Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

In My Mailbox #11

30 Oct 2011

n My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, which allows bloggers to share what books they've borrowed, received in the mail or bought in the past week.

I think I'm going to give up taking pictures with my new phone - the images always turn out either too dark, too light or unclear. :(

Angel Arias by Marianna de Pierres (Thank you Lalaine@ficbookreviews)
Back in July, I read Burn Bright and was spazzing about it on twitter, & then Lalaine decided to read it too. And ended up loving it! So then she requested Angel Arias for review, and kindly offered to lend it to me IF her request was accepted. hahaa, so here it is! I can't wait to read it :)

Stay with me by Paul Griffin 
I've heard great things about this book , and couldn't help myself when I saw it at my school library! Ehh...I hope I won't start bawling when I read this!

Elixir by Hilary Duff, Elise Allen
I don't understand why Elise Allen's name isn't even MENTIONED on the front cover? I own the second book (thanks to S&S), so I thought I'd borrow the first one & read  it! But I'm not expecting a wonderful, jaw-dropping novel...

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (thank you Jess!!)
AUSSIE YA <3 So excited to read another Aussie novel! Haven't read one in AGES!

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger (Thank you Kathy!)
I never expected this to arrive so soon! Maybe the book depository doesn't hate me after all :) I've read mixed reviews about this, but the majority have been positive. 

What did you get in your mailbox? 

Follow Friday #12 & Book Blogger Hop #9

28 Oct 2011

Follow  Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read!

Q.If you could have dinner with your favourite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

Harry Potter and his gang :) We'll sit with the rest of Gryffindor and eat the delicious food in the Great Hall. Then, we can visit Hogsmeade and drink Butterbears at the Hog's Head! Oh, and we can also eat Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans get the picture.

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy For Books

“What is your favorite Halloween costume?Even if you don’t celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?”

Hmm...I've never dressed up for halloween, and don't usually celebrate it. Truthfully, I don't think I've ever seen a real person dressed up in a Halloween costume! Maybe realllyyyy scary costumes? I don't know!

Blog Tour: Savor - Review + Giveaway

27 Oct 2011

Title: Savor
Series: Warm Delicacy #1
Author: Megan Duncan
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: October 1st, 2011
Source: Author for review
Format: e-ARC
When Claire Miller turned eighteen all she wanted to do was celebrate her birthday, but after a night on the town with her best friend she awakes to a visitor she never expected. The rulers of her region, a vampire royal family, have chosen her to be turned as their new heir and vampire princess. Claire quickly discovers the royal family is not what they seem and that she has secrets in her past, she never knew existed.

My Thoughts:
The first 300 pages sped by quickly, and I felt that nothing significant happened. In the beginning, we learn that Claire has been adopted by the King and Queen of her region and pronounced a princess. She moves into the kingdom and begins her life anew as a vampire princess, and heir to the throne. The next 200 pages basically describe her life before and after she is turned into a vampire and we learn of court rules and traditions. I felt that there was a lack of strong plot, given the main events in the book were the coronation ball, Clair turning into a vampire and the Blood Mate ceremony. However, there was a major twist at the very end which completely caught me off guard. I was left speechless at the turn of events and was scrolling down eagerly to read more, when I realised the book had finished. Wow, what an incredible ending that was! The plotline for Delicacy has been hinted at the end, and I’m certainly looking forward to finding out all the answers to my questions!

I loved how Clair always stood up for herself and friends, never backing down when it came to her enemies. No matter how much Ana insulted her or mocked her, she never allowed those cruel words to affect her. What I found a bit unbelievable was how easily she accepted her new life. At first, she obviously did not want to leave her mum, best friend and human life, and I actually would have expected more of a fight from her side. Once in the castle, it seemed within days, she was already calling the King and Queen ‘dad’ and ‘mum’. Somehow I find that difficult to believe despite how much she wanted a father in her life and a mother who actually cared and noticed her. 

Dimitry and Arrick. Both gorgeous guys, but I’m firmly team Arrick. Clair’s romance with Dimitry happened a bit too fast, although fortunately, it wasn’t insta-love or anything. I could feel the deep connection between Clair and Arrick, even before they officially met, so I hope they end up together ! Oh, and since Clair and Arrick are Blood Mates, that’s another reason why they’re just perfect for each other!

Most of the vampire books we read these days are similar, but there was one aspect that was different in Savor, and I found it highly interesting. In this world, humans and vampires coexist, but instead of being completely oblivious to the creatures roaming around at night, humans know about the existence of vampires. In fact, instead of killing humans for blood, humans willingly donate blood for the King and Queen (and all the other vampires who live in court). I found this spin on vampire lore very fascinating and I truly enjoyed reading about how humans have reacted over the years to the existence and rule of vampires.

Savor was fast-paced, and overall an enjoyable read. The ending left me impatient for the release of the second book! I’m looking forward to finding out more about Clair’s heritage and the truth behind her sudden invitation to join courtlife and become the heir to the throne. Oh, and it won’t hurt for a little more Clair/Arrick romance! 

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Find Megan: blog | twitter | goodreads | facebook


1st Place = A signed paperback copy of Savor
2nd Place = A free Kindle eBook copy of Savor  
3rd Place = A Savor and Released Bookmark

To enter, simply c
omment with a way to contact you. Giveaway is international and will end 31st October, when the blog tour ends.

There will be giveaways at every tour stop; go HERE to view the entire tour schedule. Megan will also be giving a signed copy of Savor and Released on her site. 

Cover Reveal: Fated by Sarah Alderson

-by Sarah Alderson

What happens when you discover you aren't who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it?
When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight.
But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray - is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends.
If your life becomes bound to another’s, what will it take to sever it?

Wow, the cover has finally been revealed! I've been waiting for this since I finished reading Hunting Lila, which I absolutely loved! I've read the first chapter of Fated, since it was conveniently printed with Hunting Lila, and it totally blew me away! I'm so excited for the release of Fated in January next year :)

Find Sarah on:

Have you read Sarah Alderson's HUNTING LILA yet? 

Waiting On Wednesday #10

26 Oct 2011

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Aimee Agresti
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Expected Release Date: March 6th, 2012

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel? Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

Gorgeous cover! I'm a sucker for such beautiful covers <3 Looks like the plot will be quite interesting as well - working at a stylish hotel? That sounds interesting! Oh, and there'll definitely be hot guys! Haha

Blog Tour: Earth (Elemental #1) - Review + Giveaway

25 Oct 2011

Title: Earth
Series: Elemental #1
Author: Shauna Granger
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 1st, 2011
Source: Received for Blog Tour
Format: E-book
Shayna and her two best friends have the abilities to manipulate and control the four elements, earth, air, water and fire. While learning to hone their growing powers, they discover a new and malicious presence in their sleepy beach town. Someone is performing blood magic and threatens to expose their small magical community. So far only small animals have been slaughtered, but then the nightmares start.

Shayna suffers nightmares of being chased and sacrificed only to wake up bloodied and bruised. She thinks her magical blood is the ultimate target for the final blood rite. When an innocent girl, Tracy, is kidnapped Shayna knows it&#x2019;s only a ploy to draw her out; she can&#x2019;t let someone die because of her.

My Thoughts:
I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book; I never thought I would like it so much given how I felt nothing happened in the beginning. After 50 pages, all I remembered reading about was a typical school day for Shauna and her best friends, Steven and Jodi. I was thinking ‘where’s the plot’, and ‘am I going to have to read about her everyday life for another 200 pages?’ But then, sometime after that, I was completely absorbed in the book; the mystery and suspense was gradually building up and I couldn’t wait to reach the end. While I’ll admit some parts were very predictable, and I was hoping for a twist, but the constant action, and secrets waiting to be unravelled diverted my attention away from the expected parts, instead, causing me to focus on exactly what was happening in the present. The writing was just that addictive!

Shayna was a brilliant protagonist! I totally loved her selfless personality, her loyalty to her friends, even ones who she doesn’t know well, and of course, her bravery. What more can you expect? I guess the only issue I had with her was her initial attitude towards Jensen. I mean, how could you verbally attack and then ignore such a hot guy? (haha) Then again, I loved the banter between Shay and Jensen; it was so cute and hilarious, and the unmistakable chemistry between the two had me almost screaming for something to happen between them already! Unfortunately there were only a couple of scenes dedicated to our heroine and her love interest ( *sigh*), but I’ve no doubt the relationship between these two will develop in the next book!

The dialogue between all the characters felt remarkably real. I only just finished reading a book where the dialogue was so poorly written that I felt it was an adult trying desperately to sound like a child. I guess I have an aversion to books with poorly written and unnatural dialogue, so in every book, I pay special attention to the dialogue. I was pleasantly surprised (yet again) about how natural the dialogue sounded. It truly felt like these teens were having a real conversation. There were no unnecessary lines, and the sentences flowed perfectly!

I was especially intrigued by the use of magic in this book. Shayna, Steven and Jodi all have the ability to control and use the elements Earth, Fire and Air respectively, (and water, although I don’t think the character whose element is water has been introduced yet.) The descriptions of Shayna using her magic were so vivid that it captured my entire attention.

Overall, this was an absolutely amazing debut, filled with constant action, relatable characters and a flawless writing style! You will find yourself in another world, experiencing all the adventure with the characters, rather than sitting on the sidelines and reading it word for word. My advice? Enter the giveaway below, cross your fingers and hope you will win an ebook copy of this because really, you won’t be disappointed!

Rating: 4.5 stars

As part of the blog tour, Shauna has kindly offered one ebook copy of her novel Earth. To enter, simply comment below with your email address. Giveaway is international and will end on the 30th October.

There will be a chance to win an e-copy of Earth on every blog stop, so make sure you check them all!

~Grand Prize~
There will be two grand prizes:
- Grand prize will be a signed copy of soon to be released Air and a bookmark
- Second Grand Prize is a signed copy of Earth and a bookmark

To enter, comment on every blog post of this tour. On the 29th October, go to this blog to complete your entry. 

In My Mailbox #10

23 Oct 2011

n My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, which allows bloggers to share what books they've borrowed, received in the mail or bought in the past week.

See something in common between these three books? They've got to be three of the prettiest 2011 YA covers!

From Publishers:

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (Thank you Allen & Unwin!)
*SQUEEEAALLL* I've heard so many great things about this book; so I can't wait to read it myself! + Apparently Adam's reallllyyy hot? So excited <3

Emerald by Karen Wallace (Thank you Simon & Schuster)
Wow, how beautiful is that dress? This one is an historical fiction, set during the Middle Ages. I've always been interested in reading anything related to Queen Elizabeth 1, or the Tudors so I hope this will be another great read!


Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
So, I've been stalking this book and Leigh Fallon for like the last 5 months, ever since reviews have been posted up of this. My copy has FINALLY arrived! Can't wait to read this <3

From Author:

Dark Seeker by Taryn Browning (Thank you!)
I haven't read one single negative review about this and the blurb sounds really fascinating. This has also been recommended for fans of The Mortal Instruments Series, so I really must read this!

Blog Tour:

Mortal Obligations by Nichole Chase 
Is it just me, or does the cover remind you of Wolfsbane? The blurb sounds slightly cliched :" get through high school, convince her crush she is more than his best friend & little sister, and save money for college." But I have a soft spot for cliched novels :)

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave the link and I'll check it out!

Follow Friday #11 & Book Blogger Hop #8

21 Oct 2011

Follow  Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read!

What superhero is your alter-ego? 

Definitely Invisible Woman! Haven't read the comics, but loved her from Fantastic Four!

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy For Books
“What is your favorite type of candy?”
Haha, I have a lot! STARBURSTS!!!! Sour worms, CHOCOLATE (it counts, right? ) - anything that's sweet & tasty! 

Book Review: Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

20 Oct 2011

Title: Silence
Series: Hush, Hush #3
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Source: Publisher for review (Thank you!)
Format: Paperback
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

My Thoughts:

Words can’t describe how I excited I was when I picked up my copy of Silence from the post office. I was literally squealing in delight and for the past few days, I’ve been taking this everywhere with me. I just cannot bear to part with it. I can stare at the cover all day long, and still won’t get tired of the cover art. It’s just absolutely, stunningly, gorgeous! If I ever become an author and have my book published, I’d want no other than James Porto to design my cover! Speaking of beautiful covers, I’ve recently become wary of pretty cover arts, since experience tells me that striking covers usually equate to poorly written books. For once, I have to disagree. Silence was truly amazing; the books just keep getting better and better! Beautiful cover + excellent storyline- what more can you expect?

The story starts a few months after the ending of Crescendo. Nora has been captured by Hank, the Black Hand and locked away for the entire summer. When she is finally released, after 3 months she has no recollection of what happened to her in the past 5 months of her life. Even worse, she has forgotten Patch! Nora begins to search for answers, and unravel the mystery behind her disappearance. Truthfully, I didn’t quite understand the significance of Nora forgetting Patch. Nora forgetting her kidnapper is understandable, but Patch? It’s not like they can ever stay away from each other anyway. Memory loss aside, I was highly intrigued by the whole mystery surrounding Hank and his true intentions for getting close to Nora. There was plenty of mystery and suspense that kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what will happen next. There were also a few twists that caught me off guard! I felt Silence focused more on the storyline rather than the romance between Patch and Nora, which was definitely a relief!

 I haven’t written reviews for Hush, Hush and Crescendo but I should say that Nora and Vee were both frustrating and annoying characters, especially in Crescendo. However, I was surprised at how I actually started to warm up to Nora in Silence. Sure, she was still impulsive and doing things without thinking of the consequences, but for once, she actually had a plausible reason to. I remember, in Crescendo, she was constantly getting herself into ridiculous situations to spy on Patch ( I mean, seriously? Give it a rest girl!), but in this instalment, she did everything to find out the truth behind her kidnapping and her lost memories. Her strength and determination was evident in this book and I was pleased at how her character has developed since Hush,hush.

Many of the minor characters played a larger and more important role in Silence. For instance, Marcie. I really liked the interactions between Marcie and Nora; their ‘frenemy‘ relationship was  hilarious. I guess what I really liked about the two was how they were able to cast away their past disagreements and focus on helping each other in the present, especially at the end of the book. I can’t wait to read more of Nora & Marcie’s friends/enemy relationship in the next book!

Overall, this was an engaging and plot-driven story that will leave you impatient for the release of the fourth book! Like I said, I found part of the memory loss unnecessary, but I’ve no doubt many readers will find this an interesting twist! Do yourself a favour, and buy a copy of this book; you won’t be disappointed. From what happened at the end of the book, I’ve no doubt the plotline in the fourth book will be incredible and action-packed! Definitely looking forward to it!

Rating:4.5 stars
“He inclined his head at my dress. "What's the occasion?"

"Homecoming," I said, twirling. "Like?"

"Last I heard, Homecoming requires a date."

"About that," i hedged. "I'm sort of...going with Scott. We both figure a high-school dance is the last place Hank will be patrolling."

Patch smiled, but it was tight. "I take that back. If Hank wants to shoot Scott, he has my blessing.”

Waiting On Wednesday #9

19 Oct 2011

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Insurgent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins
Expected Release Date: May 28th 2012

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

So, so SO excited for this book! Absolutely adored Divergent - definitely one of my favourite books this year! Oh, and I need more Four in  my life! Can't wait for it to be released! In the meantime, I must get myself my very own copy of Divergent :)

Book Review: Elemental: The First by Alexandra May

18 Oct 2011

Title: Elemental: The First
Author: Alexandra May
Publisher: Pauma Publishing
Release Date: July 22nd, 2011
Source: Author+Publisher for review (Thank you!)
Format: Paperback
ROSE Frost receives a bracelet on her sixteenth birthday, a parting gift from her mother who claims it is a family heirloom. From that night Rose starts having vivid dreams and strange visions.

DAYS after, her family separate and Rose moves into her grandmother's house. Her dreams start to involve a woman called Halíka Dacomé. Is she a legend or a figment of her imagination?

DANGER strikes one night. Rose is first on the scene after she smells burning and discovers a car that has been purposely set on fire. She is convinced that the boy in her latest vision is inside the car. The mysterious Aiden Deverill pulls Rose to safety, but not before a window explodes and a ball of fire burns them both. She uses her secret healing gift to heal the scars and to all appearances remains unscathed.
But Aiden is free from burns too and Rose doesn't know why.
She is drawn to his alluring smile, his gorgeous dark looks and hypnotising blue eyes, but as they get closer her friends warn her off claiming that he's bad news.

Rose tries to find the truth about Halika Dacomé and more about why Aiden is so disliked, but she soon gets drawn into helping her friends solve the mystery behind the missing Warminster townsfolk. The latest missing person is her new friend Jez's father.

During the investigation she meets Morgan, a family friend of Daisy's who lives in the cottage at the bottom of Daisy's garden. He's kind, funny and clearly devoted to her, but Rose finds out that his hatred towards Aiden and his grandfather, Ben Deverill, lies rooted in a shocking event that happened years before involving both families.

For Rose, her new life is beginning but she soon realises that people are not always what they seem, and finds it difficult to determine who to trust.

What she always believed to be a happy family and a friendly town soon turns on its head when she discovers that her family secret, Aiden Deverill and the truth behind Halíka Dacomé is at the heart of the whole conspiracy.

My Thoughts:

Elemental started off strongly; there was something mysteriously engrossing about the prologue, and I was able to instantly dive into the captivating world of Elemental the First. I was so curious to unravel the mystery surrounding Rose’s heritage and also how this infamous Halika Decome and Rose are related. The premise was also really interesting; a powerful Elemental, the first human on earth reincarnation in the form of a human girl with an unusual and unique gift.  Sound fascinating, right? However,what was initially a plot-driven story soon molded to focus largely on typical teenage issues; love, jealousy, betrayal, outings etc. Although the plot was not entirely forgotten -there were of course scenes every now and then dedicated to the central storyline- when I recall the book as a whole the romance and friends gathering moments took precedence over the actual plot.

The romance. What can I say? It was certainly another one of those typical love triangles involving the good guy (Morgan) and the bad guy (Aiden). *sigh* Unsurprisingly, both guys were hot and sexy and readers are obviously suppose to be breathless with excitement, squealing about how hot they are and how it’s too hard to choose between the two. Too bad, I’m over unoriginal love triangles. Truthfully, the story would’ve still worked out perfectly without the romance between Morgan and Rose, since Aiden is a whole lot more important and played a larger role in the book. I just hope in the next book Rose won’t be running from one to the other, trying to decide who she wants to be with.

One of the main problems I had with the book was the dialogue between Rose and her new friends. Being teenagers, there was obviously gossip, talks of boys, school and everything you would expect to arise in a teen discussion. Unfortunately the conversations felt unnatural and forced; while the content was certainly suitable, the tone and the way everything was said gave me the impression that it was an adult trying to speak like a child, or at least like someone much younger. I guess when you read the lines separately, they would seem perfectly natural, but when I read the entire conversation from beginning to end, the words and sentences just felt out of place. I’ll admit, the dialogue was too awkward for my liking.

All in all, despite the many flaws, I did enjoy Elemental:The First as a whole. The mystery surrounding Rose was intriguing, as was the strange connections between everyone in the book. Give it a go, I’m sure many of you will enjoy this! I am looking forward to book 2, since there were many unanswered questions and I sure want to find out what happens next!

Rating: 3.5 stars

In My Mailbox #9

16 Oct 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, which allows bloggers to share what books they've borrowed, received in the mail or bought in the past week.

*Sorry for the crappy image quality! I had to take this with my new phone :S
Most of these books came 2-3 weeks ago, but since I was out of the country, I couldn't pick them up.*

From Publishers:
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (Thanks HarperCollins!)
JACK THE RIPPER = AWESOMENESS. Already read + reviewed here.
The Industry by Rose Foster (Manusript -Thanks HarperCollins!)
New Aussie dystopian novel coming out April next year! So excited to read this!!
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (Thanks Simon & Schuster)
SILENCE! PATCH <3 Reading this right now & so far, so good! Can't wait to see what happens next! 

Swapped: (with Tina @Book Couture -Thank you :) 
Jessie <3 NYC by Keris Stainton
This sounds like a cute & funny read, but I probably won't start it anytime soon...
Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres
Read already, but it's great to have my own copy now :) I'll have to get a copy of Angel Arias sometime soon...
Outside In by Maria V. Snyder 
LOVED the first book - Inside Out! Riley <3 Can't wait to start this one!

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave a link & I'll check it out :)

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: October 3rd, 2011 (Aus.)
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback.
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My Thoughts:

Oh dear, how am I supposed to return to reality after entering Lola world in Lola and the Boy Next Door? All I can think about is CRICKET; and his insanely kind, loving heart, and how incredibly hot he looks on the front cover, and how unbelievably smart is, and how I wish he existed in real life so I could steal him from Lola. (Oh, but St. Clair is still mine J!)

Lolaaaa.(Don’t you just love saying her name out loud? ) I loved Lola’s character. She was outrageous, crazy, and had such a distinct and unique taste that there’s no doubt she’s the one and only Lola in the world. There can be no second Lola. She’s just that special. I’ve realised that in many books, it takes at least a few chapters for readers (or at least me) to gain an insight into the main character’s personality/character (even if the book is written in first person); at the start of a book, I usually have a neutral feeling toward the characters since I’m not familiar with their habits, personality etc. but in Lola’s case, it was completely different. It was like as soon as I started reading, I was already aware of just what sort of person she was, and I could tell immediately that I would like her. And of course, I was right.

I can’t say I enjoyed every moment of the book; there were times when I thought the story dragged, and not much happened. BUT, this is Stephanie Perkins we’re talking about and she can convert even the most stubborn anti-fans of similar books into hard-core fans of her own. The light and funny dialogue and the swoon-worthy scenes involving CRICKET was more than enough to compensate for the well…slightly less-exciting scenes.

Did I mention the ending? Oh, how I absolutely LOVED the ending. It was perfect. Definitely one of the best scenes in the book!

Throughout the book, I was constantly comparing Lola to Anna and the French Kiss; it was impossible not to. I must admit, I still like Anna and the French Kiss better. The whole PARIS setting totally swept me away and I guess I like St. Clair a tiny bit more than Cricket. I don’t know how I’m going to survive ONE YEAR until Isla is released! I guess I’ll just have to spend the year re-reading Anna and Lola until my copies become so worn that it won’t even be readable anymore. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

“So do you believe in second chances?" I bite my lip.
"Second, third, fourth. Whatever it takes. However long it takes. If the person is right," he adds.
"If the person is... Lola?"
This time, he holds my gaze. "Only if the other person is Cricket.” 

“I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”