Sunday, 18 September 2016

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 1:17 am 3 lovely confession(s)

Publication Date: August 15th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Owned, Paperback, 418 pages

Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan's deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies' blood - but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors - a captain and a prince - and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom...

My Review: ★★★★

"When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn't have made any difference to me. It's never made any difference to me when it came to you. I'd still pick you. I'll always pick you."

This sequel to Throne of Glass delivered the best of it to me - action packed, swoon-worthy romance, inevitable heartbreaks and grief, substantial characters development, all of it. I could still smell the intensity hovering in the air when I turned to the last page.

We'd seen so much more in Celaena now. Underneath her femininity, she had gone through tough years and losses that caused her to live in severe pain, which she had built a high wall with a facade, and learnt to be the deadliest weapon to protect herself from vulnerability. Every piece of characteristic was delicate, aesthetic and beautifully written, especially the grief and loss she experienced in this book, as if I was feeling it too, slowly swallowed me bit by bit from the inside.

"The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realized she was home."

The story strengthened my irrevocable affection for Chaol. I might have squealed a little when the ship started sailing, and I was on the brink of an overwhelming heartbreak when it began to sink. Even though Celaena was oftentimes ruthless and unmerciful, that was entirely not the case when it came to Chaol. He was kind, considerate, protective, loyal - everything a boyfriend material needs. He melted my heart just as he melted Celaena's, and it hurt me more than ever when the plot was twisted to the other way round.  

Dorian was sweeter in this sequel if that was even possible. I could absolutely sense that his character apparently has so much potential in the upcoming books, which had tremendously heightened up my anticipation towards the rest of this series, and leveled up my adoration for him, too.

In a nutshell, this book was one vehement journey that allowed us to take a glimpse of how huge the world building actually is for the entire series. You'll be pleasantly surprised. I solemnly promise.

Perfect for this book:

Two feet standing on a principle
Two hands longing for each other's warmth
Cold smoke seeping out of colder throats
Darkness falling, leaves nowhere to go

Still with feet touching
Still with eyes meeting
Still our hands match
Still with hearts beating

With love,
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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 3:58 pm 6 lovely confession(s)

Throne of Glass | Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: August 2nd 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Owned, Paperback, 404 pages

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?

My Review: ★★★★

"We all bear scars... Mine just happened to be more visible than most."

Okay, Throne of Glass is now officially, irrevocably becoming one of my most favorite series, ever.

I was absolutely devoured by the world building and the premise surrounding it, and I'm dying inside, hopelessly waiting to be rescued by my Chaol. It somehow makes me sad, seeing that the entire story and its characters were all merely creations by words plus the imagination of my own.

When I was first introduced to Celaena in this book, being the deadliest assassin, I expected her to be emotionally aloof and the barriers to her heart would be very much harder to breakthrough. Hence I was honestly surprised upon the realization that there was so much femininity in her - she cared about clothes, her appearance, and she pretty much aware of how others had been attracted by her beauty. It didn't really bother me though, in fact I admired her sensitivity on emotions, perhaps it was the softness hidden beneath that makes her stronger.

And CHAOL. Seriously, need I say more? I love Dorian too, but I feel Chaol and Celaena are meant to be together. I JUST FEEL IT.

All in all, if you asked me to describe the book in one word, I think I'm gonna let you down because there is no any single word I could muster to entirely fit in the awesomeness I've experienced while reading this book.

Perfect for this book:

Oh, all of these minutes passing, sick of feeling used
If you wanna break these walls down, you're gonna get bruised
Now my neck is open wide, begging for a fist around it
Already choking on my pride, so there's no use crying about it

With love,
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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 8:34 pm 8 lovely confession(s)

It Ends With Us | Colleen Hoover 
Publication Date: August 2nd 2016
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Psychological
Owned, Kindle edition, 384 pages

Sometimes the one who loves you is the one who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up - she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing,

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan - her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

My Review: ★★★★

"In the future... if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again... fall in love with me." He presses his lips against my forehead. "You're still my favorite person, Lily. Always will be."

This book wrecked me in the best possible way - I'm still being caught in the whirlwind of emotional turmoil, feeling the sorrowfulness in the hole of my shattered heart slowly seeping through my soul.

I have been suggested to start reading this book blindly, even without having a glimpse at the synopsis, but it was too late at that time because I had seen it several times. It somewhat worried me, I thought it would affect my connection with the story, but boy was I wrong. I totally did not see it coming. The brutally painful, heart-wrenching, ugly, naked truth.

The story was very difficult to be read because it was heavy with raw, emotional punch at the personal level. I could barely breathe for almost every single page, like I was anchored in the water as well. The fluid writing style made me fall in love and also fall apart - as if I was a part of the story, but honestly I doubted I could walk through all of these messes if it was me.

"I feel like everyone fakes who they really are, when deep down we're all equal amounts of screwed up. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others."

I must admit I adored all of the characters in this book, especially Lily, Atlas and Ryle. They were all flawed and broken, which made them beautifully human. It was saddening to uncover their pasts and travel along their constant struggles for survival - to live a better life, to behold on the hatred and compassion at the same time when everything hideous terrifyingly turned the superficial happiness over.

"There is no such thing as bad people. We're all just people who sometimes do bad things."

To simply say this was another aesthetically-written book by Colleen Hoover would be an understatement, because it was so much more. It delivered a strong and sensible message to all of the readers with powerful impact. I smiled through the beginning, and then wept through the rest of the story. The delicate layers of story entwined with characters' complexity totally made me feel it. Still feeling it.

And if you could only read a book under contemporary genre this year, read this.

Perfect for this book: Love in the Dark | Adele

You have given me something that I can't live without
You mustn't underestimate that when you're in doubt
But I don't want to carry on like everything is fine
The longer we ignore it all the more that we will fight
Please don't fall apart
I can't face your breaking heart
I'm trying to be brave
Stop asking me to stay

With love,
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Saturday, 20 August 2016

Review: Be With Me by J. Lynn

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 5:28 pm 5 lovely confession(s)

Be with Me | J. Lynn
Publication Date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Owned, Kindle edition, 365 pages

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year - she's in love wit her big brother's best friend, but he hasn't spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It's time for Plan B - college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he's not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend's incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn't have time for a relationship. But it doesn't help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they're thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can't keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they're willing to risk to be together, and what they're willing to lose if they're not.

My Review: ★★★★☆

"That's the thing about death that makes it useful. Death was always a reminder to the living to live - to live in the present and to look forward to the future."

Ever since I read Wait for You (Cam and Avery were my favorite OTP) and it instantly became one of my favorite reads last year, I've been eager to continue the series about the story of Jase and Tess. As expected, this book was another guilty pleasure, it especially helped when you were in a reading slump, because everything just effortlessly clicked the moment you started the first line of the story, and you would have been swept away, traveled along with them.

Just like the first book, this one was angst and emotionally driven, but with so many predictable twists and turns. Yes, you heard me right, predictable. The story line was somewhat cliche, almost all characters involved had their own emotional baggage, and when their secrets slowly unfolded, the entire book was overall dramatic - fulled with eventful scenes and heartbreaking revelations that sometimes you had to halt the reading because you could hardly breathe.

One of the aspects I absolutely adored in this book was the occasional appearances of Cam and Avery, they always uplifted the scenes to be even more lovey dovey, and further strengthened my obsessive belief that Cam was the perfect boyfriend material. Although Jase was less competitive with Cam constantly claiming the spotlight, he had his own charisma - protective, considerate and cupcake-ish sweet, which had frequently sent his chemistry with Tess off the charts. However, his hot and cold persona, the tendency to keep Tessa at arm's length even after kissing her slightly annoyed me, but he gradually compensated throughout the book, and everything was once again irresistibly swoon-worthy.  

Tess, on the other hand, was admirably brave and tough. A series of unfortunate screwed her over, but all of these had only made her stronger - like a life fighter. Her resilience and tenacity might be a little bit unrealistic, yet it did not affect my positive opinion on her any less.

Despite being overloaded with conflicts, the book was undeniably a captivating page turner. Even though the plot was predictable, the never-ending intensity often made my heart skip a beat and I had miserably failed to put the book down. I guess that is the true beauty of J. Lynn's writing, and I'm definitely going to dwell in her other books soon!

Perfect for this book:

Well, I'm not sure what this is gonna be
But with my eyes closed all I see
Is the skyline, through the window
The moon above you and the streets below

Hold my breath as you're moving in
Taste your lips and feel your skin
When the time comes, baby don't run, just kiss me slowly

With love, 
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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Playlist: Road Trip Upbeats

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 10:13 pm 6 lovely confession(s)

This playlist is rather spontaneous, it's like a random thought that strikes upon my mind when I was planning my upcoming birthday trip in September while the afternoon sun shines bright  - why not create a playlist of songs that we could blast all along the road trip? And you know, sharing is caring, so here it is.

1. Come On | A Great Big World

I wanna be a thought inside your mind
I wanna see the starlight through your eyes
What it's like?

This is the type of a song that will linger on your mind simply because of its catchy rhythm. Try to play this song in the afternoon while you're driving and staring at the cloudless blue sky, this song will definitely uplift your mood and make you sing along with it.

2. Faded | Alan Walker feat. Iselin Solheim

You were the shadow to my light
Did you feel us? Another star, you fade away

My relationship with this song is totally a love at first hearing. Iselin's voice is so delicate and celestial, and it never ceases to amaze me that how has her angelic voice perfectly matches with Alan Walker's electronic dance music.

3. Old Guitar | BUNT.

Sing me like an old love song
Baby take me everywhere you run
It's been too long, too long
Since I felt young

My boyfriend and I have instantly fallen in love with this song when we were aimlessly browsing at H&M last time, we even googled the lyrics because we had no idea who is the singer and our self-consciousness restrained us from asking around. Now, let me tell you, our passion for this country house music has never been faded ever since. 

4. Bitchin' Summer | Avril Lavigne

It's gonna be a bitchin' summer
We'll be livin' fast, kickin' ass together
Like high school lovebirds
Gonna have a blast make it last forever

Avril Lavigne is my favorite singer since her release of first album "Let Go" so it'll be an absolute crime if I didn't feature this song in the playlist. It has youthful lyrics that hypes you up for the summer and sends you into those nostalgic moments in high school.

5. Roses | The Chainsmokers feat. ROZES

Well, I'll be your daydream, I'll be your favorite things
We could be beautiful

This song is awfully addictive, I must say - actually many of their songs are - especially when you put on headphones and let the beats blast through your ears, I guarantee that you'll irresistibly hit the replay button over and over again. I guess that's why The Chainsmokers has risen up so surprisingly fast and most of their songs peaked at US & UK charts. 

6. Safe & Sound | Capital Cities 

I could show you love
In a tidal wave of mystery
You'll still be standing next to me

If you have listened to this song, does the trumpet send chills down your spine whenever you're playing it? Because I do experience the chills every single time. Even though the song has been released few years ago, it never gets old. 

7. A Sky Full of Stars | Coldplay

'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars
I'm gonna give you my heart

I always feel that this song is irrevocably a perfect companion for drivings and road trips at night, perhaps it's the title that creates the traveling, star gazing ambiance. Many people were missing Coldplay's alternative rock style when this song was released, but for me, their new attempt on the music deserves a round of applause, it's colorful and speaks the beauty of electronic dance.

8. Birds | Coldplay

Around here you never want to sleep all night
So start falling in love, start the riot and come rage with me
We don't need words and we'll be birds

I love how does this song lyrically deliver the message of infinity and boundless, of arms swaying freely like a bird - which constantly reminds me of road trips, because that's the purpose of traveling - to be yourself and feel alive.

9. Something In The Way You Move | Ellie Goulding

When our eyes meet, I can only see the end
And tonight the rain pours again

Ellie Goulding is my new love because of her synthpop album "Delirium". All of the songs are highly pop-oriented, which complements her distinctive vocal and unleashes a very appealing and ecstatic listen. This is one of the songs that offers the most buoyant rhythm, energetic enough to play along the journey.

10. Up | Olly Murs feat. Demi Lovato

I never meant to break your heart
Now I won't let this plane go down

Demi Lovato's powerful vocal combines with pop folk music that sends off positive vibes. Well, sign me up. Some songs will make you unconsciously smile while you sing along, this is one of those. I'm just really in love with the hopeful and bubbly atmosphere that this song fabricates.

11. Gone, Gone, Gone | Phillips Phillips

Give me reasons to believe
That you would do the same for me

This song is a breath of fresh air. It's arguably melodic and the lyrical content are memorable with strong determination about believing in love. The lively music often easily brightens up my day, which tempted me to make it as one of the ideal songs for road trips.

What songs will be on your playlist for road trips? Are any of these songs your favorite too?

With love,
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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Unboxing: Bookish Bundle July Royalty Box

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 7:47 pm 17 lovely confession(s)

I know we've stepped into August now, but this Bookish Bundle July Royalty Box is too gorgeous not to share, I'll be tremendously guilty if I'd let this one passed.

Bookish Bundle is a magical bookish subscription box, proudly presented to you by mybibliomaniacs from Malaysia! They launched the first box in April with the theme "April Fool", and in July, they came back with the very much anticipated "Royalty Box" - exclusively created for the Kings and Queens.

As soon as I opened the box, a lovely scent immediately diffused into the air and I was utterly surprised. This month's contents included:

  • The Chronicles of Narnia poster. Looking at the four adorable figures printed on the art paper, I was a little bit overwhelmed by the nostalgia, I still remember the old times whenever the movies were released and I was so tempted to watch them.
  • A bookish glory handmade soap by Savon Republic. The sole contributor of the sweet smell from the entire box. Its pleasant scent lifted up my mood and I loved that it even lingered on every single item in the Royalty box. Also, I was incredibly in awe with the delicate details of the soup because those deckled pages were obvious to be seen!
  • Two pastel bookmarks by Kingdom of Books. These bookmarks were super photogenic and they featured 16 hand drawn books related to royalty - A Game of Thrones, The Heir, The Orphan Queen and Red Queen, to name a few.
  • A tote bag with "I sit on a throne of books" printed on it to carry our magical tomes. This royal statement was super adorable and suited the theme perfectly. My irrational obsession with tote bags was fully satisfied! 
  • The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye. Welcome home to mama! I literally squealed when the book was revealed in the box because I have heard so many great reviews about this new release! Now there would be no excuse for me to not putting this book onto my forever-growing TBR pile. I've put the synopsis of this book at below.

Synopsis: Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ask into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters - the only two in Russia - and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown's Game, an ancient duel of magical skill - the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar's most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter - even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown's Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with - beautiful, whip smart, imaginative - and he can't stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai's best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown's Game is not one to lose.

To be honest, the plot above somewhat reminds me of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - the competition, royalty, both male leads romantically falling for the same heroin (and one of them is a prince!), however it doesn't diminish my excitement over finally having this baby on my throne of books.

I am positive that I will continue to show my support to Bookish Bundle. It surely is not easy to manage a subscription box, plus I personally feel that their effort is rather admirable. Do you ever subscribe to any bookish box? Which one has been your favorite all this while?

With love,
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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 8:44 pm 8 lovely confession(s)

Me Before You | Jojo Moyes
Publication Date: December 31st 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books / Viking
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Owned, Hardcover, 369 pages

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither f them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

My Review: 

"All I can say is that you make me... you make me into someone I couldn't even imagine. You make me happy, even when you're awful. I would rather be with you - even the you that you seem to think is diminished - than with anyone else in the world."

Some books were meant for leisure reading; some books made you think, this beauty was undeniably one of those. I couldn't help myself but to feel the unspeakable emptiness clutching my heart tightly after closing the book, to ponder about life, family, love and existence. It was the kind of book that would haunt you, even few days, maybe weeks, or months after you've finished it. There was something shattered in me, crumbled into tiny pieces and flown away along with the ending.

I was a little bit worried because the story started out slow in the beginning, but boy, I was utterly wrong. It turned out to be so much more than a romance as the plot were crafted whimsically and their back stories were gradually revealed, which deepened the characters, especially Lou. Everything was built for something bigger, I was in awe when the truth hit me so hard.

Lou was an ordinary girl who barely lived a life. She was contented with everything being normal, until she met Will. Will had a broken soul after the motorcycle accident and resented to live, but he was once a man who worked hard to be above average. Perhaps you would start to predict the cliche from here, but their relationship was actually beyond romance - it was platonic, pure and selfless; and both of them had blossomed to become a better person with the companion of each other.

"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible."

I especially adored the moment when Lou's past was unfolded. In fact, it was one of the most beautiful parts I reckoned in this masterpiece, and it changed my view on Lou entirely in a positive way. She became someone who lived off the page, I felt more connected to her than ever.

"Some mistakes... Just have greater consequences than others. But you don't have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen."

The final chapter and epilogue of this book had both completely caught me off guard as well. I anticipated the ending, and dreaded it, while I read along, but apparently I had never expected it to be written like this, and now I couldn't think of any better way to wrap it up. It was truthfully one of the best, tearfully heartbreaking closures I had ever encountered.

If you have watched the movie adaptation and enjoyed it, I hope you would read this book too because you would absolutely love it, and if you'd unfortunately couldn't fall in love with the movie as much as you'd expected to, I hope you would at least think about reading the book, maybe you would be pleasantly surprised. This art creation was lyrically sad and full of life, it was one of those that would charm and richen your reading journey because it was more than a chick lit - it was about living - to actually living your life.

"You are scored on my heart, Clark. You were from the first day you walked in, with your ridiculous clothes and your complete inability to ever hide a single thing you felt."

Now I'm more than happy to have this book imprinted a scar and scored on my heart.

Perfect for this book:

We finally fall apart and we break each other's hearts
If we wanna live young, love, we better start today

It's gotta get easier, oh easier somehow
Cause I'm falling, I'm falling
Oh easier and easier somehow
Oh I'm calling, I'm calling
And it isn't over unless it is over
I don't wanna wait for that
It's gotta get easier and easier somehow
But not today
Not today

With love,
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Saturday, 23 July 2016

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 3:02 pm 10 lovely confession(s)
Publication Date: September 19th 2012
Publisher: Scholastic 
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Owned, Paperback, 454 pages

Even if Blue hadn't been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble.

But this is the year that everything will change for Blue.

This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist.

This is the year she will fall in love.

My review: ★★★★☆

"She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness." 

Reading this book required a good lot of patience. This masterpiece was mysterious, so magically mysterious that it had burnt a fair amount of my reading time to slowly devour the descriptive details. It was like a match - the plot constantly intrigued you, and you'd let curiosity to lure you in, hence you stayed and it unfolded layer by layer as you read, but still not enough to be fully grasped and thus hardly got you excited; it was still perplexing when you turned to the last page.

But the book was undoubtedly, beautifully written. The sentences were delicate with omniscient style that it felt like you were not merely reading. In fact, it occasionally sent me chills because it read like someone was narrating the ghostly atmosphere to me, and the scene was vividly depicted on my mind.

All of the characters in this imaginative story were very dynamic and distinctive from each other. Blue was unique and unlike the other heroins we had normally seen, eccentric but strong-minded. And there was a group of tight-knitted Raven boys - Adam, a boy who'd always yearned for more and strived to be better; Ronan, a troubled teenager who hid untold regrets and secrets with constant anger; Noah, who spoke the least and held the thinnest sense of existence but apparently knew more than the others; and also, Gansey, like a pack leader of four with some vulnerably soft spots who restlessly obsessed with the supernatural.

Speaking of which, I adored seeing the desperate side of Gansey. Perhaps it was the whimsical writing style that could speak through the words, I found his need to do something meaningful with life, the fear of oblivion was rather relatable. And oh, his banters with Blue were oftentimes entertaining and hilarious too!

"I guess I make things that need energy stronger. I'm like a walking battery.""You're the table everyone wants at Starbucks," Gansey mused as he began to walk again. Blue blinked. "What?"Over his shoulder, Gansey said, "Next to the wall plug."  

All in all, I was utterly enthralled by the beauty of this book. Despite being confused at times, I loved the way Maggie Stiefvater played with words to allow readers to effortlessly see the beauty in ordinary things.

"In the end, he was nobody to Adam, he was nobody to Ronan. Adam spit his words back at him and Ronan squandered however many second chances he gave him. Gansey was just a guy with a lot of stuff and a hole inside him that chewed away more of his heart every year."

Perfect for this book: 

Are you going to age with grace?
Are you going to age without mistakes?
Are you going to age with grace
or only to wake and hide your face?

When oblivion is calling out your name
You always take it further than I ever can

With love,
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Saturday, 16 July 2016

July Haul: Books & Stationery from BookFest

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 9:53 pm 6 lovely confession(s)

Proudly presents you my almost-in-control books and stationery haul from BookFest@Malaysia 2016. It's forbidden not to be able to give in yourself entirely to the irresistible shopping impulses when your heart is endlessly screaming and uncontrollably cursing your soul, especially when you are one of the crews working there for the whole duration, to be constantly facing those evil temptations and yet torturing yourself to behave is a crime, am I right?

To defend myself, all of these are now belonged to me because they were tagged with special rebates. Also, I have numerously been indulged in the realm of rationality, then successfully, and cruelly, persuaded myself to put some of the books back to the shelves before I paid.

Please tell me that I'm innocent.

My BookFest haul is separated into few parts: English books, Chinese books and stationery. So here comes the English books first:

1. The Young Elites | Marie Lu
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina's black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scare where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family's good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever's survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars ---- they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black --- black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certain going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic June, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he'll not only be unable to overcome --- but that will define his life forever.

4. The Unexpected Everything | Morgan Matson
Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician's daughter who's pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we're talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here's the thing --- if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where's the fun in that?

5. Finding Audrey | Sophie Kinsella
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey's daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother's gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she's never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

These gorgeous pastels are my Chinese book haul:

1. 但其實我們 | 橘子


那你記得嗎? 我曾經對妳的好? 我就只對過妳這麼一個女生好。怎麼會這份好到了最後就只剩下這一句: 你不可以這樣子對我。

我沒牽過她的手,可是我背過她走,我沒親過她嘴唇,可是我看過她掉眼淚,每一次的掉眼淚;我從來就不是她的男朋友,可是那幾年,陪在她身邊佔據她心底把她寵壞的害她依賴的是我,始終是我。而她不也是? 把我制約了害我習慣了,可最後我卻被判出局了,多餘的,不要的,太忙的。



2. 我不喜歡這世界,我只喜歡你 | 喬一
我很贊同林夕的觀點,喜歡一個人,就像喜歡富士山,你可以看到它,但是不能搬走它,你唯一能做的,就是自己走過去,去爭取自己的愛人。這個道理我花了這麼多年才明白,好在那個我以為一輩子都不會原諒我的人,一直站在原地等我。所以我說,遇到F,是我這輩子最幸運的事。我最不動事的時候曾經對他說,你走吧,你會找到更好的人的。他回了一句讓我至今震撼的話,他說: 「我從來不想要甚麼更好的人,我只想要眼前的人,妳究竟甚麼時候才會懂?」是的,現在我懂了,謝謝你始終沒有拋下我,謝謝你有足夠的耐心,去等一個女孩慢慢長大。


3. 比起說再見,我們更擅長想念 | P's

再見是長度,想念是深度,我在心裡和你說再見,把你留給最想念的時空。要過了許久之後你才會明白,說得最疾聲的再見,往往都是因為不願再相見… 而說不出的再見,是為了在往後的日子裡,能以最溫柔的轉速吟唱想念的情歌。還有時間說再見的,都不算真正的逝去;還有空間去想念的,都還存在愛的動容。愛上了,你最怕的,是再也回不去一個人了;愛著時,你眼裡沒有其他光景,執拗到像個孩子;不愛了,你看向他的視角,只剩失焦般的濃霧;愛走了,你沉澱一切,好讓心在未來更富足。為了讓每個失落靈魂都能找到出口,P's暖心註解所有關於愛的習題,不論你現在是一個人、兩個人,都要快樂並勇敢得無愧於心。

4. 練習,喜歡自己 | 肆一

這是一本自我療癒的書! 以往肆一總透過溫柔細膩的文字,陪伴在愛裡頭的戀人們走過心傷和孤寂。然而其實不管是在愛情、友情或者生活,所有的源頭都是要先學會喜歡自己。

今天也要好好的,明天也是。「每當看著大家的傷心時,總會發現大家都忘了自己其實很好,只是一味地否定自己。會自責、會失望,拼命想要對對方好、努力想要實現夢想… 你花了最大的力氣去喜歡一個人,但就是忘了要喜歡自己。」肆一如是說。

5. 那片星空,那片海 | 桐華
那個人,是我眼裡的璀璨星空;那個人,是我心底的無垠大海。愛情和人生一模一樣,永遠都是鮮花與荊棘同在。如果我的愛情是鮮花,我願意擁抱它的美麗芬芳;如果我的愛情是荊棘,我也會毫不猶豫地擁抱它的尖銳疼痛。因為,當我擁抱鮮花時,是吳局藍用甜蜜和微笑為我種下的美麗芬芳;當我擁抱荊棘時,他的整個胸膛早已長滿了用自己鮮血澆灌的荊棘。如果我們的相擁只能隔著荊棘,那麼我願意用力、更用力一點地抱緊他! 即使荊棘刺穿我的肌膚,刺進我的心臟,只要能距離他近一點、更近一點!

6. 半暖時光 | 桐華


7. 他來了,請閉眼 | 丁墨

約會時,他說: “我對這種事沒興趣。不過如果你每十分鐘親我一下,我可以陪你做任何無聊的事。”
吃醋時,他說: “與我相比,這個男人從頭到腳寫滿愚蠢。唯一不蠢的地方,是他也知道你是個好女人。”
激情時,他說: “雖然我沒有經驗,但資質和領悟力超群。順便提一句,我的觀察力也很好。”
求婚時,他說: “言語無法表達。如果一定要概括,那就是—我愛你,以我全部的智慧和生命。”

8. 你和我的傾城時光 | 丁墨
他今晚坐在她身旁時,用那雙漆黑的、沉如冬夜的眼,勢在必得地望著她說: “我想要得到的,我已經看到,觸手可及。” 林淺定了定神,抬起紅潤的臉,目光湛亮地直視著他的眼睛。“如果有一天,你愛的女人,帶給你抽筋剝骨那樣的痛苦,你又會怎樣?” 歷致誠也定定地回望著她。“如果是我愛的女人,那我只能…” 他輕聲答,“甘之如飴。”

Last but not least, I surrendered myself into the enchanting spell of stationery, and now I have a rainbow collection of pens and some pastel highlighters - Faber-Castell, Pilot, Zebra, Uni-Ball and Pentel. Aren't they gorgeous when grouped together?

Let me announce: I'm a happy kid now. But my wallet is crying hard.

How about you? What have you hauled in July so far? And if you are obsessed with stationery, which brand(s) is your most favorite?

With love,
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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 10:20 pm 3 lovely confession(s)

Hopeless | Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: October 8th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Owned, Paperback, 408 pages

Sky Davis is starting sixth form having always been home-schooled, and wants to keep a low profile. But then she runs into Dean Holder - messy brown hair, smouldering blue eyes, and a temper straight out of Fight Club, someone who Sky is determined to avoid.

There is something about Holder that sparks memories of Sky's troubled past, those which she would rather stay buried. Little does she know that the mysterious Dean Holder is harbouring secrets of his own...

When the truth unravels, Sky must piece her life back together and learn to trust again. Only by facing the revelations together can the two of them begin to heal their emotional scars and find a way to live without boundaries.

My Review: ★★★★★

"Sky, I'm not kissing you tonight but believe me when I tell you, I've never wanted to kiss a girl more. So stop thinking I'm not attracted to you because you have no idea just how much I am. You can hold my hand, you can run your fingers through my hair, you can straddle me while I feed you spaghetti, but you are not getting kissed tonight. And probably not tomorrow, either. I need this. I need to know for sure that you're feeling every single thing that I'm feeling the moment my lips touch yours. Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses."

Sigh ---- that was the first thing I did when I read till the last page. I've used too much of my time and energy to dwell on this perfection. Believe me, as much as I wished to finish the book, I just couldn't. There was too much emotion pouring out. This book is full of feelings and my heart could hardly take up the limit.

I loved how Holder had constantly teasing Sky with flirtatious texts. I loved how their brilliant conversations had made me laugh. I loved how the story was switched back and forth to unfold those eventful things. I loved Holder, Sky, Breckin, Six, Karen and Jack. Their relationships positively showed the purest beauty of love, be it a romance, friendship or from a mother.

Even until now, looking into those loving quotes, the sparks of romance are still lingering in the air, can you feel them? And I'm not ready for it to leave just yet.

"I live you, Sky," he says against my lips. "I live you so much."

Perfect for this book:

Who says, who says?
Who says truth is beauty after all?
And who says love should break us when we fall?

But if we're strong enough
To let it in
We're strong enough
To let it go

With love,
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Let the Chapter Begins.

Whispered by Clara Cheng at 6:35 pm 3 lovely confession(s)

So here I am again, back to the once-familiar blogging community to continue my voyage. I used to be an active Chinese (Mandarin) blogger when I was in high school, have been crafting my personal thoughts, feelings and even love stories over here. This habit has been persisted for quite a few years, and I'd have no choice but to quit due to hectic working schedule once I have stepped into the corporate world.

I never thought that I would be back to blogging anytime soon, until I was acknowledged by my friend that he has recently published a book and now become an author.

It was like a spark ignited my passion that has been long forgotten, and reminded me of my little dream to be a Chinese writer, which has been planted deeply since I was young. Hence, despite the lack of leisure time, I decided to give it a shot, again, because blogging has indeed contributed a lot in polishing my writing and organisation skills throughout the previous years.

Even though my first language is Chinese / Mandarin, that doesn't mean that I don't particularly fond of English. In fact, I am trying to engage in bilingual (English / Chinese) writing at the moment.

This blog will be mainly dedicated to jot down my random murmur, book reviews, writings and perhaps some bookish talks. If you would like to know more about me personally, you may leave your supportive footprints on the page About Me.

Welcome to my blog and I hope you will love it enough to stay with me.

Let the chapter begins.  

With love,


♥ La Sourire