Featured Review: "Talon" by Julie Kagawa »

August 26, 2012

Feature Interview with Heather Beck

Hello and welcome to Vivaciously, Vivian's feature interview with the wonderful (and Canadian!) author and screenwriter Heather Beck! -applause- She's the author of books including "Whispers in the Shadows" and "Haunted". In this interview, Heather shares the inside perspective of juggling writing both novels and screenplays and dishes on her latest book. Check out her awesome answers in the interview below!

Interview Time!

Welcome to Vivaciously, Vivian Heather! How are you?
Hi, Vivian! I’m doing great. Thanks so much for having me on your amazing blog.

Q: A lot of your books seem to have a deliciously intriguing dark side, from your new book to some of your others. Is there a special something that brought you to explore that particular tone? 

A: My fascination with paranormal tales began in childhood from a cause unknown even to myself. It’s just a genre I’ve always been drawn to because it explores new worlds bound only by the limits of one’s imagination. As someone with a lot of imagination, writing these stories is a true joy as well as a great outlet for my creativity. Regarding the dark tone of my work, that probably stems from my love of a good scary story. I’m not into violence or gore though, so my work is more about suspense, creepy characters and fantastical mythology. I could discuss how these fictional monsters are a representation of our fears externalized so we can defeat them, but in the end it’s simply the most fun genre to read or write.

Read more after the jump!

Vivian's Bookmark Collection 。◕‿◕。

Hello everyone~! Since today's a lovely Sunday and I have been hoarding all my latest reviews for the scheduled posts when my semi-hiatus starts, I thought I'd make a post for fun featuring all my bookmarks (⌒▽⌒ゞ I'm sure everyone's got a sort of bookmarks stash of some sort, or maybe you use other things!

This post is inspired by Liza's "Bookmark This Week" feature @ Reading with ABC!

Feel free to share your bookmarking habits down in the comments as well (≧∇≦)/ and I hope you enjoy this post!

Vivi's Bookmarking Habits Break-Down

  • No dog-earring for me. It'll be something from a bookmark to a scrap of paper...or nothing at all. 
  • For the Regular Indigo Collection (which you guys will see below), I never use one of those bookmarks for two books in a row. I'm always switching.
  • If there's a part of the bookmark sticking out, it's gotta match in colour with the cover of the book I'm just weird and particular like that  (⌒_⌒;)
  •  Not always so OCD-ish, when I don't care, it's going to be one of those plainer bookmarks.
  • When bookmark-less, use the library check-out receipt!

Pictures~!!! Yay!

 This here is my "Regular Indigo Collection". It's actually not that large of a collection, but these all came from Indigo. There was a phase when I had to buy one bookmark at least every time I stepped into the bookstore. >_<

Also, if I use one of these, the pretty string colour has to match the book cover (or at least look good with it, know what I mean?)  ʘ‿ʘ


 [Left] Here's my tiny "Special Indigo Collection" with bookmarks of somewhat of a higher price range. They're all splurges, and the gorgeous purple in the middle was a gift from Mama, because she knew I how much I wanted one. Thank you, Mama! ♥

[Right] A~nd here we have the reason why I picked this particular layout design for my blog! I've seen these owls on notebooks, folders, bags, and on these cute little magnet clip bookmarks. These aren't very convenient to use, to be honest, but they look great on their own!

 Peking Opera collectable bookmarks! A friend brought these from China for me! I've yet to use them, though....

 Of course, here are the plainer ones. I haven't gotten one of these from a bookstore in a while, but there was a time period where the cashier ringing you up would stick one of these into your purchased book. They're really convenient to use, great for whenever you just want to grab a bookmark and not care how it looks  ( ̄ー ̄)

That's all for me in the Bookmarks department! I also have a couple of home-made bookmarks from when I was little, but couldn't find them  (╯︵╰,) 

How about you guys? Do you have a favourite bookmark or do you use anything that's sitting around? Which of mine did you like best?  (ヘ。ヘ)

Thanks for reading!

August 25, 2012

[White Pine 2012] "Something Wicked" by Lesley Anne Cowan

This review was typed up way back, when White Pine 2012 was still going on at school. I didn't have the guts to post this because...well, I guess I didn't know how people would react to what I had to say. Now that this little blog has sustained a bit more time, I think I'll throw this bomb out the window now.

Warning: Long and personal, (possibly touchy) post ahead.

Vivi's 5th book read for White Pine this year. Now. This book. I am treading very, VERY carefully here, and first off, I will state that whatever I write in my review, I intended it as honest opinion not meant to offend anyone in any way.

Continued after the jump.

August 24, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday #10

Feature & Follow is a Friday meme created and hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read! Answer a feature question, make new friends and gain new followers!

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you've read and loved?

The worst cover for me will always be the one for "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon. It was a school read...grade 9...and unfortunately, nope! I did not love it.

I hope you guys won't kill me for this one >_< There is absolutely no way to describe how much I love Cassie's books, but City of Bones' cover....to be honest, was what scared me away from this book back when I first saw it. -smacks myself on the head- The chest is j-just too...dominating!! And the bottom half of the models face isn't really how I pictured Jace, so that didn't help the situation either.

I find the other covers of TMI fine, and I absolutely love each and every cover of TID.

What about you? Share your link below in the comments and I'll be hopping! Happy Friday, everyone!

August 20, 2012

"Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry

Finally~! This review was written in a total of 4 different sit-down sessions, 2 of which were at least half an hour long (though I wasn't writing non-stop, more like rolling around on the living room floor and moaning).

I'm definitely not a person to use GIFs in my posts (I usually just admire and enjoy them on other people's blogs, etc.) but I really couldn't resist here. In the following Vivi-Review, I lose it. Without further ado, here's another review on.....-drum roll-

[Clickey the hot cover (gosh, I love that cover!) for Goodreads!]

Title: Pushing the Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication: 2012, Harlequin Teen
Summary: No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible...read more

Review: Oh my gosh, AAAHHH! This book sliced my emotions to pieces and scattered them over the solar system with a gale about as strong as a (Category 5) hurricane. Now this is an emotional rollercoaster, the Leviathan of Canada's Wonderland (like so), effortlessly climbing up to booming crescendos in the stratosphere and blazing through with burning hot sparks. "Pushing the Limits" completely blew me away and I happily let it! Katie McGarry deserves a golden crown for this emotionally dominating and brilliant YA debut!

The captivating and grasping characters of "Pushing the Limits" not only touched my heart with their story, but it felt like they grabbed it and squeezed as well (hard, might I add.). Completely raw and realistic, Echo and Noah drew me in from the very first page of each of their POVs. They are both driven, compelling and ridiculously convincing as literary characters who felt to me as a reader as vivid as 3D. Yes, both Echo and Noah contain the bleeding scabs and scars in their hearts from two very shattered pasts, but they are stoic, inspiring and admirable from the inside and in essence.

As these two smartly and epic-ly written characters come slamming together, everything molds perfectly atop a blazing flame as the chemistry swirls between Echo and Noah, bringing to life one of the steamiest and sweetest YA relationships I've ever read. 

Katie McGarry won me over immediately with her clever diction. Both POVs were handled superbly well and this is the first YA book with switching first-person POVs that did not annoy me at all. In fact, I relished knowing and understanding both of the main characters in such close proximity. The switching was also used to the advantage of a propelling pacing since sometimes, I was left hanging, but never to the point that I did not enjoy the other POV section. This book truly handled double POVs to an amazingly effective and masterful level!

Throw in sarcastically witty dialogues that fly around hitting with monstrous accuracy and impact, and the dark nuances and heaviness is thankfully toned down a bit. A broad and enriching cast of supporting characters add emotional momentum and wonderfully enhances the world of "Pushing the Limits". Echo and Noah were hilarious at times and it coloured this debut work with richly bright hues of oranges, greens and yellows to add an addicting vibrancy to the book's overall palette. 

I laughed with these characters, feeling joyful and proud of their hard-earned and deserving happy moments. I cried, both physically and emotionally, with them; shed tears for their sufferings and heart-stabbing pain, but I also cried happy tears as well. I felt for them dearly for all the in-between emotions and beyond, and I'm grateful to Katie McGarry for letting us dwell so close to Echo's and Noah's hearts and I know that in turn, they will stay close by in my heart too. This book was so much from up and down, to side to side, to inside out and frankly, I loved it all.

Ratings: ✰✰✰✰✰ 5 Echo-ing Hoots

[2012.08.21] UPDATE! I forgot to mention one other incredible thing. Miraculously enough, for some strange reason, the occasional swearing in this book didn't bother me at all. (whereas usually, the F-word bothers me quite a bit) O_O It just seemed to fit Noah effortlessly and I wasn't bothered with it either, I was thinking, 'swear away, Noah! I don't mind.'

Final Notes:
The opening of this book didn't strike me positively, BUT IT WASN'T THIS BOOK'S FAULT! It was thanks to a rather negative book experience in the past. Another book about another girl that started out in another therapy/guidance room at school. Plus, the girl nicknamed herself "Echo".

I guess it was good for me to have my expectations/memories of raving reviews from every single one of you momentarily knocked down for a moment, haha! What a pleasant surprise. (what an understatement.)

I was crying at p. 107. That wasn't even halfway through the book yet! Moreover, no one passed away. (99% of Vivi's crying cases would be at the end of a book, when a character passes away or something.) I was crying happy tears because I was just so moved ;;____;;

A Favourite Moment: “Luke used to give me butterflies. Noah spawned mutant pterodactyls.”(I just couldn't stop laughing at this one...)

Thanks for reading!

August 19, 2012

| Oldies+Minis | "Bad Girls Don't Die" by Katie Alender


[Clickey the cover for Goodreads!]

Title: Bad Girls Don't Die (Bad Girls Don't Die #1)
Author: Katie Alender
Publication: 2009, Hyperion
Summary: In Alender's character-driven debut, outsider Alexis notices strange things occurring in her house and with her younger sister, Kasey. Alexis soon realizes that her life--and her family's--is creeping from dysfunction into danger, in this gripping new thriller....read more 

Mini Review / "Notes": 

A haunting journey that has some great, unexpected turns and wild cards. Light romance is nicely woven in to keep it appealing. Sometimes an uneven pace of events and the characters get a bit unlikeable. The spook factor should be praised, though. It was mild, but at the same time, overwhelms and stains the story. All in all, Alender presents a solid journey, which resolves peacefully and happily.
Looking Back: 

This is the first time I've decided to go backwards in my reviews notebook and pull up an oldie for you guys ^o^ As you can see...back when I first started making note of which books I read or liked, etc., I only wrote a teeny paragraph of my thoughts. 

The good thing about this is that I can now look back upon this book about 1-2 years later and tell you guys what I remember! 

To be honest, this one wasn't a very memorable read for me. Even after finishing it, I had already begun to forget about the characters and the story. Now, I unfortunately don't remember a single thing. I do remember that the story and plot itself, however, was enjoyable and decent enough. Not spectacular, but enough to have the reader hooked for the most part. I wouldn't say the book was flat because Ms. Alender did have some nice play-ups on the fear factor to some degree. It wasn't hide-under-your-covers scary, but it was definitely a bit eery. I liked it and had fun with it, but it didn't impress me too much.

Ratings: ✰✰✰ Ghostly Hoots

Thanks for reading!

August 17, 2012

(≧∇≦)/ Why I Love Razor from 'The Iron Fey' Series ~ ♥

Hello everyone who have kindly stopped by here to take a peak! This is my contest entry for the awesome and epic author Julie Kagawa's contest for a chance to win a signed copy of IRON LEGENDS~! So of course Vivi had to give it a shot! For my entry, I chose to do a little tribute of love to dear little Razor the Gremlin!

I thought and thought about this, not about choosing Razor, but about how I wanted to make this entry and thank-you gift for Julie and Razor. In the end, I decided to do it the good ol' fashioned way with coloured markers, gel pens, and a black Sharpie! XD It felt more personal and I thought it was the best way for me to sincerely express my love for the character, so here it is~!!! -drum roll-

This scan is huge. You can click on it to make it even B I G G E R ! I apologize if any of you have a bit of trouble reading my writing >_< I tried my best to keep it neat! 

And of course, I just HAD to try my pathetic artistic hand at drawing Razor for this. Oh gosh -embarrassed-. Does that even resemble a gremlin? XD Sorry if it didn't go by your standards of how you pictured him, Julie! >_<

Anyway, I wanted to make Razor chibi and cute, because to be honest, I pretty much imagined him that way, a bit different from the other gremlins in general.... I tried to keep him as close to a typical "gremlin" form as possible and then tried adding a bit of iron elements to him. 

Razor even received an awesome striped design outfit from me XD -fashionista drawl with accent- Razor dear, stripes are incredibly in fashion right now!

And finally, I was seriously considering singing a song for him as well, but couldn't find an appropriate one. However, this particular Vocaloid song struck a chord in me in a sense and made me feel like I could connect it somehow to the Iron fey and Razor's kind in general:

It doesn't fit exactly, but the giving birth to a technologically created being with feelings really reminded me of the Iron fey. Although not specifically robots, the Iron fey were made from modern day dreams of technology too. 

The main theme of gratitude in the later part of this song would be, I think, a very nice message to you, Julie, as the author and the person who truly brought the Iron fey into this world. Whenever other authors wrote about the fey, nothing like the Iron fey came up. 

So now with Meghan ruling fairly and brilliantly as their queen, I think the Iron fey will feel more like they belong, and I'm sure they would be grateful to you for bringing them into existence, both in the Never Never and in the imaginative minds of readers.

And of course, going back to our awesome little Gremlin: Thanks for making me laugh and spreading the cheer with your neon grin, Razor!

Thanks for reading!

Feature & Follow Friday #9

Feature & Follow is a Friday meme created and hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read! Answer a feature question, make new friends and gain new followers!

Q: What blogger inspires you? It can be any kind; It doesn't have to be a book blog.

My first time stumbling upon a book blog was at Lauren's blog Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf. She's awesome and pre-book-blogging Vivi admired her book reviews and marveled at the wonders of "In My Mailbox", etc. etc. before coming up with the decision to enter the book blogging world.

Were I to choose a blogger outside the blogging world....definitely would be Lindy @ Bubzbeauty. Wait, is Bubz even specifically a blogger anymore? Well, she makes videos and keeps a website, so I guessed she does fall into that category. She's inspiring, beautiful inside out and watching her videos always cheer me up on a bad day.

That'd be it for me! Leave a comment for me below and I'll get to hopping! ^_^

a whole lot of stuff ! (⌒▽⌒)☆

I didn't know how to title this post accordingly since it's a mix of things, some worth sharing and some important updates, so sorry! Please bear with Vivi for a little!

First thing's first, the trailer of Shannon Hale's much anticipated sequel to "Princess Academy" titled "Palace of Stone" is out! You can check out the trailer below ^o^

The release date for "Palace of Stone" is August 21, 2012, Goodreads here.
I am SO excited for this!!! It's been so long since I've last read Shannon Hale, and she's my favourite YA author, so the 21st can't come quick enough!

Some blog updates and news about upcoming changes after the jump!

August 16, 2012

"Scarlet" by A. C. Gaughen

[Clickey the lookin' sharp! cover for Goodreads!]

Title: Scarlet
Author: A. C. Gaughen
Publication: 2012, Walker Childrens
Summary: Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life
...read more

Review: Wow. I'm going to say that again. Wow. 

Driven and heart-stopping, "Scarlet" overflows with wicked action, vigorous determination and an all-too-awesome heroine. This is easily one of the most captivating and mind-blowing debuts of the year for me! "Scarlet" will cut out a rough yet furiously courageous tale in your heart, leaving behind brilliant scarlet, bleeding gashes outlined by the warmth of true friendships, loyalty, and love. 

Talented diction through the luring voice of our heroine unravels intriguingly through a surprisingly simple yet grabbing opening and transports the reader directly into the blazing core of an original take on the tale of Robin Hood. Never once do the characters fully rest, and neither will you as the reader! The thieves band of Robin, John, Much, and Will Scarlet  is wound impossibly tight, which makes the inner struggles as the characters try to comprehend their true feelings all the more heart-wrenching. 

I was mercilessly tugged along Scarlet's adventures and battles yet never once could I put her story down, blink, or even breath at times. Scarlet is strong with a fiery temper and a kind heart shown through her generous and sometimes random acts of kindness to the people of her land. She is incredibly well-written and brought to life and will become a heroine to be celebrated. 

Robin, John, and Much shine heroically with life just like Scarlet and the strings of fate binding these four together might as well be made of real gold. This book's journey seemed to last so long regardless of the propelling pace and the effect of that was how much closer I felt to Scarlet, the boys, and Ms. Gaughen's rustic and fantastically vivid world. 

I wanted to see the end of the pain, yet I savoured and enjoyed every moment this book had to offer. Ms. Gaughen seemed to be capable of accelerating and dragging out the pace of the story accordingly so to deliver the most of each punch. My heart pounded through all the way until the grand finale where it practically skipped a beat and stopped in the suspense. Deliciously dangerous and clever, well-written in a grasping sense, and colourfully brought to life, "Scarlet" is a sharply demanding and admirable tale.

Ratings: ✰✰✰✰✰ Sharp Hoots

Final Notes: I read two (TWO) books that I rated 5 Stars IN A ROW! My mind is all over the place right now. Anyway, definitely enjoyed this and if any of you like retellings, strong female protagonists, and a rustic sort of in-the-past setting, this is a great book to choose! "Scarlet" will definitely be a satisfying read, but I won't guarantee for everyone that it'll turn out to be a 5 Star book, Vivi just particularly liked this one. Now, I'm not comparing this book to Shannon Hale's books (which are my all time favourites for YA), but this book really struck the same sort of chord in essence. Probably why I loved it so much. Still, no doubt, hands down, one the best, best, best! debuts ever, and it's a fabulous stand-alone.
Thanks for reading!

August 13, 2012

"Never Enough" by Denise Jaden

[Clickey the lovely cover for Goodreads!]

Title: Never Enough
Author: Denise Jaden
Publication: 2012, Simon Pulse
Summary: From the author of Losing Faith, a novel about two sisters and the eating disorder that threatens to destroy their family.

Loann’s always wanted to be popular and pretty like her sister, Claire. So when Claire’s ex-boyfriend starts flirting with her, Loann is willing to do whatever it takes to feel special… even if that means betraying her sister.

But as Loann slips inside Claire’s world, she discovers that everything is not as it seems
...read more 

Review: Told from the beautifully honest and realistic voice of plain Loann (No middle name) Rochester, "Never Enough" will swell up to fill your heart with a bittersweet story of family, friendship, love, and the ultimate image of true beauty. Loann's narration is downright average, but as the book goes on, it reveals a compelling contemporary tale that will win you over in the end. 

The characters are quite realistic so to be honest, completely average (seeming) Loann did not bind me to her story at the beginning. However, as the book expands in cast, you'll meet intriguing Marcu and start discovering the hidden shining star in Loann. The plotline itself is not very unique and I was a bit disappointed as the full storyline was being uncovered, but by then, I was too deep in these nicely brought to life characters' grasps to truly be put down by it.

The main relationship between Loann and Marcus is just so sweet and it was heart warming-ly rewarding in the end since Ms. Jaden did a wonderful job of developing the friendship in a slow yet intricate manner. The world of "Never Enough"  is effectively set and very relatable but this book's overall jems would be the strong and convincing characters. 

One really admirable and surprisingly well done effect of Loann's narration is its way of swaying your emotions to the tale. The nitty-gritty of Loann's and Shayleen's relationship was a huge annoyance to me at first, just like how Loann felt negatively about it as well. As our main heroine grows and matures, she slowly thinks less of the incidents between her and Shayleen, and incidentally, I felt less annoyed by them as a reader as well. 

"Never Enough" is a great contemporary read that really brings to life a message worth sharing. It will touch your heart and bring you a memorable story that uncovers the true and dangerously raw beauty of a person's life. 

Ratings: ✰✰✰✰ 4 Sweet Hoots

Final Notes: I don't usually read contemporaries because sometimes, being  high school student offers enough realistic dramas and emotionally weaker Vivi just doesn't like to have more of that added on >_< This was definitely a more than decent and very enjoyable contemporary read! It unfolded super nicely and leaves you perfectly satisfied with that bloated feeling in your chest.

Thanks for reading!

August 11, 2012

Featured Trailer : The Lure of Shapinsay

Hello everybody! Today I'm bringing to this second edition of Vivi's showcase stage a gorgeous and intriguing book trailer that won my heart and made me sit at the edge of my seat at the end of it. If you're a fan of dangerous love and a good romantic fantasy complete with selkie men, check out "The Lure of Shapinsay" by Krista Holle! (and Vivi's head over heels in love with the cover)

by Krista Holle

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

Stacking the Shelves (#5)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme that features your books haul for the week! It is created and hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's reviews

Skipped last week again since nothing too interesting happened, unfortunately. BUT! -hand shoots up- This week, Vivi's got an awesome haul that had me stuck with a near-permanent watermelon smile for a loooooong time! And everything happened all at once on Friday, so I was in for quite a blast of good reads. Moving on to the haul!

Once again, clickey the lovely covers for Goodreads!

"The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa

I BOUGHT THIS! because I just loved it so much and I didn't want my time with Ash and Meghan to fade >_< To be honest, out of all 4 The Iron Fey books, I was wanting to buy The Iron Queen first, but Indigo didn't have it in stock (awwwww), and there was only book 1 and 4 on the shelves so I picked up my next fave ^_^

Ack. Those reviews are still to come. Sorry....

"Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry
~NetGalley & Library~

Alright. Let's see what all this fuss is about, and goodness, this wait has been way too painful T_T I got the galley first, and was about to start reading it, but then I noticed that my library copy was on its way as well. Unfortunately, I avoid reading on my computer as much as possible, so library print copy won XD Will start this soon and I cannot wait to meet Echo and Noah myself!

"The Lost Prince" by Julie Kagawa

I. was. SO. excited to get approved for this, was jumping up and down in my room XD Reading it currently, and it is AMAZING!!! Gosh, and check out the gorgeous cover! I love the model Ethan -nods approval- Super juicy and squeal-tastic and filled with good ol' memories of The Iron Fey as well!

"City of Fallen Angels" by Cassandra Clare

Oooooohhyessss! Been dying to continue with my journey through the series. Loved City of Glass and then there was this excerpt of this book at the back. After that, it was plain torture waiting to get my hands on this one. Can't wait to read this as well. I'm wondering what to do about City of Lost Souls... I don't usually buy books without reading them first, but waiting for that one will take forever in the library system...suggestions? And I don't do e-copies ;__;

"The Immortal Rules" (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

Look-y!! It sure is a fantastic Julie Kagawa-filled week! I remember some of you guys reading this one first before reading The Iron Fey and loving it, so really looking forward to checking this one out for myself! You can never read too much of Julie's books XD I'm just a bit sad that I haven't read it earlier...feel like I'm missing out on a lot.

"Never Enough" by Denise Jaden

Finished this one along with its review! It was very sweet and I enjoyed it even though I don't usually read contemporaries that much. This was from a bit earlier this week.

"Leviathan" (Leviathan #1) by Scott Westerfeld

Unfortunately, believe it or not, I haven't read The Uglies >_< but I definitely have heard of how good it is a series, so picked this one up out of curiosity to see what this author is all about.

"Scarlet" by A. C. Gaughen

THIS WAS SOOOOO AMAZING!! Finished it shortly after Never Enough but I've yet to write a review for it. Also from earlier this week.

Tada~!!! End of Vivi's haul for this week! Not a bad one, definitely one of my best weeks of this summer. What did you guys stack on your shelves and any mutual reads? Link me up!


August 10, 2012

Feature & Follow #8

Feature & Follow is a Friday meme created and hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read! Answer a feature question, make new friends and gain new followers!

Q: What would you do over if you were to start your blog again from scratch?

I love this question because there's been something I've seriously considered, and please! I'd really like your opinions on it! If I were to change something, it'd be my blog title, unfortunately. I know, I know, that's a really big part of a blog. T __ T -sob-

First of all, I really did think up this blog title on my own. I was wondering whether I should include my name or not, and I've always ALWAYS loved the word "vivacious". And since my name conveniently started with the same letter, past-Vivi just decided to make a long alliteration out of it >_<

Then after a while, I of course decided to Google my own blog. O_O ......-crickets- I-I'm not the only person who has tried that...right...guys...? And if you guys try that, you'll see what I mean when I seriously thought about changing the title. Well, now that I've made more posts, it's not as evident, but go down the list of search results and you'll see it.

Stupid, stupid Vivian, for not Googling the blog name BEFORE I actually named it -sobs-

I'm very sorry to the other Vivaciously Vivian for coming up with a book blog double of her own thing. But! There's a very important point here. Note this!

Vivaciously Vivian <-- the other Vivian
Vivaciously, Vivian <-- Vivi's blog name

See? So I guess it was lucky that I decided to throw in a comma in my blog name and of course, that's one of the things that can be accidentally overlooked, so please include Mr. Comma or his feelings will be hurt!

Bottom line, I really like my blog's name, and I do not want to change it. I did think about it after returning from my first hiatus, but never got around to it.

What do you guys think? Link me up and I'll hop to it! 

August 9, 2012

"Secret Letters" by Leah Scheier

[Clickey the lovely cover for Goodreads!]

Title: Secret Letters
Author: Leah Scheier
Publication: 2012, Hyperion
Summary: Inquisitive and observant, Dora dreams of escaping her aristocratic country life to solve mysteries alongside Sherlock Holmes. So when she learns that the legendary detective might be her biological father, Dora jumps on the opportunity to travel to London and enlist his help in solving the mystery of her cousin’s ransomed love letters. But Dora arrives in London to devastating news: Sherlock Holmes is dead. Her dreams dashed, Dora is left to rely on her wits—and the assistance of an attractive yet enigmatic young detective—to save her cousin’s reputation and help rescue a kidnapped heiress along the way....read more

 Review: This debut novel shows so much potential through its gorgeous and expert diction, animated characters, and overall great sense of pacing. Dora is seemingly so plain, but holds a fiery personality in side her that will make you smile in adoring amusement. Dora's surroundings hold only a couple more characters who present themselves convincingly, but it feels enough.

One major strong point for this debut work is definitely Ms. Scheier's elegant and vivid prose, executed like a pro, I must say! The writing itself served as a wonderful foundation and medium for the creation of Dora and the storyline, however in all its fluidity and grace, it missed out on presenting a couple of very important factors of a 4-star novel, and this was what I thought to have weighed this book down.

Firstly, main characters were memorable and agile but the entrance of Peter Cartwright was stiff and confusing. To bring a new character to light takes a smooth but definite transition in the writing (well, depending on the premise), and Peter's entrance was the opposite of that. He appeared too suddenly, with little explanation that made for a rocky entrance. 

Secondly, although the plot and pacing were steady and propelling for the most part, there were certain sections where the feeling of time and detailed, inner pacing was very uneven, resulting in the occasional back track read of that section for me as a reader. 

Thirdly, and very importantly, there lacked a bolstered feeling of connection throughout the entire novel. Vital scenes and smaller parts as well have a bit of a disconnected feel to it overall. Being majorly based on a mystery, the uncovering of evidence and the linking was done well technically, but beneath the thin surface, it did not feel supported and therefore did not, unfortunately, give a "punch". This resulted in a slow leak of momentum that finally proved to make a mediocre sense of unity by the end of the novel.

Nevertheless, this was not a disappointing read in the least. I really did like Dora and she grew on me, as did Peter, though not as much. Even though the romance was only very (veeeeery) slightly developed for a YA novel, the relationships between the two main characters were strong and the plot itself, all smaller holes and confusions aside, was enjoyable as well. If you like a Victorian historical, I think you'll find this to be a satisfying read. However, major mystery fans looking for a strong mystery as the major backdrop may not have it live up to expectations. 

Ratings: ✰✰✰ 3.5 Sleuthing Hoots

Final Notes: Ack, this came out rather harsh, didn't it? >_< I really did like this book. It wasn't amazing for me in terms of the mystery itself, but it definitely was a strong debut work, and the writing was absolutely lovely! I hope you guys might decide to give it a chance because it really is a pretty good read with all stronger aspects in consideration!

Thanks for reading!

August 6, 2012

"Tempest" by Julie Cross

Sorry for being absent for the last couple of days! Went to the beach and had some fun ^_^ Anyway, back to this review. Another delayed during-my-hiatus review on this particularly buzzed about book. I've heard so many amazing things about it and couldn't wait to read it. Without further ado, my (rather short...) review for "Tempest"!

[Clickey the lovely cover for Goodreads!]

Title: Tempest (Tempest #1)
Author: Julie Cross
Publication: 2012, St. Martin's Griffin
Summary: The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future
....read more.

Review: "Tempest" is a fast-paced thriller, a guaranteed thirst-quenching and entertaining rollercoaster of a read. The plot is pretty unique and well-twisted with several good surprises and confusions tucked into odd corners. One of the better aspects of this first novel would be the strong and engaging cast of characters, ranging from the heroic Jackson to the witty Adam to the well-developed character of Jackson's father (who I ended up liking a lot, actually.)

Nicely shaped characters spring to life in the adventure of "Tempest". Overall, this book boasts great stamina in a constantly forward motion of plot that proves to be juicy and addicting. The end was surprisingly mature, as it is an unfulfilled conclusion for the relationship of Holly and Jackson, however it was extremely wise and after traveling with these characters, as a reader, you'll feel that you understand the decisions they made at the end. 

"Tempest" is a tempestuous ride (haha!), but I felt that as much as the journey was enjoyable and unrelenting, it did not hold enough adhesiveness on making its booming impact stay on the reader afterwards. Thus gave the impression of a quick-paced story that soon slips out of your mind after you turn the last page.

Ratings: ✰✰✰ 3.5 Tempestous Hoots

Final Notes: This was interesting for me, because it has been a while since I read a book that didn't stay in my mind nearly at all after I finished it. Perhaps it was just me, but as much as Jackson was fantastic throughout the book, I just found it really easy to lose him and his world afterwards, not like one of those books that have you moaning over it a week after you finish. Still, a pretty entertaining debut novel.

Thanks for reading!

August 3, 2012

Feature & Follow #7

Feature & Follow is a Friday meme created and hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read! Answer a feature question, make new friends and gain new followers!

Q: Do your reading habits change based on your mood? Do you read a certain genre if you are feeling depressed or happy?

Oh this is SUCH an interesting question, but unfortunately, nothing exciting happens for me here. Reading is like an escape route out of our hectic lives. Being a student can be especially tiring and I find that reading lets me forget everything and enjoy a completely different world in a different dimension. So no, it doesn't matter what mood I'm in, when I read, I just read practically anything (besides my school textbooks, of course)

How about you guys? ^_^ Link me up and I'll be hopping!

August 1, 2012

[Tour Stop] "Dark Genesis" by A. D. Koboah

Hello everyone ^_^ ! Today, A. D. Koboah's paranormal romance "Dark Genesis" is stopping by for its book tour here at Vivaciously, Vivian! I present you the gorgeous cover of "Dark Genesis" and an intriguing excerpt! Enjoy~ 

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[Clickey the beautiful cover for Goodreads!]

Title: "Dark Genesis" (The Darkling Trilogy #1)
Author: A. D. Koboah
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: eBook

Summary: Life for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.
On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.
Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanised by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity. 

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About the author: 

A.D. Koboah was born in London and completed an English Literature degree in 2000. Her first novel, Dark Genesis, was inspired by the concept of dehumanisation and the impact it can have on the psyche. She is currently working on a screenplay and will begin the sequel to Dark Genesis shortly. 

Website | AmazonAmazon.co.ukSmashwordsGoodreads 

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“Dance with me,” he had said in a soft, silky voice.
I remained where I was, my face a blank mask but rage no doubt burning behind my eyes. I may not have had a say over his nocturnal visits, but I would not play these little games or pretend that I wanted him in my wretched little cabin.
Fast, so fast that I didn’t have time to protect myself, he raised his hand and slapped me, sending me crashing to the floor. Pain bloomed along my temple and the left side of my face. I had also bitten my lip when I hit my head. His foot came down on my neck and I felt the dirt on the sole of his boot rubbing into my skin as he pressed down, cutting off my air supply. I struggled in vain to breathe and was close to losing consciousness when he slowly removed his foot and hauled me back onto my feet as if he were picking up a sack of potatoes. Then he held out his arms again, that smile, which never seemed to leave his face, swimming before my eyes as I struggled to clear my vision.