Stealing Shadows

by Kay Hooper

This has been on my book pile for more than a year and it's only this vacation that I got the chance of reading it. Somehow it never failed me - in the sense that the story did agitate me to turn the pages and get no sleep.

Cassie Neill is bestowed with supernatural ability to tap into the minds of killers being hunted by the L.A. police - it seems with her help it is a gift but the backfire of this responsibility is a curse for her. When she made a huge error on a wrong forecast, causing the death of an innocent child, she makes up her mind to leave L.A. to move to a small town in North Carolina in the hope of a fresh start.

She is then startled with multiple killings in the town of Ryan's Bluff and so offered her help to solve the baffling case. Things get complicated when the sheriff didn't want to believe what she claims as 'precognition' and that she, herself, is a suspect responsible for the numerous crimes in town - some people have even believed that she was a 'witch'. The case moves rapidly, townspeople are panicking and the authority is getting desperate which leaves Cassie the burden to enter the killer's mind the soonest time possible.

I wasn't upset due to the thickness of the book, in fact the story kept me on a good pace while maintaining suspense. The praises for this book lived up to my expectations, though I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes with how Cassie narrates her 'entry' to the killer's mind (the narration kinda pushed me off but it's okay). The height of the story's climax made me grip the book and feverishly read it until early morning: you will find yourself fallen for the red herrings thrown in the plot! But when the case of the serial killer in Ryan's Bluff was over, I felt a bit down for the thrill of the story because it somehow died as it swung the spotlight on romance.

Rating: 4 stars - supposedly I'm gonna make this 4 1/2 stars but because I'm not such a fan of suspense and love story mixed together (it rarely happens for me) I decided this better be just four out of five. If you love a good story to make you gasp in excitement of what's gonna happen next, here's the book you should try.

Broken China

by Lori Aurelia Williams

China Cup Cameron is a fourteen-year-old student struggling to fit both of her lifestyle in school and at home as a mom to her little daughter Amina. Now before you get thinking that this story might be a cliché, take time to read the first set of chapters before you make any conclusion.

This is a tip for you readers for the reason that at first I was appalled with the idea of reading something like this - it's my first time to read a novel that revolves around teenage pregnancy and black people. Honestly I almost gave up with the book at its early stage because I am simply off with black slang language (no racism intended but this is my opinion). I can't handle the difficulty in reading the context but a good point is that it does reflect the true conversation and culture of black people in cities like where China lives.

The book is all about the struggles China has to face: raising up her own child, keeping good grades at school, taking care of his uncle at home, and building a strong character for herself. All of which were put to vain when Amina suddenly dies and China has to pay for her funeral and memorial services. After seeing the amount she owes, she is forced to quit school and get a job. But what job would a fourteen-year-old girl have if she's dropped from class? Only the strip dance club downtown accepts such cases: Obsidian Queens.

Reading the book, it seemed to me that it was more like a memoir than a novel. Lori Aurelia Williams did a good job reflecting what today's youth is more likely about. She has also effectively enumerated the consequences of pre-marital sex and the hardship of being a young mother to Amina and made you feel that China was human and not just a character in a book.

The only thing I didn't like in the story is how dreamy or idealistic it went: Trip, Amina's biological father still turns out to be her best friend in the long run which is least likely to happen in reality. However, I must say this book has pulled me by the nose, and the lessons you will pick up will come very handy. My estimate is that I finished this book in a span of five days.

Rating: 4 stars

A Song for Jeffrey

by Constance M. Foland

Dodie used to have fun with her brother Peter, but since he went to junior high school he changed a lot from her best friend to a boring brother. Her parents have separated too, which made matters worse. And if things couldn't get any better than that, she doesn't have real friends at school.

So when a new neighbor moves in, she's curious to know if there is any kid. And surely there is - a boy named Jeffrey. But Jeffrey isn't like any other kid who can run around and go chase Dodie. There is something that hinders him from doing so. Dodie is curious about it and soon she finds out that Jeffrey has muscular dystrophy, a type of disorder wherein he can't use his legs because they are severely weak.

When I picked up this book, I knew it would be good - for one, it's about friendship and two, anything that concerns disease is my type of read. A story of hope, trust and kindness, A Song for Jeffrey narrates Dodie's effort to befriend Jeff. At first she almost failed but as her father tells her to count on the saying, "persistence wears down resistance", they soon became best friends.

I laughed and cried with this book (yes, even if it was meant for young people I managed to put my heart into reading it). You will find yourself with familiar characters; there is huge role of sympathy, reminiscence and faith in this story. Looking into Dodie's point of view, I understand her worries and her curiosity, as Peter there is part of me that can't blame him to be a bit cold with Dodie especially that he's got peers of his age, and for Jeffrey I can feel his positivity all-throughout and at times, his sadness with regards to his condition.

I recommend this book not only because it's about Jeffrey's muscular dystrophy; this book for younger readers will encourage them to look at things on a brighter side, learn to turn to prayers and seek assistance and guidance from God. This book also heightens awareness, sensitivity and proper response to such medical disorders.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars - I finished this book in just a span of 1 1/2 days.

Nights in Rodanthe

by Nicholas Sparks

Another novel from the bestselling author Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember, The Notebook) who knows how to tug heartstrings, Nights in Rodanthe is a story that showcases unbelievable faith and romance.

Adrienne Willis has been a divorcee for over 3 years after her husband Jack had abandoned her for another younger woman and since then, her perspective about finding a new love has been changed. She loses confidence in herself and only focused her attention to her kids. Until she tends an inn for a friend in Rodanthe, North Carolina for the weekend and meets Dr. Paul Flanner, her whole life has gone through a wonderful whirlwind that she will surely remember for a lifetime.

Similar to other Nicholas Sparks books, Nights in Rodanthe is a very good read. Predictable, yes (I've already read Message In A Bottle and A Walk to Remember before this one), but it has gave me another love story to remember. The time frame in which the climax of the love affair happens is very short (it was only a weekend), but you can't tell during the course of the reading.

There are many points of this book that I liked. Say for example, is the appreciation for the elderly and treasuring the family relationship.

The thickness of the book might get you underestimating it, but Nights in Rodanthe could be slower to read at some points. However, all in all, I've got nothing against this but my ability to predict the ending (yet still experiencing surprises here and there). I did not even sleep just to finish this book and even if I thought I wouldn't shed a tear, it managed to break my heart especially in the coming of the last chapters. I'm sure if you've enjoyed other works of the author, you will enjoy this one too.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

When In Rome

by Gemma Townley

A very encouraging book to read. It makes you want to explore more of Rome and its culture. By the time the scenario switches to the characters flying off to Rome I can't wait to get myself there and be in St. Peter's Square, go to a coffee shop and buy a nice, warm croissant.

The characters are believable though Georgie seems to be very vulnerable and gullible (I guess she was meant to be that way, otherwise the story won't have a plot) when it comes to Mike, and the whole concept overall is a nice catch for chick-lit readers. I started the book quite slow but once things get interesting in Rome, it paces up and I can't help but to know what's the deal.

I have predicted a handful of mysteries (Candy's situation to be exact) but the ending still took my breath away. Thumbs up. No wonder Sophie Kinsella enjoyed this one!

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

The Face on the Milk Carton

by Caroline B. Cooney

I liked the story, it fascinated me. Although the ending was a bit short, probably because it leads to the companion book. Anyway, the story seemed to focus on the whirl of Janie's doubts if she was really kidnapped. I enjoyed reading it but I think the author should have condensed the whole story into one book instead of indicating that the others are just companions. Some people can't tell immediately what number from the series is the book they're reading.

To be able to grasp the whole idea, I suggest readers take on the companions to this book such as Whatever Happened to Janie? and The Voice on the Radio.

Rating: 3 stars

Blind Alley

by Iris Johansen

This is my first hardbound experience of an Iris Johansen book. I haven't read any of her novels before, but this turned out pretty boring. I love forensics - I'm allured by it and its concepts but this was a letdown.

For one, the plot was simply weaved to tell a story. It did not really excite me except the fact that I have been quite a fan of Jane and Trevor's love story. I completely forgot that Jane was seventeen and Trevor was around more or less in his thirties, but he was always described as handsome (for a con man and a sleuth) so I bit the bait. At some point before halfway reading, I had an idea to dump it and read another book instead, but I wanted to finish the story as to satisfy my curiosity and leave no room for regret. Alas, I wasted my time because the ending had been so easy and fast-moving. It was hard at first to get myself to pace reading hardbounds (I think I have a weak link for them) but when I got near Blind Alley's half it seemed so easy and light.

There had been confusions in the story. Jane is too much to decide as an adult for a seventeen-year-old girl. I understand her relation to the nightmare and Cira story but it seems her parents are always at bay and she does things independently with Trevor most of the time, as if proving she can do on her own.

I did not like the over-all part: everything seemed to be too perfect and everyone seemed to be so skilled that it falls flat for a forensic mystery, but this had made me laugh, worry and feel smitten a bit. It really shouldn't be called an Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller but a Jane Duncan one. I think I wanted to read Countdown, but I'm hesitant about it. Blind Alley truly left me lost in blindness. The conclusion did not make up for what the narration lacked, in my opinion.

Rating: 2 stars


by Kelly Easton

Honestly, I bought the book because I was enticed with its cover - it seemed so mysterious and vague so I thought might like it. The story revolves around Adam who lost his parents in a tragic car accident on the way home to Rhode Island from a peace rally in Seattle. You would certainly feel Adam's sorrow as he recalls what has happened to them that resulted to his parent's death.

What I didn't understand is that how come he left his parents there lying on the pavement to cross the country by just walking away? I would certainly not do that to my parents, unless I would call for help (which Adam did not do apparently; I did not get whether he was just disoriented so he didn't do that but then again, if I was in his shoes whether disoriented or not I would STILL call for help).

On the other hand, this book teaches some values learned from Adam's experiences as he journeys along - the people he met, the places he's explored and the impressions they leave on him. However, there are good and bad points in Aftershock: it worked on the story by means of flashback although some of the way it was presented was drastic, the reader could not distinguish whether Adam was in reality or was he recalling a memory. But I guess it's just the nature of Adam's experience: shocking and mind-swifting. I think even though he has been weary, he enjoyed the journey as he struggles to get home because he has certainly learned a lot from it.

A very good example is this line that I loved from the book, "People separate themselves from each other by so many things: race, gender, religion, class. But on my travels, I learned to distinguish people by the only thing that really matters: kindness."

Rating: 3 stars

The Bookworm

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21 years old. BS Interior Design. Bookworm. Computer-savvy and internet geek. Loves coffee crumble & Heath ice cream and feel good music. I blog about arts, culture, music, food and fashion.


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Currenly Reading

Currenly Reading
Enduring Love
by Ian McEwan


  • The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green

I'm giving away these books at!