever the cost may be.

Lena and her crew in the wilds are all gathering up for a riot to take back what should belong to them all. They want their homes, family and friends back. All in the name of love.

***SPOILER ALERT***
I enjoyed reading most of this series but I absolutely HATED the ending. I hate not having a more rounded, detailed finish for each important character. I was waiting for something amazing to happen then it just ended. Such disappointment. Otherwise I would have rated higher for the final book in the ‘Delirium’ series.

The storyline itself was a great idea but I didn’t much like the characters except for Raven and Pippa.

I wanted more emotion, more extremes between the cured and the Invalids. I wanted to see what freedom does to people, but this series made freedom seem not worth the trouble.

There’s not much more to add. It is still a worthy read.

Written by Ling Lee (04/11/16)

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Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (Book Review #104)

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished reading 19/10/16
My 19th book this year.)

Most of society believe that love is a disease and everyone must be given a cure to protect the people. Sometimes before the cure can be administered, people catch the disease.

Lena has fallen for Alex, together they were supposed to escape into the wilds. But Alex sacrificed himself and told Lena to run and be free without him. She must learn to live with those who have been infected with “Deliria”. In the wilds people learn to survive by scavenging, by relying on those on the inside to sneak out food, by hunting. Raven helps Lena gain strength and understand what kind of harsh reality life now brings. Raven and her friends are part of the revolution to bring down society and their control over people’s lives and emotions. They try to free society and teach people that love isn’t something to be afraid of.

***SPOILER ALERT***
I was absolutely drawn into this book (2nd book of the Delirium Series). With the different turns and the way people handle different situations.

I didn’t like Raven, I didn’t like Julian. But the book was still great even though I couldn’t side with any of the characters. It would not be nice to be part of this world.

I really enjoy dystopian societies as I love to enter worlds that are different to the way we live today. I love how authors explore these ideas and Lauren Oliver absolutely got this right. Although parts of the book were over the top, it was still a great read. I would definitely recommend this book.

PS. The very last chapter just finished the book. I rarely feel complete when I finish a book but this ending was perfect.

Written by Ling Lee (19/10/16)

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Beastly by Alex Flinn (Book Review #103)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading 14/10/16
My 18th book this year.)

Kyle is the rich, handsome, charming young teen and has all the girls falling for him. Lindy is the scholarship girl who doesn’t quite fit in. Leading a stressful young life, with a druggie for a dad, she has to make ends meet as well as take care of their basic needs. But even with a realistic head, Lindy has fallen for Kyle, just like all the others.

Lindy’s dad has finally gotten himself in the deep end and has made an exchange, leaving Lindy in the care of a rich man’s son. She must live with and accompany Adrian for 1 year so that her dad can avoid a prison sentence. However, Adrian has a terrible physical appearance. But Lindy has to put up with Adrian no matter what, in order to save her dad.

The retelling of Beauty and the Beast in the modern day.

***SPOILER ALERT***
This book had amazing potential but I guess to factor in the modern day and realism, this was always going to be a difficult one.

The book was choppy and randomly pieced together. There wasn’t really an explanation as to why Kyle was cursed and what would have happened if he didn’t complete the task in time. No explanation as to where and how Kendra keeps appearing in Lindy’s dreams.

The characters were nothing special and Lindy’s sudden change of heart for Adrian made me ask “WHY?!?!?” Over and over again. He hadn’t done anything to make their relationship progress.

I enjoyed the storyline but this book isn’t as good as some of the other books that Alex Flinn has written. Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend this book, but if someone were to tell me they want to read it, I also wouldn’t tell them not to. Nothing special. Apologies to the author.

Written by Ling Lee (15/10/16)

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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Book Review #102)

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 11/10/16
My 17th book this year.)

Patroclus was once a Prince. He was exiled to King Peleus’ kingdom and managed to befriend Prince Achilles. Achilles has a sea nymph sea goddess for a mother who tries time and time again to persuade him to become a God and join her.

Achilles and Patroclus’ relationship begins quite awkwardly but somehow Achilles doesn’t care what the other people think. Once they break this barrier, they do everything together and almost never leave one another’s side.

As they experience life, they find themselves in Chiron’s good hands. The only “good” centaur who likes mortals. He teaches them everything they wish to learn and more. One day Achilles is called upon to fulfil his role for his Kingdom. Helen of Sparta has been taken from her kingdom and he must go to war against the Trojans and save her. Achilles’ heart is somehow distracted, full of his need for fame and proving himself better than other mortals. His relationship with Patroclus changes as his morals change and he can no longer see past the wrongs that he makes.

In the age of Heroes and Gods, Achilles must choose how to escape the misfortunate prophecy foretold and must make a name for himself in Greek legends.

***SPOILER ALERT***
This was a wonderful read. Engaging and difficult to put down. This book was all the more beautiful at the end. Rarely do I read books with a satisfying ending and the feeling of closure. The most unexpected final chapters made this book well worthy to read.

I only gave 4.5 stars because there was so much more that could have been done with descriptions. I wanted to see Ancient Greece through the eyes of the author. But I could only picture the story from what I have glimpsed in books from the school library. Not enough detail had gone into describing the people, the surroundings, the places, but the rest of the book was a great read.

I love the unexpected relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. I love how they learn together, grow together, love together and how they deal with the difficult times in life. Life is full of regrets but we are reminded that we can only try our best. Love and cherish those important to us before they are unfairly taken when the final day comes.

Highly recommended read!!

Written by Ling Lee (11/10/16).

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