Book Review: Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini

Touching the SurfaceTitle: Touching the Surface

Author: Kimberly Sabatini

Published: October 30, 2012

Publisher:  Simon Pulse

Pages: 352

Source: Won from a giveaway (Thanks to author Daisy Whitney! 🙂 )

Synopsis:

Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Touching the Surface is a unique and enthralling story about the afterlife. Although it falls under the paranormal genre, it has a firm grasp of the complex realities of life. Each character in the story deals with issues from their previous lives that they have to understand in order to move on. The “delves” or the flashbacks of the characters’ lives showed their vulnerabilities and explained how they are connected to each other. The concept of delving is such a powerful element. Because of the delves, the holes at the beginning of the story have been filled.

I found it very interesting that the souls in the Obmil (the afterlife world) have specific scents to distinguish them from one another. Cool, right? Another thing is that they can manifest whatever scenery they have in mind!  I commend Kimberly Sabatini for her remarkable creation of a breathtaking afterlife world. *A STANDING OVATION PLEASE* 🙂

Elliot, Trevor, and Oliver are wonderful and unforgettable characters. But I have to say that Elliott is the character I was really drawn to, not because she’s the main character but because she resembles a part of me. Elliot’s courage to face her fears led her to learn how to forgive and most of all, to have faith in herself. There are times I lose faith in myself and after reading this book, I felt empowered to just let go and believe that everything will be okay. That I will be okay. Now I feel stronger and more ready to face any obstacle that will come my way because I believe I can.

Thank you for this wonderful book, Kimberly Sabatini. You’re an amazing writer! I look forward to reading your next book. 🙂

Rating:

4/5 stars

Mother’s Day Read: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

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Mother's Day Read: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

I remember reading this book in 2010 and was so touched by the story. Although it’s a very quick read, the message resonates with me up to this day.

Life on the Refrigerator door is a beautiful story about a mother and daughter’s relationship. Be ready for waterworks when you read it.

Photo from Goodreads

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The EliteImage

Author: Kiera Cass

Published: April 23, 2013

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 323

Source: Bought from National Book Store

Synopsis:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review:

The Elite is one of my most anticipated reads this year and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint.

Six girls are left in The Selection and the competition has gotten more intense. This sequel has a lot of drama and tension going on in Illea as well as with the characters.

America’s fickle-mindedness is scattered all throughout the book. One minute she’s all about Maxon, and the next minute she’s so into Aspen. Annoying, right? If she were real, I’d totally slap her in the face. However, I found America’s fickle-mindedness an interesting trait. Why? Because it shows that she uses both her mind and heart in making decisions. If I were in her shoes, I’d probably be indecisive too. Come on, it’s very difficult to choose between two amazing guys—your first love and a dashing prince. The first one broke your heart and wants to win you back. On the other hand, the latter is someone who would choose to get hurt than see the girl he loves get hurt. This you will see toward the end of the story. I really can’t blame America for being so confused about her feelings for both of them.

The Elite gives readers the best of Maxon and Aspen. Readers will get to know more about their intentions, their attitudes and other qualities that make them fascinating characters.

America’s actions were at times insensitive and it’s okay for me. She’s seventeen years old and adolescence is a stage where our imperfections shine. We all make different kinds of mistakes—stupid, thoughtless, self-centered, to name a few. They’re part of growing up. I really like that Kiera Cass wrote the book in an incredibly frustrating and puzzling atmosphere that is America’s mind. It definitely reflects how teens are nowadays when faced with difficult situations.

I think The Elite is a great starting point towards America’s maturity. I believe that her mistakes made her a stronger character at the end of the book. The hope that occasionally surfaced amid all the chaos is what motivated her to fight for what she believes in, to fight to make a difference. And through her, Illea could be a better and strong-willed nation.

As for the guys, well, I am Team Maxon. Though Aspen’s big heart clearly tells America that he loves her, I’m rooting for the prince. I loved Maxon more in this book! Even if he hasn’t told America that he loves her, his actions did. Actions speak louder than words, right? 🙂 Another reason that I’m Team Maxon is that he and America totally complement each other. America brought out the light, funny side of Maxon and in return, brought out the leader in America. Both of them will make, not only a strong couple, but also influential leaders of a country. I just hope that in The One, America will start to believe in herself and realize her potential as a princess. She must not allow her fear of the crown overpower her abilities. Maxon believes in her and with his full support, I think America will do a good job as a princess.

Secrets about the history of Illea will also be revealed in this book. God, those revelations stunned me! I didn’t expect them to be that cruel! I hope this will be discussed further in The One.

The Elite is an incredible and riveting sequel. I’m so excited to find out how the series will end!

 Rating:

4/5 stars

Book Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

ImageTitle: Black City

Author: Elizabeth Richards

Published: November 13, 2012

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

Pages: 374

Source: Won from a Twitter giveaway (Thank you Elizabeth! 🙂 )

Synopsis: 

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review: 

This breathtaking dystopian/paranormal romance story got me hooked from the very first page. The intriguing world of Black City as well as the unique and intense love story of Ash and Natalie totally lured me. Scenes were perfectly woven together and the pacing is really good. It’s not too fast and not too slow, which I really like in books because readers could easily follow and connect the dots.

The writing is flawless–words are all effortlessly beautiful. I love that it is written in alternate points of view because readers get to understand how Ash and Natalie truly feel and think. Elizabeth Richards, thank you for giving your readers the chance to experience the world of Black City through the eyes of Ash and Natalie. Both of them are amazing and well-developed characters with strong voices and personalities. They’re so different, yet so perfect for each other.

Be ready for suspenseful, unexpected plot twists and turns! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!

Black City is a story brimming with sparkling magnificence, blazing fierceness, and forbidden yet genuine and passionate love. This book will always have a special place in my heart. 🙂

Rating:

5/5 stars

First Post!

Hello everyone! Wow, it feels so good to be back in the blogging scene! Graduate school occupied most of my time and now that I’ve graduated, I can share my bookish thoughts with you. Hooray! I really hope that I’ll get to update this blog often. 🙂

For my first post, I’d like to share with you my TBR pile! Here it is:

photo 1 (1)

photo 2 (1)

And the latest addition:

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Taken by Erin Bowman! I bought it right away when I saw it at Fully Booked this afternoon!

So there you have it, guys. Till my next post! 🙂

Jesselle xx