Hasini's Blog

Hi guys! Welcome to my blog!

I'm a bibliophile and a 3rd year med student. My passion has always been reading books, so I thought I'll start a review blog and voila! Here we are! :D

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

Hasini

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

Monday, January 18, 2016

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2) by Stephanie Perkins

Read from January 14 to 16, 2016
"Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.
That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Could the boy from Lola's past be the love of her future?"
So I'll admit that LOLA wasn't as "magical" as ANNA, but it had its own singular charm that captured my attention!

The first thing I'll like to point out is Perkins is one hell of a writer! She switched voices from Anna to Lola completely, leaving behind no trace of Anna's voice where Lola's should be. I think that's an amazing talent in a writer that has to be appreciated! This tiny fact both astounded and delighted me.

I loved Lola's character. Her unique fashion sense had me visualising her dress multiple times. I liked her immaturity and I loved watching her grow wiser and stronger from beginning till the end.

As for Cricket, I once again loved his uniqueness and how he got integrated into the story after all that history between him and Lola. The story progressed flawlessly between them, as far as I'm concerned, and I absolutely adored the romance.

Lastly, I loved how Anna and Etienne appeared in the story, and I was positively ecstatic when even Josh made a cameo! So good to see the old buddies back!

my Goodreads review

Friday, January 15, 2016

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) by Stephanie Perkins

Read from January 12 to 14, 2016
"Can Anna find love in the City of Light?
Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken--and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's been waiting for?"
This book ruined me! I'm absolutely in love with this book! And I understand what all the hype surrounding this book was all about!

One huge thing that jumped out at me was all the relatable experiences Anna had. Having moved abroad for my uni studies just last year, reading this was like reliving so many of the same experiences that I had! Except for all the romance! *sob!*

And of course, the romance in this book was so real life to me! I've never fallen in love, but this book gave me hope! All the awkwardness, precious moments and heartbreak were all made me believe in love again, and so, this book is gonna hold a special part of my heart!

I loved all the characters too! Their less-than-perfect personalities made it all the more relatable, fun and amazing! I'm in love with these characters and was so reluctant to let them go at the end!

All in all, this book gave me legit feels and restored all the reading hype I've missed for too long! Who knows, maybe I'll end up in Paris someday too! *wink wink*

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Spy for the Queen of Scots by Theresa Breslin

Read from January 09 to 12, 2016
"As lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots, the beautiful Ginette—known as Jenny—is the young queen’s closest childhood friend. Growing up in the elegant but ruthless French court, surrounded by enemies and traitors—not least the jealous, manipulative Catherine de Medici, and Mary’s own scheming half-brother, James—Jenny has always been fiercely loyal to her mistress. But when she overhears a mysterious whispered plot, closely followed by several unexplained deaths at court, she puts her own life in danger and turns spy for Mary.
Jenny quickly realises not a soul at court can be trusted, and when she and Mary return to their Scottish homeland for Mary to claim her throne, they face even greater peril. Desperate to protect her friend from those who would slit her throat to steal her crown, while battling her feelings for the charismatic nobleman Duncan Alexander, Jenny becomes embroiled in a dangerous web of secrets, betrayals and lies."
OH MY GOD I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!!!

When I got ahold of this book, I honestly didn't think I'll be a 100% into it, but surprise surprise, I was hooked from the beginning!

I loved the politics, scandals and scheming in this! The main thing I loved though, was the romance between Ginette and Duncan! I was rooting for them from the beginning and I'm ecstatic with how they ended up! My one disappointment though was that there wasn't much about what life was like for Ginette and Duncan once they got the chance to get together.

Anyway, I'm definitely picking up more of Breslin's books coz this one was fricking amazing!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones by R. A. Salvatore

Read from January 06 to 09, 2016
"There is a great disturbance in the Force. . . . From the sleek ships of the glimmering Coruscant skyscape to the lush gardens of pastoral Naboo, dissent is roiling. The Republic is failing, even under the leadership of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, elected ten years earlier to save the crumbling government. Separatists threaten war, and the Senate is hopelessly divided, unable to determine whether to raise an army for battle or keep the fragile peace. It is a stalemate that once broken, could lead to galactic chaos.
Mischievous and resolved, courageous to the point of recklessness, Anakin Skywalker has come of age in a time of great upheaval. The nineteen-year-old apprentice to Obi-Wan Kenobi is an enigma to the Jedi Council, and a challenge to his Jedi Master. Time has not dulled Anakin’s ambition, nor has his Jedi training tamed his independent streak. When an attempt on Senator Padmé Amidala’s life brings them together for the first time in ten years, it is clear that time also has not dulled Anakin’s intense feelings for the beautiful diplomat.
The attack on Senator Amidala just before a crucial vote thrusts the Republic even closer to the edge of disaster. Masters Yoda and Mace Windu sense enormous unease. The dark side is growing, clouding the Jedi’s perception of the events. Unbeknownst to the Jedi, a slow rumble is building into the roar of thousands of soldiers readying for battle. But even as the Republic falters around them, Anakin and Padmé find a connection so intense that all else begins to fall away. Anakin will lose himself—and his way—in emotions a Jedi, sworn to hold allegiance only to the Order, is forbidden to have."
Once again, I love these novelisations!

This book gave me more insight into the movie and I'm really glad it did! Everything seemed to carry much more depth than it did when I watched the movie.

Love the fight scenes; the writing is really good and fast paced! I noticed that these fight scene seemed to be Salvatore's strong point. The writing seemed to have a flow that was very much like a real fight scene! Loved the imagery there; I could feel their movements in my body!

Also, I feel like I got a better look into how Anakin & Padme's started off; and I love them together! Of course, seeing Anakin's connection to the Dark Side growing was painful to read. I kept mentally screaming at him whenever he did something more Dark Side than Jedi!

I'm currently waiting for my order of the third novelization to make it to my doorstep! Can't wait for the rest of this saga!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks

Read from December 30, 2015 to January 05, 2016
"In barren desert lands and seedy spaceports…in vast underwater cities and in the blackest depths of space…unfolds a tale of good and evil, of myth and magic, of innocence and power. At last the saga that captured the imagination of millions turns back in time to reveal its cloaked origins—the start of a legend—the story of Star Wars. Based on the screenplay by George Lucas, this novel by master storyteller Terry Brooks probes the depths of one of the greatest tales of our time, providing rich detail and insight into the minds and motives of the characters—and shedding bold new light on Lucas's brilliant creation.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an evil legacy long believed dead is stirring. Even the Jedi are caught by surprise, their attentions focused on the political unrest between the Trade Federation and the Republic. Now the dark side of the Force threatens to overwhelm the light, and only an ancient Jedi prophecy stands between hope and doom for the entire galaxy.
On the desert world of Tatooine, far from the concerns of the Republic, a slave boy works by day and dreams by night—of being a Jedi Knight and one day traveling the stars to worlds he's only heard of in stories…of finding a way to win freedom from enslavement for himself and his beloved mother. His only hope lies in his extraordinary instincts and his strange gift for understanding the “rightness” of things, talents that allow him to be one of the best Podracers on the planet."
I watched the movie before I read this and I still loved this! And I know that I'm reviewing this book way too late, but I honestly don't care because a novelization of a saga as amazing as this one must have a review on my blog! Haha!

I'm pleasantly surprised by how much more substance Brooks' writing gave to the movie! Granted, I knew what was gonna happen in the whole series, but I was really into the book series as well! Surprise, surprise! Haha!

I just loved how much more personality and history Brooks' writing gave these timeless characters. I got totally sucked into the story and I was so worked up by the time I reached the ending. Also, it's always fun digging deeper into a movie!

In the end, all I can say is... Star Wars FTW!!! <3

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Read from December 13 to 21, 2015
"It's the week before Hallowe'en, and Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois. The siren song of the calliope entices all with promises of youth regained and dreams fulfilled... as two boys trembling on the brink of manhood set out to explore the mysteries of the dark carnival's smoke, mazes and mirrors, they will also discover the true price of innermost wishes..."
This book was a huge change from what I've been reading these last few days, so it was quite pleasant to read something classically Gothic! Ha ha!

I loved the classic feeling of the story and the carnival theme really caught on with me! Quite a good plot line. I wasn't too impressed with the characters though, and was far more enamoured by Mr. Dark and his carnival freaks.

Also, the writing style was quite amazing in a way, maybe a bit tedious at times. But I loved the way the author seemed to give life to inanimate objects and that was a huge creepy factor in the story. I especially loved how Bradbury described Mr. Dark; personifying his tattoos made him way creepy!

Overall, I enjoyed this book but there were some parts where I had to make myself read on.

my Goodreads review

Book Review: The Last Testament by Sam Bourne

Read from December 01 to 13, 2015
"The Last Testament: It was written. It was lost. It will save us all.
April 2003: as the Baghdad Museum of Antiquities is looted, a teenage Iraqi boy finds an ancient clay tablet in a long-forgotten vault. He takes it and runs off into the night …
Several years later, at a peace rally in Jerusalem, the Israeli prime minister is about to sign a historic deal with the Palestinians. A man approaches from the crowd and seems to reach for a gun – bodyguards shoot him dead. But in his hand was a note, one he wanted to hand to the prime minister.
The shooting sparks a series of tit-for-tat killings which could derail the peace accord. Washington sends for trouble-shooter and peace negotiator Maggie Costello, after she thought she had quit the job for good. She follows a trail that takes her from Jewish settlements on the West Bank to Palestinian refugee camps, where she discovers the latest deaths are not random but have a distinct pattern. All the dead men are archaeologists and historians – those who know the buried secrets of the ancient past.
Menaced by fanatics and violent extremists on all sides, Costello is soon plunged into high-stakes international politics, the worldwide underground trade in stolen antiquities and a last, unsolved riddle of the Bible."
I definitely enjoyed this read a lot! Picking up this book, I had no idea whether I'll like it or what even the story was gonna be like; that blurb was pretty mysterious! Ha ha! Once I was done, I was just seriously in love with the whole story!

I've never dabbled in political thrillers before, but this was a good intro to the genre for me! There were so many elements playing out and everything just fit together pretty well in the end.

I'm thrilled at the hint that Maggie & Uri have a chance at a proper relationship; they just had great chemistry throughout the story!

Finally, that ending was pretty good! Didn't leave me wandering what else or anything; I just closed the pages with a content smile on. I'm really glad that this story turned out so well!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: No Time for Goodbye (No Time For Goodbye #1) by Linwood Barclay

Read from November 27 to December 01, 2015
"The house was silent. No sound of her parents getting ready for work, or her brother late for school. Were they punishing her for last night? She'd been out on a date when she should have been studying, and had a huge fight with her father. So where was everyone now? Why had her family disappeared?
Twenty-five years later the mystery is no nearer to being solved and Cynthia is still haunted by unanswered questions. Were her family murdered? Abducted? If so, why was she spared? And if they're alive, why did they abandon her?
Then a letter arrives, a letter which makes no sense. Soon Cynthia begins to realise that stirring up the past could be the worst mistake she has ever made..."
I LOVED THIS!!! I knew absolutely zilch about the author & his books when I picked this up, and I'm so glad I did!

This book was an absolute thriller! Once I was done with the 1st chapter I was dying to keep reading! And that sentiment continued throughout the length of the book so it was an amazing read!

I loved Barclay's writing! It kept me entertained and thirsting for more of what's to come! Absolutely perfect thriller material!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Read from November 21 to 25, 2015
"Best friends since forever, Rosie and Alex have shared their hopes, dreams - and firsts. But one awkward moment at eighteen, one missed opportunity, and life sends them hurtling in different directions. Although they stay in touch, misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck seem to be conspiring to keep them apart. Can they gamble everything - even their friendship - on true love?"
I'm just completely mind blown by this amazing story! I was absolutely enthralled by the amazing story in this book, and I legit do not have the proper words to describe how amazing this experience was!

From the beginning till the end, I feel as if I aged the characters and experienced what they went through. Making it to the end of this book was like winning a marathon or something like that! I was exhausted but ecstatic!

This story literally breathed its essence into me and it has ruined an chances of me finding my "perfect man"! Ha ha! But honestly speaking, I'm dying for my Alex now!

Basically, this is an amazing book, and I would have been missing an amazing experience of life if I had not read it!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Dictatorship of the Dress (Much "I Do" About Nothing, #1) by Jessica Topper

Read from November 10 to 22, 2015
"As the dress-bearer for her mother’s wedding, comic book artist Laney Hudson has a lot more baggage than the bulky garment bag she’s lugging from New York to Hawaii. Laney is determined to prove she’s capable of doing something right, but running chores for her mom’s fairytale nuptials is proving to be a painfully constant reminder of her own lost love.
So when she’s mistaken for the bride and bumped up to first class, Laney figures some stress-free luxury is worth a harmless white lie. Until the flight crew thinks that the man sitting next to her is Laney’s groom, and her little fib turns into a hot mess.
The last thing Noah Ridgewood needs is some dress-obsessed diva landing in his first-class row. En route to his Vegas bachelor party, the straight-laced software designer knows his cold feet have nothing to do with the winter weather.
When a severe storm leaves them grounded in Chicago and they find themselves booked into the last available honeymoon suite, Laney and her in-flight neighbor have little choice but to get better acquainted. Now, as her bridal mission hangs in the balance, perhaps the thing Laney gets right is a second chance at love."
I'm giving this book a solid 4.5 stars!!!

First of all, this book looks gorgeous! Definitely one of the most gorgeous books I own!

I loved this book from the moment I started reading it! I love how Laney & Noah fit together this perfect whole, and it's absolutely magical!

The first thing that attracted me to this story was the whole airport part. I think it's coz of my frequent visits to the airport, I'm really starting to obsess over airport love stories! Haha!

In the end, this story was perfect in my eyes! I absolutely loved the characters, and the story! It was magical from the start till the end! It just left me yearning for my Noah to come along one day!

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Awoken (The Lucidites, #1) by Sarah Noffke

Read from June 17 to November 10, 2015
"Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights. 
In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.
And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.
Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?"
I'm not fully content with this book.

The story line is very interesting, the characters are really cool! But what really bothered me was the writing. It felt too formal to me, and everything seemed so awkward and cold. Basically, the story didn't flow so easily for me.

I'm not a huge fan of Roya either, but I loved Aiden and Joseph! Roya's mindset was too negative for me, and I honestly didn't care much for her character. Whereas, Aiden and Joseph had very interesting personalities. I was always waiting for one of them to pop up! Haha!

Overall, this was an okay read, but I'm not hugely motivated to keep reading this series :(

my Goodreads review

Book Review: Overruled (The Legal Briefs, #1) by Emma Chase

Read on September 27, 2015
"A Washington, DC, defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing—with his southern drawl, disarming smile, and captivating green eyes, he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him, and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him. 
Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan. 
Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart, the mother of his beloved ten-year-old daughter. Jenny is getting married—to someone who isn’t him. 
That's definitely not part of the plan. 
*** 
Sofia Santos is a city-raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions. 
But when Stanton, her "friend with mind-blowing benefits," begs her for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi, to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves. Her head tells her she's crazy...and her heart says something else entirely.
What happens when you mix a one-stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage, and a gun-toting Nana? 
The Bourbon flows, passions rise, and even the best-laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart."
I can't believe I read this in just one day! Very impressed with myself right now! Lol!

So, I really like Emma Chase's style of writing. It's very realistic and projects emotions very genuinely! I was interested in the storyline throughout despite the cliché plot line!

The relationships in this book are to die for! I love how Stanton's family operates, including the Monroes that is, and I just fell more in love with the characters as I kept reading!

I'm so envious of how Stanton and his pals have this thing going on! It just feels so good to read about gangs of friends like these in books! They're absolutely the best kind of characters to read about!

Overall, this book was a fun read! It had me laughing so hard at some moments and had me cursing at other times! Pretty interested in seeing how the rest of this series plays out!

my Goodreads review

ARC Book Review: Court of Fives (Court of Fives, #1) by Kate Elliott

Read from May 22 to June 17, 2015
"On the Fives court, everyone is equal.
And everyone is dangerous.
Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.
Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege."
This book started pretty slow but I loved it by the time I finished reading it!

I loved Jessamy and her independent, rebellious personality! Her loyalty and love for her family was a big plus point when it came to her! And I love the tentative connection she shares with her father!

And Kal!!! I wish there had been more of him in the story!!! I just loved his characters and I really need to see more of him, especially after that cliffhanger ending!!!

The ending was so powerful! The emotions in that part of the story just carried me along to the epic cliffhanger ending, and I'm dying to read the next book in the series!!!

my Goodreads review

It's 2016!

It's my first post of the new year and I'm so glad I still have this blog up and running! Cheers to me!

I'm prepared to make 2016 a whole lot more exciting than ever before! Last year was all about moving away from home, starting uni, trying to stay on top of my studies and making new friends. This year ought to be just as hectic since year 2 of MBBS is, supposedly, a toughie and it'll be my last year at Sunway before I move to Johor Bahru at the end of 2016. So much to look forward to!

I'm so excited to be making new year resolutions too! What better way to get myself motivated! Sooo, my super duper resolutions for 2016 areeee...

  • To stay on top of my studies and ace my end of year exams
  • To enjoy this whole year of studying
  • To manage my time much better than I did last year
  • To cook much more than I did last year
  • To read my goal of 30 books (my Goodreads reading challenge! Haha!)
Basically, I'm revved up to enjoy this year much more than I did last year! Which is gonna be quite a feat since last year was full of amazing stuff! Haha! 

Since I'm pretty much done rambling, I WISH YOU GUYS A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 

Xoxo,
Hasini N. E.