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Review: Cleo

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Cleo: How a Small Black Cat Helped Heal a Family by Helen Brown
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm actually REALLY glad to have finished this book.

I enjoyed the first few chapters; they were laced with the cuteness of Cleo and the bond she built with the family; which is familiar, since I have cats at home too. It made me go 'awwww~' on more than one occasion per chapter, but after the 5th-6th chapter onwards, anything other than that of Cleo was, quite honestly, boring.

I understand that the protagonist is literally overwhelmed with grief at the death of Sam. I definitely understand her situation, but after a while, it seems as if the protagonist contradicts her own opinions. She says that she doesn't like people who immerse themselves in self-pity, but that was EXACTLY what she did for a good period of time, months after Sam's death.
It may be because of my intolerance towards anyone who uses self-pity as a way to garner sympathy (then again, the protagonist said she&#…

Review: Plain Truth

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Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had to admit.. it was a little hard for me to latch on to the story at the beginning. Similar to what I thought of The Descendants, I found it a bit hard to read. The only reason I kept at it was so I could finish it as soon as possible and get on to the next book I had in my stash.

If I was truthful, the only thing I looked forward to was how Ellie was going to present her defense. I know Jodi (Picoult)is acclaimed for her detailed court scenes and her extensive knowledge of law (in my opinion, anyways). But I have to say, it was a little disappointing. Not in the sense of the trial, though. Jodi never ceases to amaze with her knowledge. I didn't really get the story, but then again, it might just be me.

The thing that DID make an impact on me, though, was the description of the Amish life. As I was reading the book, I got interested in their way of life; how family is of utmost importance, and how unique their idea of blendin…

Review: The Last Song

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The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK so I stayed up MUCH later than I intended just to finish this book.
Then I took up another few minutes to write up this review. I didn't want to write it the next day, for fear of forgetting the finer details I wanted to write about.

This story is basically your average fairytale-ish love story (with more tragedies), but it's so beautifully written that you can't help but wished it would happen to you.
And I mean the love-story part, by the way.

The basic ending is predictable, but Nicholas just has a way of writing things that... I almost feel attached to the story.

I hated Marcus from the off, and as the story progressed, I began to hate him even more. I sneaked a peek at some of the little scenes from the movie, and honestly, Movie-Marcus didn't look much like how I imagined the Book-Marcus to look like. Movie-Marcus looked more... timid than the book had described. Also, I had imagined Galadriel a.k.a Bl…

Review: Pied Piper

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Pied Piper by Debbie ViguiƩ

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This was more of a 'light reading' for me, and it didn't disappoint. It kinda reminded me of the times when I read the Mary-Kate & Ashley Mystery books. This book will be a little hard to review without spoilers though; but I'll try my best, because I want it to sound suspenseful without giving too much of it away. ;)

The first half of the book was fairly normal. It made me miss the TV series, though. It was one of my favourite shows. =/ (That and I have been interested in witchcraft since middle school.)
What I really mean by 'light reading' was that the book had no bombastic or difficult-to-read words; nothing a regular reader wouldn't understand, and even non-fans of the shows would understand what the story was about without loopholes in it.

From the off, I already had my suspicions on who the 'demon' was. And at the end, I was proved right. But I DID have a moment of pleasant surprise and …

Review: Waves

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Waves by Sharon Dogar

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I admit... this is the longest I've ever taken to read a book.

I also admit that I kinda lost interest halfway through the book, which is probably why I left it untouched for weeks. It might just be me, but I find that the story took longer to unfold than it should, and it ended a bit abruptly. All that unnecessary drama that lead up to the finale was... unnecessary.

I found Hal's character a little hard to relate to at first, but it got better. Also, what Am did in the end kinda confused me. One minute she was all mad and 'hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-woman-scorned', and the next minute she was helping Charley. It was like Am had multiple personality disorder or something. O_o

I dunno... I just didn't really get this story.

After abandoning the book for so long, I decided that I finally had to finish it, so I could get along with my other books. I missed reading every so often, but with this book, I find that I just didn&#…

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult

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My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the main things I LOVE about Jodi is the way she describes the situations in her story, especially the court cases. You can definitely tell that she's done her research and knows her stuff; it's almost as if she had practiced law herself!

My Sister's Keeper is a touching novel that puts forth the question: How far would you go for the ones you love? And how much would be too much?

Throughout the entire book, I imagined myself in Anna's shoes. Somehow, though, Sara rubbed me off the wrong way a bit. I mean, I understand that she wants to keep Kate alive, but it seems as if she's being very biased. Sometimes, it even feels like Sara only thinks that Anna is conceived to keep Kate alive, nothing more. But that could just be my brain thinking.

I admired how Kate held it together all these years; what with transplants and operations and whatnot. The ending is a twist, a twist that I NEVER saw coming a…

Review: For One More Day

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For One More Day by Mitch Albom

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I LOVED IT.

I loved the little twist in the end, I loved how the story was written, I loved how it unfolded.
I loved how it made you think twice of your actions after reading it, and probably make you appreciate the people in your life more.

It is very simply written, but carries an amazing message. Like Charley, there is someone I deeply cared about who died without me having a chance to say goodbye. The second last chapter touched my heart deeply and throughout reading that chapter, I had my ballet teacher, Mr Gino, in my mind. I couldn't help thinking of all the things I would say to him if I had One More Day. I felt like going to my mum's room, at 5.30 in the morning, just to hug her and thank her for all that she's done for me; not like I haven't told her before, though.

I felt like just telling everyone what they mean to me after reading this book. This is a book that touches you deeply, and leaves a lasting…

Review: The Descendants

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The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I admit; when I read the synopsis, it DID catch my eye, but the first few chapters bored me. I would read it, but then would quickly lose interest and put it down, and find something else to do; which very rarely happens with me.

I found that the book only got interesting when Matt got to know that Joanie was going to die, because then I found myself 'pulled' towards how Matt handled the situation. Though I must say, the fact that he had to 'rehearse' almost everything he was going to say at the beginning was slightly annoying to me.

And then we have Sid. I couldn't stand the boy's guts, but then softened up to him as the story went on. He wasn't as bad as he was portrayed at the beginning after all. And Brian Speer... OH GOD, I HATED that man's guts when they confronted him at Kauai. I was expecting him to be more... expressive, I guess? I think I kinda understood Matt's feelings at that…

Review: Samphire Song

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Samphire Song by Jill Hucklesby

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I love how this story was very... lighthearted, if you will. Although slightly predictable, the story is very pleasant. There are no complicated words or sentences. Even my 20-year-old sister, who wouldn't read any book that has no pictures/illustrations, managed to finish the book in quite a short time, all things considered.

I admit I cried as Jodie helplessly lost Samphire, as I, like Jodie, have helplessly watched something/someone we love slip away. Jill expressed Jodie's loss so tragically that you can't help but feel pain for her. And to top it off with Ed's illness, it was a very noble sacrifice that I think would tug at anyone's heartstrings.

And then when those guys in the forests were hurting Samphire, I actually felt Jodie's rage, and then her desperation as Samphire clung on for life. It was heartbreaking, but without it sounding too depressing.

On a different note, this book was the first boo…

Review: Soulless

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Soulless by Christopher Golden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The beginning started out fairly normal. I was surprised though, that the zombies appeared rather early on in the story. The first description of the zombies made me cringe and my heart thumping.

Christopher has a knack for describing the emotions and expressions of people as they find out about the 'Uprising' endemic. He describes the zombie attacks with great detail and gore, too. I usually HATE anything related to zombies (I have a fear for them), but somehow this book sort of 'drew me in', if you will. There was something about this book when I saw it in a fair that although I had originally picked it up and put it back on the shelves, I was somehow drawn to it and ended up buying it.

It might be just me, but I was craving more zombie scenes. Understandably though, a huge chunk of the book writes about how the people keep themselves alive (or not). I got so engrossed in this book that I jumped about an inch in …

Review: The Long Weekend

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The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I admit. For a rather decent-sized book, I never expected the story to come out the way it did.

After reading the synopsis at the back of the book, the beginning's happening (how they got abducted) seemed pretty predictable. But the moment they made for their escape, I found myself almost wanting to skim past the descriptions and just read about how they were gonna escape. I was on the edge of my seat, and my heart racing.

The author is a genius at sucking the readers in to the dark world of Sam and Lloyd as they escape, with just the right amount of frustrations and panic.



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Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I don't think I need to say that fans of Harry Potter would love to have this book as a collection. What's even better is that royalties from the sales of this book are 'donated to the Children's High Level Group, which works to benefit children in desperate need of a voice'.

This book has 5 stories, conjured up (pun intended) by Beedle, and serves as 'fables' of sorts in the wizarding world, as were Cinderella and Red Riding Hood in ours.

Of course, in this is the famous Tale of the Three Brothers, as read by Hermione in The Deathly Hallows. It also features commentaries by Dumbledore at the end of each fable.

So for fans who want to know more about the story that Hermione was reading to Harry & Ron, this makes for a good 'side reading', if you will.



Review: Clouded Vision

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Clouded Vision by Linwood Barclay

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I knew this book was shorter than most books I've read, and I was expecting to be done with it by evening, at the latest. But I finished it just under 2 hours.

It was a very simple murder story, with the author not going into as much detail as other books I've read. The story unfolded very quickly, and ended as quickly.

The book ends in a cliffhanger that I would have liked to know more about. I know that the author's intention was to probably keep the reader at suspense, but that would have worked better if this book had a second part to it.

It was ok story-wise, and the result of Keyshia and Wendell's face-off made me cringe (due to the happening, not because of the story!).



Review: Why The Whales Came

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Why The Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Although it was quite a predictable story, plot-wise, I still really enjoyed it. I liked how the story was told in the point of view of a child, rather than an adult. It's a bit refreshing, I think. I was very slightly annoyed by how the conversations were carried out, though. It sounded a bit like an annoying, too-curious child. Haha.

I also found the ending a little too 'simple'. I think that the villagers caved in a little too easily with minimum persuasion. And although Big Tim was one of the last ones to comply, I still thought that realistically, it wouldn't have taken that quick to convince a whole village to do the compete opposite of what they've been led to believe their entire lives, and probably generations before.

Either way, I loved it and I would really love to read more from the author.



Review: Spooky Tales: True Cases Of Paranormal Investigation In Singapore

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Spooky Tales: True Cases Of Paranormal Investigation In Singapore by Kenny Fong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



To be honest, the first few stories left me skeptical. This book was written by Kenny Fong of SPI (Singapore Paranormal Investigators), and in the first few stories, he had managed to prove that it wasn't paranormal activity.

I guess in a way, it was a little refreshing that Kenny approached these cases with an open mind; that it could or could not be other-worldly.

About halfway through the book, it started to get interesting. I think the creepiest of all was The Devil's Face in the Old Commando Barracks. I got so immersed in and creeped out at the story that as I was reading it in a quiet room, the sudden sound of the room door opening made me jump and sent my heart racing. Lol

Probably the most interesting story was Secrets of the Shinto Shrine in the MacRitchie Reservoir. I admit that I even looked up Amatsu Tatara, as was mentioned by the author's Japanese friend, K…

Review: Remember Me?

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Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This is one of my favourites. I love Sophie's humour and the way she describes things. I lent the book from a friend, and Sophie immediately became one of my favourite authors. Remember Me? makes you question your choices in life and makes you wonder: If you had the chance to change your past, would you? What would you change? It's also thought-provoking. Makes me wanna get Sophie's entire work. ;)



Review: The Bubblegum Machine

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I remember that this was one of my ultimate favourites growing up. Unfortunately I think the publication has been halted. =(

As the picture explains, it's about a girl who gets a magic wishing crystal who grants her wishes. I mean come on... who wouldn't want that? And back when I read this, I was... Oh I dunno, 10, maybe? And the thought of having a wishing crystal was probably a dream come true.
I remember I read this book a few times, and it made me sort of melancholic knowing that I've had this book for YEARS (I'm 25 this year) and that it's one of the first books I really loved.
I have also attached 2 pictures of how my copy looks like now:



Review: The Ballet Companion: A Dancer's Guide to the Technique, Traditions, and Joys of Ballet

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The Ballet Companion: A Dancer's Guide to the Technique, Traditions, and Joys of Ballet by Eliza Gaynor Minden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



What can I say? It's a Ballet bible by THE Gaynor Minden herself!



Review: How to Ruin a Friendship

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How to Ruin a Friendship by Francine Pascal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I'm not sure if I picked up this book because it looked interesting, or because the title caught my eye back when I was about 13-14. Haha. Overall it was alright, I think... slightly better than the Sweet Valley Twins (Poor Lila!) I had a few years before, but with a similar tween theme; only I think this is more relatable in modern times as compared to the previous one. Not saying that I don't 'feel' the previous book though. However I MIGHT pick this up to read again if I'm feeling really bored and feel like reading something.



Review: Poor Lila!

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Poor Lila! by Francine Pascal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I remember reading this when I was... 11 or 12, I think? And of course, I'm sure like every other young girl who reads this, I wished I had Lila's fortune. But the ending was kind of... expected, in my opinion. Because Lila never really asked her dad about their situation. I read this book once, and I never really picked it up to re-read it. I guess.. it IS a tween book after all.



Review: The Wedding

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The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



If you are a fan of romantic love stories, this is DEFINITELY for you. I knew there was a reason that I was somehow drawn to this book even after going through so many others.

I cried THREE times in the first chapter alone. THREE! Maybe part of it was because I could relate to how Jane was feeling. But then the story unfolds so beautifully that the last part got me crying again, to the point my vision was blurred and I couldn't read A WORD on the page.

Maybe it's just me, but even A Walk To Remember and The Notebook didn't make me cry so much. T_T

Nicholas Sparks, I think you've truly outdone yourself with this.



Review: Keeping Faith

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Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This one was a hard book to put down. I was so hooked on the drama that I always end up being late for something because I was too engrossed! I knew this book would have quite a few arguments regarding religion in it, so I was very curious to see what diagnosis they'd come up with for Faith's 'condition'.

However for me, some of the outcomes were predictable, like the relationship between Mariah and Ian. But other than that, it's a good read!



Review: Who's That Girl?

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Who's That Girl? by Alexandra Potter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



It's funny, it's real, and it actually makes you think (well, it made ME think, that's for sure!). After I read the book, I wrote my own list of things I'd say to a younger me if I could, and it opened my eyes to some things that I already knew, but had chosen to not address. After the first one in the list, the other 9 came almost naturally. I love books that give you something to think of after you've read them, and this one definitely did it. =)



Review: The Haunted

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The Haunted by Jessica Verday

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I admit I hadn't read the first in the series, but then again I'm new to Verday so I never knew there was a series in the first place. I felt intrigued by the story, and I felt that the protagonist's love for perfume-making is unique (the hobby itself is not very defined). But the one thing I did NOT like was how the story ended. I know that it's meant to make the reader purchase the next book to find out, but this book ends with so many loose ends still unexplained that when I got to the last page, my initial reaction was "Wait, that's it?? O_o"



Review: Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog

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Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Being an animal lover myself, I could definitely relate to the story. I also loved John's humourous way of describing things, which makes it stick in your head long after you've read it. Though my dog isn't anywhere near as cheeky as Marley was (thank God? lol), Giselle can be quite a handful too. The last chapter of the story (Not gonna mention what, exactly.. just in case some of you haven't read it yet) got me bawling my eyes out, and gave me the sudden urge to just go downstairs and give Giselle a hug. It's definitely a MUST READ for all dog (and animal) lovers out there.



Review: The Twilight Saga

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The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



Ok, before I even begin to review this, let's be real here. People are completely crazy over the series, be it crazy in love, or crazy hate. But after watching the first movie that came out, I bought the first book. Necrophilia and beastality aside, I actually thought the first book was not bad. Plus I'm sure all girls dream of having an almost illegally handsome boy fall for you, the nerd/nobody.

So I bought the entire collection.

And then I found myself actually TRYING to finish all 4 books. I would read, then get a bit bored, so I'd close it. After a few days/weeks of not touching it, I would make myself open it to continue reading, and I can say that I was actually glad when I finished it. I liked the first book, but sadly, my interest increasingly faded as I read books 2-4.



Review: Harry Potter Schoolbooks Box Set: Two Classic Books from the Library of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Harry Potter Schoolbooks Box Set: Two Classic Books from the Library of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I loved how inside Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, there are little witty 'scribbles' from Ron, Harry and Hermione. Reminded me of what I always did to my textbooks too! Both books are very pleasantly detailed and wittily written. I loved it!



Review: The Harry Potter Complete Collection

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The Harry Potter Complete Collection by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Is there anything to say that hasn't already been said? Ever since I saw the first movie (I admit I hadn't picked the book up before that; I heard a lot about it but just.. didn't. ), I straightaway went to the nearest bookstore (right after the movie, I might add), and got my first Harry Potter book: The Sorcerer's Stone. After finishing that one, I was even more hooked, so I went and got the rest of it, and made sure to pre-order the rest before they were launched. As a result, I've become one of the biggest, 24-year-old Harry Potter nerd, up till today. I just feel like I get sucked into the realm of Hogwarts everytime I pick up the books to read.

Now, I have both the UK and US versions of all 7 books.



Review: Hook Up or Break Up #2: If You Can't Be Good, Be Good at It

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Hook Up or Break Up #2: If You Can't Be Good, Be Good at It by Kendall Adams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



A story about your typical teen dilemmas. But what's unique about it is the 'choose-your-own-ending' format, where you're given 3 guys to choose from based on the story of what happened at the beginning. Glad to say I got the right boy though. ;)