Hasini's Blog

Hi guys! Welcome to my blog!

I'm a bibliophile and a final year med student. My passion has always been reading books, so I thought I'll start a review blog and voila! Here we are!

As always, feel free to share your thoughts on my reviews and lemme know what books you love!


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Read from June 02 to 21, 2019
If you are to survive, you must believe.
Shadow Moon has served his time. But hours before his release from prison, his beloved wife is killed in a freak accident. Dazed, he boards a plane home where he meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who professes both to know Shadow and to be king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange road trip across the USA, encountering a kaleidoscopic cast of characters along the way. Yet all around them a storm threatens to break.
The war has already begun, an epic struggle for the very soul of America, and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.

This is my second Neil Gaiman novel and I was so hyped to read it. I heard great things about the STARZ series, so I started the watching it right after I finished this book and I'm loving it!

I was wary at the beginning of the story because it was a huuuuge book - 736 pages, to be exact, and that's insane and scary at the same time. However, I was too excited to drop it, and I ended up devouring the whole book. The plot concept is uniquely different; I'm pretty sure I have never seen this storyline being explored on such a grand scale as this before. It was sort of fun to try guess all the gods that kept popping up, and I'm very motivated to start reading old folklore and history books after this read. 

I loved the characters! Even the gods were so human and mortal in their characterisation, and that appealed so much to me. It was also so relatable in my head, because it left me feeling like there could be gods living among us. Imagine the possibilities! Gods aside, the human characters were just as appealing, alive or dead. 

This is one of the only books where the plot appealed to me more than the characters did; I was more engrossed in how the story would unfold, rather than on a character or more. There were very twisty plot twists that I absolutely loved! And honestly, I'm ready for a sequel if it ever comes out. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

It's been a while...

Greetings, humans!

I have been MIA for so long I actually forgot how far back my last post was! Maintaining a blog is hard work and juggling that with medical school is crazy hard. Fortunately, it's 2019 and I am in my final year as a medical student, meaning the hardest bits are behind me and I am pretty much drifting around in my honeymoon year before internship.

Making a comeback without a revamp felt wrong; my blog should grow the same way I do, right? However, since med school has been a huge part of me these last few years, I'm considering the possibility of posting med school posts in addition to my bibliophile posts. Try a bit of that "increasing my audience pool" concept, I guess.

Here's to a great comeback! Hopefully I manage to maintain a streak and not disappear again when life gets hard!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review: Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye (Eon #1) by Alison Goodman

Read from July 06 to 12, 2016
Twelve-year old Eon has been studying the ancient art of the Dragoneyes for two years. But he is playing a dangerous game: Eon is actually Eona, 16 years old and a girl. Her true identity must remain hidden at all costs: it is forbidden for women to practise the Art, and to be discovered would be punishable by death.
Let down by her injured leg, it seems that Eon is destined to fail in her quest, until a spectacular twist in events catapults her into the opulent but treacherous world of the Imperial court. Without a master to guide her, Eon must learn to harness her unprecedented natural power, while protecting the secret that could cost her everything . . .
Set against a rich backdrop of Ancient Chinese myths and traditions and fraught with tension, this is a classic page-turner.
 This book has been on my shelf for so long and I didn't even realize that I've been postponing reading such an amazing, epic story! Haha!

How do I even describe my feelings on this book? It hooked me in right from the beginning, and I would sometimes have to close the book and take a breather 'cause everything just got so intense!

Alison's writing is amazing! I love the detail, the elegance of her words. They just slipped me into her fantasy world and I loved what I saw! Everything was so fantastical and epic, just what this story excelled at!

The characters themselves were amazing! Their complexity surprised me and I loved how politics played such an immense role in character-shaping. I find it very difficult to just name a few of my favourite characters when it comes to this book. I literally fell in love with all the main characters, good and bad. They weren't just characters in this book, they were real people in my head!

And them dragons! Woah! I love the concept Alison has used here! It's just amazing! Whenever the dragons make an appearance I am just blown away by the power behind the writing!

And that ending! Who can not fangirl over that ending??? Haha! I had to take a breather before reading the last paragraph 'cause it was so damn intense! Totally blew me away with how good it was! And that cliffhanger? Dude, I'm so ready for Eona it's not even funny!

my Goodreads review

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Book Review: Déjà Dead (Temperance Brennan #1) by Kathy Reichs

Read from July 01 to 06, 2016
The meticulously dismembered body of a woman is discovered in the grounds of an abandoned monastery.
'Too decomposed for standard autopsy. Request anthropologic expertise.'
Enter Dr Temperance Brennan, Director of Forensic Anthropology for the province of Quebec, who has been researching recent disappearances in the city.
Despite the cynicism of Detective Claudel who heads the investigation, Brennan is convinced that a serial killer is at work. Her forensic expertise finally convinces Claudel, but only after the body count has risen...
Tempe takes matters into her own hands, but her determined probing places those closest to her in mortal danger. Can Tempe make her crucial breakthrough before the killer strikes again?
I loved loved loved this so much! I picked up this book thinking I'm in for a lengthy boring mystery but ended up loving it in the end!

First I love Tempe! I loved her character since I first read her name was Temperance Brennan coz dude, that's one heck of a cool name! Haha! I loved everything about her character and something about her really appeals to me! Haha!

And then I loved the rest of characters, and the whole team working with Tempe were awesome! I loved their dynamics, no matter whatever disagreements popped up!

And that ending had my heart pounding so fast, I had to keep the book away and take a breather! Haha!

Anyway, amazing book, totally recommend it to everyone out there! I'm dying to get my hands on the rest of series! Haha!

my Goodreads review

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Book Review: The Cairo Diary by Maxime Chattam

Read from June 21 to July 01, 2016
"British-occupied Cairo, 1928: " Several young children have disappeared and were then found, horribly mutilated, in the tombs just outside the city. Panic is spreading among the locals after a cloaked giant is sighted. Has a ghoul from "One Thousand and One Nights" been brought to life? British inspector Jeremy Matheson follows the trail of the monster, which takes him into the depths of underground Cairo as well as deep into his own tortured past.
"Mont-Saint-Michel, 2005: " Marion has taken refuge in the wind-swept and remote monastery located on a spit of land on the west coast of France. In the wake of a scandal, caused by her own revelations, that is now reverberating through the French capital, she has been spirited away from Paris and brought here by the Secret Service for her own protection. When she finds a diary dating from 1928 in the monastery library, penned by Jeremy Matheson and hidden inside the jacket of an Edgar Allen Poe book, she is inexorably pulled into the past as she is being watched, and taunting notes and riddles urge her to give back what is not hers. . .
The Cairo Diary had an interesting plot behind it and I was truly caught up in the mystery of the moment. But at the same time not everything made sense to me.

I'm not a big fan of Marion since I found her actions too frustrating at times. I wasn't interested in her story at all really and I feel the author drew out her part of the story for too long.

I found 1920s Cairo more interesting than the Mount Saint Michel time period. The ghul was very interesting honestly and the whole noma thing intrigued me a lot! Haha! The ghul was the star of the story for me! Haha!

Overall, I'm not a big fan of this story. I found it too messy when it comes to details and I found it really hard to finish off reading it!

my Goodreads review

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review: You Belong To Me by Mary Higgins Clark

Read from June 18 to 21, 2016
"When Dr. Susan Chandler decides to use her daily radio talk show to explore the phenomenon of women who disappear and are later found to have become victims of killers who prey on the lonely and insecure, she has no idea that she is exposing herself—and those closest to her—to the very terror that she hopes to warn others against.
Susan sets out to determine who is responsible for an attempt on the life of a woman who called in to the show offering information on the mysterious disappearance from a cruise ship, years before, of Regina Clausen, a wealthy investment advisor. Soon Susan finds herself in a race against time, for not only does the killer stalk these lonely women, but he seems intent on eliminating anyone who can possibly further Susan’s investigation.
As her search intensifies, Susan finds herself confronted with the realization that one of the men who have become important figures in her life might actually be the killer. And as she gets closer to uncovering his identity, she realizes almost too late that the hunter has become the hunted. Is she the next one marked for murder?"
Picking up this book, I had high hopes since Mary Higgins Clark is a name I've heard and seen oftentimes in bookstores. I was thrilled at the mystery that boggled the characters in this story and I loved the psychological aspect of it but there were a few things that threw me off a bit.

First of all, I found the beginning of the story to be a bit of a bore. I loved the plot line and such but there was so much happening and hardly enough scenes with the main characters taking place.

I think Don Richards should have had more scenes. He seemed like a pretty important character to warrant some. Susan should have had more background. It's like there was a lot of plot-focus but maybe not enough character-focus.

I didn't feel the excitement that usually comes with reading a good mystery until I was past the first half of this story. Only then did I "eat up" the pages trying to make it to the end.

However, I loved Clark's plot line here and the plot twists were amazing! I would definitely pick up more of her books from now on!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes

 Read from June 13 to 18, 2016
"Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?
When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn't think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston's body.
Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer…"
Honestly, I didn't think I'll love this book as much as I did once I was done with it! It felt really good to read a pretty awesome mystery thriller after so long.

I loved everything about this book except for a few loopholes that I found very confusing and unbelievable, but the end result had me loving it anyway! I loved the character and I loved the plot. I loved Stokes' writing as well. I'm definitely picking up more of her books the next time I visit a bookstore! :D

my Goodreads review

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Book Review: The Tuesday Blade by Bob Ottuman

Read from February 18 to 21, 2016
"The handles were eggshell-white pearl and the days of the week were hand-lettered on each one. She lifted out the Tuesday razor and snapped the case closed.."
Glory-Ann had the kind of body that men wanted badly. That made her a highly saleable commodity.
She still bore the scars of the time that young hoodlum charged the hometown guys a nickel each for her in the back of a car.
When she came to New York City in search of the swinging singles scene, the pimps marked her down as a natural. 
But Glory-Ann had a razor in her lovely hand and she was through with being anybody's victim...
So, The Tuesday Blade had a good plot line. I liked how Gloria's past influenced and I loved the character of Sergeant DeMario.

But there were some stuff that I did not like at all too. First, the writing style is pretty confusing most of the time. There was too much dialogue with not enough description. Sometimes it was like reading a character's lines in a play.

Also, the ending seemed to lack something. There was no climatic moment in any part of the book and the end of the book just sort of petered out.

I wish there had been more DeMario in the story and that there'd been more of a connection between characters and reader. The only way I can briefly describe is that it was an okay book but it lacked that 'boom!'

my Goodreads review

Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

Read on February 21, 2016
"A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish. 
On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents."
The Sleeper and the Spindle has got to be one of the most gorgeous books on my shelves! Riddell's illustrations are just absolute perfection and beauty! Can't get enough of them!

I loved this fairytale retelling! Gaiman flawlessly twined the two fairytales into one and I'm very satisfied with what it's turned up to be.

The only reason why this book ended up with 4 stars and not 5 is because I'm not too happy with the ending. It sort of just ended too abrupt for me. I feel like there should have been a bit more there!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

Read from February 03 to 18, 2016
"It began with rumors from China about another pandemic. Then the cases started to multiply and what had looked like the stirrings of a criminal underclass, even the beginnings of a revolution, soon revealed itself to be much, much worse. Faced with a future of mindless, man-eating horror, humanity was forced to accept the logic of world government and face events that tested our sanity and our sense of reality.
Based on extensive interviews with survivors and key players in the 10-year fight-back against the horde, World War Z brings the very finest traditions of American journalism to bear on what is surely the most incredible story in the history of civilisation."
First of all, I'm gonna have to admit I was traumatized by the time I was done with this. Like I've gone through World War Z! Haha!

The writing style was huge plus point for this book. It made it all the more realistic rather than reading the story of how a few characters escaped World War Z.

The multiple witness accounts made way for the real gore and brutality behind this war. I'm gonna have to admit that I did not think I'll be as into the story as I was when I flipped to the first page, but it was addictive!

I took a hell of a lot of time to finish this off too, and I felt like I really lived in this war by the end! I was horrified, inspired, saddened and shocked by all that I read, and the realism was so on-point.

World War Z was an addictive read, and I'm most probably gonna be haunted by everything I read, but it was worth it!

my Goodreads review

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Book Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan

Read from January 25 to February 02, 2016
"It's not easy being Magnus Bane. As a warlock, he's often called upon to fix the problems of others. His life has been long, and his loves have been many. And Magnus has a way of making sure he's at the right at the right - or perhaps wrong - time. The French Revolution, Prohibition, the first great battle between Valentine and the New York Institute... Magnus was there. But smuggling Marie Antoinette out of France is nothing compared to having a first date with Alec Lightwood.
Though Magnus's tale is far from over, these stories shed a little light on his often inscrutable character. What happens when an immortal warlock goes mad? Are all Herondales as problematic as Will? (Answer: yes.) And why was Magnus banned from Peru?
Magnus will never be able to tell all of his tales. No one would believe him. But here are eleven stories that fill in some of the blanks - stories he probably wishes had never gotten out."
I'm gonna have to admit that I wasn't really into it when I started reading The Bane Chronicles.

What Really Happened in Peru and The Runaway Queen were too mundane for me. The two of those stories are my least favourite.

Then I started reading Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale and I really got into it. I started getting that vibe that I get when reading Cassie's work; this mix of harsh realism and wonderful magic. It was addictive.

From then on, I was sucked into this series of short stories. It thrilled me to see so many characters I could recognise and to once again "meet up" with my old "book pals"! I was thrilled reading this! I was giggling and sighing and laughing and sobbing!

The impact that seeing these well-known characters had on me took my breath away. I was so reluctant to finish reading the last story but I just couldn't stop myself.

I'm so glad I got this book when I did; I so wish I'd read this sooner! *sigh*

my Goodreads review 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Book Review: P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han

Read from January 23 to 24, 2016
"Lara Jean didn't expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren't. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing."
P.S. I Still Love You had much more realism it in than TATBILB did. From the moment this book started, it had a more solemn and honest tone than the first book.

I loved Lara Jean. I loved her for being so flawed, and human, and just a teenage girl. I loved the fact that she was "in love with love". In those so many way, I felt I could relate to her. I especially loved the ending because it was so obvious that she's grown up since book one and it was a heartening thing to see happen!

I loved the rest of the characters too! I was annoyed with Han throwing in new characters at the last moment but then I realized that that's sort of what life does! Haha! I loved the Covey family, as always, I loved Peter (duh!) and Chris and John! Also, I actually didn't realize till the last bit that Han taking away characters as well, like friends drifting away from each other in life.

So, there was a lot happening in this book. While TATBILB was about love and making mistakes, P.S. I Still Love You was about Lara Jean and life. It's almost as if the series grew up with her! Haha! All of that together, I loved it!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1) by Jenny Han

Read from January 22 to 23, 2016
"Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.
They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control."
Wow, the speed I read this at is amazing! Haha! Anyway, this is the second time I'm reading this and I still love it!!!

I love Han's short chapters! It's part of why I read this whole book so quickly! One chapter and I'm like 'Wow! One done, why not go the next?', and the next thing I know I'm done reading!

It's no secret that I love TATBILB! I loved it the first time I read and I haven't even Jenny Han before! The best thing I loved about this book was Lara Jean!

Lara Jean inspires me so much! She inspires me to bake (I baked Scottish Shortbread while reading this!), to pay more attention to what I wear, to collect cool knick-knacks... I'm just in love with this character!

And let's not forget Peter K.! Love this guy to bits! So adorable and charming; he just charms me through paper! Haha!

And then you put these two characters in a book? I'm spellbound! I love the chemistry between these two! Yes, they go through a very rocky road together but I have hope that they end up together! Oh God, what am I saying, if these two split up, I'm gonna cry!

Luckily, I have the next book right here with me, so I don't have to wait around to find out how this goes! *wink wink*

my first review of TATBILB

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries, #11) by Meg Cabot

Read from January 19 to 22, 2016
"In ROYAL WEDDING, Princess Diaries XI, Princess Mia’s planned nuptials to longtime love Michael Moscovitz are in jeopardy when the paparazzi uncover a startling secret: Mia has a long lost younger sister.
Now a scheming politico is using the royal scandal to force Mia’s father from the throne, leaving Genovia without a monarch . . . unless Mia can prove to everyone—especially herself—that she’s finally fit to rule."
 It felt so good to dive back into the Princess Diaries universe! I've missed these characters so much and it felt so good to see where everyone had to after all these years!

So, Royal Wedding didn't have the 'zing!' that my last couple of reads did but it was still good for me.

I loved Mia; getting back inside her head after 10 books was pretty fun! I'd honestly forgotten how fun this series was! Also, Mia with Michael had me fangirling! *wink wink*

Mia's family is the same level of crazy they've always been... actually maybe more than then too! Haha! All the scandals and stuff in this book had my head whirring non-stop!

I'll admit that I got a bit teary-eyed when I reached the end; it just felt so good to see everyone so happy! Coz everyone WAS so happy and fun and amazing! I'm telling you, reading this book was like having reunion with old friends! *sigh*

my Goodreads review

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3) by Stephanie Perkins

Read from January 16 to 18, 2016
"The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. 
Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!”
His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me. 
And then…he blinks. “Isla?”
Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.
Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series."
I've got to admit that Isla is the most heartbreaking book in the trilogy. I knew it was gonna be much more angsty from the moment I started reading it! Haha!

So, Isla... I loved Isla's character! I could relate to her in many ways and that made understanding her and empathising with her all the more easier! Her insecurities were real; I'm even guessing I'll end up a lot like her if I ever get into a relationship! Haha! Her character was a 100% different from Anna and Lola, and that just made her all the more real!

Then Josh! I loved him since reading Anna and I've always wanted to know more about him. This book just made me love him all the more and I'm stuck between him and Etienne when it comes to my fave guy in this trilogy! Haha! Anyway, Josh's character was much more solid than he was before and I'll admit I fell in love with him the moment this book started!

And then him and Isla together? They had more chemistry than most book characters I've read of! I loved how they complemented each other, how they got through troubles together, and how they learnt more and more about each other. I personally I found it painful to read some parts of the book because of how much they got hurt! *sob*

The ending though! Whoa! I loved the reunion with everyone else and how everyone played into the story. Then those big surprises at the end blew me away and sucked me deeper into the story! This ending left me near tears! And then that last scene... I died reading it. It was just so beautiful and I couldn't have imagined a better ending for Isla and Josh!

This book was the climatic ending that Perkins' trilogy deserved! It left me breathless, hopeful and hopelessly yearning for more!

my Goodreads review