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Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

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This challenge is hosted by Book Chick City. I wasn't participate in 2010 though I read lots of mystery and suspense books. But would love to give it a try this 2011. Hopefully I manage to read at least 12 books of this genre. This challenge will start from January 1, 2011 means tomorrow, until December 31, 2011. For those who want to participate can click on the banner for further info regarding the challenge. And yes! participants will get an ARC of "The Survivor" by Sean Slater for free to start off the challenge!

Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

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The Iron King by Julie Kagawa + Giveaway

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The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, Iron Fey Book 1
Finished Reading on December 29, 2010
Young Adult Fiction, E-Book, 176 Pages

The Story: Meghan is an ordinary normal girl (or so she thinks). But everything changes when her brother Ethan is taken away from home by the mythical faery creature. With help of her best friend Puck, she goes to the fairy land, Nevernever to save her brother but she could never have guessed the truth that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king. With her companions Grim, Puck, and Ash, she's now going to face the mysterious evil creature, Machina, the Iron King in order to free her brother.  

My Thought: An enchanting story that left me with a sigh of amazement. At first I don't have any high expectation for "The Iron King" and been so skeptical about the story of faeries and all those mythical creatures. But when I finished the first chapter of the book, I found out that this is something different, fresh, and enjoyable read. Julie Kagawa writes the story in a very fluid way with amazing setting combining the real world and fantasy land supported by the very inventive characters which fit in the story. With the well paced and exciting adventure and action with the injection of some romance, The Iron King surely a page turning book which I enjoyed so much. It is so interesting when Julie invents a new type of Fey, the Iron Fey which come from the evolution of the technology and computer world. There's character called Virus and also bugs which are the antagonists in the story and the name derived from computer terms. The love triangle between the main characters Meghan, Puck, and Ash also gives spice to the story and I'm sure that readers out there will be put themselves either in Ash Team or Puck Team. For me, if Puck doesn't want to confess, Meghan would be Ash's for sure as Meghan really adores him. Well, I guess everything will be clear in the next book, "The Iron Daughter" which I'll definitely read. And FYI, the third book "The Iron Queen" will be released in this coming Fabruary. Looking forward for it!! 

CoffeeNCracker's Meter: 4 Cups of Coffee

Announcement: Grab the chance to win The Iron Queen. For the giveaway details you can click on the banner below. Giveaway hosted by Reading Teen and ends January 30, 2011. Good Luck!!

WWW Wednesdays Dec. 29, 2010

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WWW Wednesdays: A fun weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. This meme gives opportunity to  readers to share our current reading, books we recently finished and books we're going to read next.


What are you currently reading?
I'm reading a historical/paranormal fiction novel by Elizabeth Kostova, "The Historian". This book combines the history of Europe and it's spookiest legend, Dracula. So far, I enjoy this book. Currently on page 137.

What did you recently finished reading?
I just finished reading "The Iron King" by Julie Kagawa. This is the first book of Iron Fey Series and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Meghan Chase and her companions, Grim, Ash and Puck in the land of fey in mission to rescue her brother Ethan who has been taken away by the Iron King.Review in progress.

What do you think you'll read next?
A book I borrowed from Hidayah's Book Club, "Julie & Julia" by Julie Powell and an ARC of "Lost Voices" by Sarah Porter, downloaded from Net Galley.

Caster Chronicles Giveaways

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Steampunkery & Book Reviews and In the Closet With a Bibliophile are hosting international giveaways on Caster Chronicles books, "Beautiful Creatures" and "Beautiful Darkness". Those who want to participate and win these books can click on the banners for the details. Good Luck!!


Teaser Tuesdays Dec. 28, 2010

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Teaser Tuesdays: A fun weekly meme Hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading where readers share the teasers sentences from their current reads. For this week's teaser, I pick from the book I'm reading, "The Iron King", the first book from Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa. 

The Iron King: In determination to find her brother who was taken by fey, Meghan travels to the world of Nevernever and experiences countless of adventures. With help of Grim, Puck and Ash, she's now going to fight the mighty Iron King, Machina and free her brother.
His fingers tightened on mine and pulled me forward. Startled and overbalanced, I looked up at him, and then he was kissing me. The Iron King, pg. 282

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

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My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Finished Reading on December 23, 2010
Family Drama, Paperback, 407 Pages, Personal Collection

The Story: Kate is suffering from Acute Premylotic Leukemia. The only person who can save her is her sister, Anna whose genetic make-up was specifically designed to be a compatible donor for Kate. Now, 13 years old Anna is sick of being a lab rat and decides to file a lawsuit for medical emancipation from her parents and to stop helping Kate to live. Stuck between love to her sister and the fate of her own future, Anna now is confused and everything she does seems to be wrong. And what choice does she has?

My Thought: "My Sister's Keeper" is a novel that I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the characters, and Picoult's writing is very stylish and heart wrenching. Same as "House Rules", Picoult writes the story from the view of a few different characters. I love this style of writing because by understanding the feeling of each of the characters involve in the conflict, I can get a well rounded look to the story. Reading from Anna's POV make me keep asking myself, what will I do if I'm in her shoes? How far that I'll go to sacrifice myself to save my beloved one? And same as Anna, I also don't know the answer to these questions.This is such an emotional torture to a girl as young as Anna. Sara is another character who gives a huge impact to me. As a mother to a child whose life can be taken any second, she is willing to do anything to help her beloved Kate .Though I reject (from religious and humanity perspectives), her decision to design a baby just for the purpose to save her daughter's life, and her lack of motherly attitude towards her other children Jesse and Anna, deep inside, my heart's saying "She's great. An Iron-Mother indeed."  As a whole, I loved this story as it exposes what are the dilemmas experienced by family members, when crisis arises in the family organization. I just wish that I can read from Kate's perspective also, but none is there except for a few pages in the after story. Recommend to all.

CoffeeNCracker's Meter: 5 Cups of Coffee

In My Mailbox Dec. 26, 2010

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In My Mailbox: Hosted by The Story Siren. Every week we'll post about what books we have received that week (via your mailbox/library/store bought). This is my first time joining this meme. It is a weekly meme but mine will be sporadically posted since I rarely get books in my mailbox / buy from stores. This week's list as below. 


"Cut" by Cathy Glass - Paperback, 310 Pages (Book Club)
"Julie & Julia" by Julie Powell - Paperback 307 Pages (Book Club)
"The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova - Paperback, 816 Pages (Library)
"Until I Find You" by John Irving - Paperback, 1035 Pages (Library)

The Movie: Water for Elephants

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Behold!! For the most anticipated movie in 2011, "Water for Elephants", an adaptation from Sara Gruen's most fascinating novel starring the Academy Award winner, Reese Witherspoon (Marlena), and the world's phenomenon, Vampire Robert Pattinson (Jacob). So ladies and gentlemen, presenting "the most spectacular show on earth" , Water for Elephants movie poster and official trailer! In theaters nationwide (US) on April 15! Wonder when it will show up in Malaysia's cinemas.  Looking forward for it!


official movie poster

video
official trailer

Teaser Tuesdays Dec. 21, 2010

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Teaser Tuesdays: A fun weekly meme Hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading where readers share the teasers sentences from their current reads. This week, I'm reading two books, "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova and "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult.

The Historian: Propelled by the discovery of an ancient book and letters, a young woman plunges into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil Vlad the Impaler.
He had a large family impaled and many of his people buried naked up to the navel and shot at. Some he had roasted and then flayed. The Historian, pg. 46

My Sister's Keeper: a novel by Jodi Picoult. Creating another baby, specifically design to save her sister. But the baby, now 13 yo, is suing her parents for the rights to her own body.
"What are you saying Brian? That some man in a suit whom you've never met would be able to explain Anna better than her own mother?" Sara, My Sister's Keeper, pg. 178

Are You Afraid of the Dark? by Sidney Sheldon

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Are You Afraid of the Dark? by Sidney Sheldon
Date Finished: November 18, 2010
Thriller, Paperback, 416 Pages, Borrowed from Library

The Story: Kelly's and Diane's husbands are both dead. Several others all around the globe are being reported missing or dead and all are connected with the world largest think tank, KIG. Kelly and Diane join forces to find the truth behind their beloved husbands' murders. But, the one who is helping them is the one that wants to cut their life short the way he ended their husbands'.

My Thought: This thriller by master of storyteller, Sidney Sheldon, pushes me to edge of my sit. Starts with a little bit sad and depressing since the main characters are mourning over their beloved husbands' deaths and keep on flashing back the sweet memories. But then, the fast fired suspense make me feel like riding a roller coaster, with the adrenaline rushing all over my body (if you got heart attack, read this at your own risk) and I just can't stop flipping the pages to get to know what is going to happen next. I loved Kelly and Diane, because they're both beauties, brave as well as very brilliant (as they manage to outwit the genius bastard!). I loved the whole part of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" though the ending twist is a bit shaky (lost a cup of coffee). Sheldon also manages to relate the story with the "climate change" issue and it's effect especially to the world's economy. All in all, it was a satisfying read!! Recommended.

CoffeeNCracker's Meter: 4 Cups of Coffee

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

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House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Date Finished: November 19, 2010
PDF Format, 395 Pages, Stand Alone, Family

The Story: Jacob's an Aspie and a complete hopeless at reading social cues and expressing himself to others. He's brilliant in many ways and an analytical forensic freak. One day, his tutor is terribly murdered and the evidences are all pointing to him. This hopeless Aspie has to face the Justice System and prove himself not guilty. With his AS behaviors, it is going to be difficult for him, his mother, Emma and his lawyer, Oliver.

My Thought: "House Rules" is my first read from Jodi Picoult and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The story is narrated by multiple characters such as Jacob, Emma, Theo and Oliver as well as several other characters. This style of telling the story is brilliant because I could grasp the feeling of each of every character in this book Though there are multiple characters telling the story, Jodi Picoult have a very impressive skill to knit together the characters into a fluid and enjoyable storyline. There are lots of forensic science terminologies and concepts are used in this book and also the information regarding Asperger's Syndrome and what  the people  with Asperger behave (as she shows through Jacob). Jodi sure did a very thorough research on both aspects and to relate it with the court procedures and how  the Justice System functions and all is truly magnificent. But the way how she ended it is weak and ineffectual because the twist is pretty lame. Recommended.

CoffeeNCrackers' Meter: 5 Cups of Coffee

14th On My Wishlist

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On My Wishlist: Hosted by Book Chick City. This week On My Wishlist are two books from Yasmina Khadra,  the author of "The Sirens of Baghdad"

"The Attack"Portrays the reality of terrorism and its incalculable spiritual costs. Intense and humane, devoid of political bias, hatred, and polemics, it probes deep inside the Muslim world and gives readers a profound understanding of what seems impossible to understand.



"Swallows of Kabul" is a dazzling novel written with compassion and exquisite detail about the mentality of Islamic fundamentalists and the complexities of the Muslim world. Brings readers into the hot, dusty streets of Kabul and offers them an unflinching but compassionate insight into a society that violence and hypocrisy have brought to the edge of despair.

Run for Yor Life by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge

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Run for Your Life by James Patterson & Michael  Ledwidge
Michael Bennett Series, Book 2
Large Paperback, 373 Pages, Borrowed from Azahiri

The story: The hero is detective Michael Bennett. The serial killer is dubbed as "the Teacher". He's a master of disguise and his targets seem like randomly picked but actually were aimed from the very beginning. His motive is "to give lesson" to the corrupted society or so he thought. But, a criminal is a criminal, and Bennett is the one who'll bring him in though his family will be put in danger.

My thought:  From technical aspect, same as the other James Patterson's books, "Run for Your Life" was written in short, short chapters which I think very interesting and easy to read an it made this book as a page-turner one. The story was told from Bennett's POV alternately with the story of The Teacher going out and murdered people. And like any others Jame Patterson's books, the life of the main hero at home is also highlighted just to add the spice to the story and I think it was OK.  About the storyline, I can say it wasn't that great but there were twists and surprises here and there which made it as a good read. Though the book start a bit slow, but it becoming much better once I hit the climax and the story is neatly ended in the way that I loved. The fact that the book is also co-written by Michael Ledwidge didn't make any difference (or so I thought) because I only saw James Patterson's writing style in it. All in all, this book at least manage to catch my interest though it's not the best book I ever read from the author. 

CoffeeNCracker's Meter: 3 Cups of Coffee.

Friday Memes Dec. 17, 2010

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The Friday 56: Hosted by Freda's Voice. This week's Friday 56 is from "My Sister's Keeper", a novel by Jodi Picoult. Creating another baby, specifically design to save her sister. But the baby, now 13 yo, is suing her parents for the rights to her own body.

Even in the dark, I can see the shine of her eyes. 'Oh, Anna,' my mother sighs, 'how can you not know how much I love you?' - My Sister's Keeper, pg. 56

Book Blogger Hop: Hosted by Crazy for Books. This week's question is "What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?". My answer: Both play important role in a story. A good story should come with a good storyline and strong characters. 

Friday Follows: Hosted by Parajunkee's View: This week's question is "What did you study in college or are you currently studying and did it lead to your current 9 to 5 or are you doing something totally different?". My answer: I'm doing a Bachelor Degree in Forensic Science in one Malaysia's Local Universities, USM. and now in my final year. For future, I don't know if I'll do any job related to this field or not. We'll wait and see.