Rumor Has It

Book: Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

"In a town this small, a secret is hard to keep"

Book Synopsis: Londoner Tilly Cole discovers the perils of smalltown life in Mansell's perfectly executed exemplar of fluff. After her live-in boyfriend does a runner, Tilly ditches London for Roxborough and a job as assistant to interior designer Max Dineen. Much of the town's gossip centers on handsome ladies' man Jack Lucas, and despite his almost irresistible charm, Tilly resolves not to be the latest notch on his bedpost. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: Freshly single and looking for dire change from the London scene, Tilly decides to apply as a Girl Friday in the little town of Roxborough. Her boss, Max, just happens to be an ultra sexy but very gay interior designer who lives with his teenage daughter Louisa, whose mother (and Max's ex-wife) is a famous soap-opera star in the United States. They all warn her about the infamous Jack Lucas, the town's notorious yet most sought after bachelor. With his good looks, wit and keen sense of humor, Tilly finds herself drawn to his captivating charm but is slapped back to reality by cautionary tales of his reputation.

What I found so interesting with this story is that it's quite rare to find a chick lit book that has a dynamic and stellar ensemble that you felt like rooting for everyone's happy ending. It brilliantly combined the various forms of love and relationships and surprisingly proved to be so much deeper that your typical love-hate story (most especially for her best friend Erin). It was impressive to have such memorable characters that had their own unique sub-stories and perspectives that tied up nicely in the end.

Light, fun, and punchy with character that could easily be your friends, it's easy to see why Jill Mansell has developed a chick-lit following.

Quotable Quotes:

"Logically I knew it wasn't my fault, but mentally I was at rock bottom. My husband was gay and, let me tell you, that doesn't do wonders for your ego. I lost all my self-confidence. I'd never felt so physically, unattractive, so completely undesirable."

"Sorry. Jack's a good bloke, but... Maybe not ideal happy ending material."

"You can't ending something that hasn't had a beginning." 

Books vs E-books


Paperback Book Loot

I've been a Kindle user for a couple of months now and I love it to bits and pieces. It's such an amazing little device and it fit perfectly into my always-on-the-go-lifestyle. Instead of picking which books to pack in, I get to bring along a library, and still get to shop for new ones no matter where I am in the world! But it suddenly dawned upon me that I miss paper books—a lot!

Did you know that only 15% of Kindle users stop buying print books? Yup, that means I'm in the 85% that think the Kindle is awesome but are still old school at heart. There's nothing as fulfilling as seeing a stack of books you've read piled up, or browsing through your bookshelf searching for titles, the smell of a fresh from the box book, the texture of the cover and the anxiety attacks of damaging the book! It's really all part of the experience, and I missed it!

So I figured, lets pull a Hannah Montana stint here and have the best of both worlds—I'm a Kindle reader and an old school paperback reader!

I finally got around to Fullybooked since I couldn't stop thinking about The Rossetti Letter. The last I was there, I was still deciding whether to read it on my Kindle or old school paperback. The latter eventually won my mental debate but when I got there earlier, it was out of stock. (NOOOOO *slow motion action trailer voice*)

It was the curse of the part 2. The Devlin Diary was available (although unrelated stories) i was still very adamant on reading The Rossetti Letter first. I thought about just pulling out my Kindle and getting it via Whispernet, but the goal of the afternoon was old school paper reading. So with a quick trip to customer service, they worked their magic and sourced out the book for me! * yay! game show applause*

There was also an event going on, and I badly wished I was more familiar with the work of Rafe Bartholomew author of Pacific Rims. To a lot of book worms, meeting an author is much like meeting a rockstar, so it was pretty cool seeing his fans (and him of course)!

Anyway, it was a pretty awesome day and I got a whole new set of book loot...

1. First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
3. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
4. The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips

and I even slipped in a copy of one of my fave movies... The Rebound (i love real dvds that are priced reasonably!)

So now its really all about which I wanna begin with first! hmm...

Now you guys know whats on my TBR list, let me know what's on yours! Share your book loot!

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

Book: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

"Powered by service"

Synopsis: The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success. Pay new employees $2000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the #1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too. In his first book, Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: You know a book is good when right after you put it down you have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to learn so much more—that was exactly what I felt after! I suddenly found myself at the Zappo website looking for all those uncanny details written in the book. With some of the insanely hilarious anecdotes, I was so close to having some random and totally unrelated conversation with one of their live chat customer representatives. I even signed up for a copy of their famous culture book and started following their visionary CEO on twitter.

The book was easy to read and extremely relatable. It wasn't about Internet jargon and html codes, it was their remarkable story from the brink of bankrupcy to becoming a billion dollar Internet sensation. But more than the dollar signs and the added zeros to the their paychecks, the Zappos story is really about the culture they managed to cultivate. It wasn't just a business, but a family, a network of individuals who were passionate, driven and imaginative. Their very unique transparent company structure was fascinatingly employee oriented and prided in their development and advancement within Zappos. I suddenly found myself googling their offices and thinking what a pretty kick-ass environment to be a part of! I even made a mental note that the next time I find myself in Vegas, I should sign up for one of their tours.

Overall I thought it was a very timely book for me to have read especially with the months pending to the opening of my business. It gave me a different perspective on how to be a boss and how to relate to my employees. These little people are the backbone of your business and they must be nurtured to be the best employees possible, and thats your job as the boss. It made me realize how important it is to create a working atmosphere that doesn't feel like work. It has to remain challenging, exciting and fun combined with getting everything required done.

Quotable Quotes:

"I always fantasized about making money, because to me, money meant that later on in life I would have the freedom to do whatever I wanted. The idea of one day running my own company also meant that I could be creative and eventually live my life on my own terms."

"We had no idea where it would lead us, but wherever it was, we knew it had to be better than feeling bored and unfulfilled. We were ready for an adventure."

"I thought about how easily we were all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately, happiness is really just about enjoying life."

"I had decided to stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion. I was ready for the next chapter in my life."

"Looking back, a lot of our growth happened that way. We'd just throw ideas against the wall to see if they'd stick, improvise and make it happen."

"Play only with what you can afford to lose."

"Envision, create and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you."

"Some of us tried to figure out what our true passions were so that we would have something better than partying to focus on. I was one of those people."

"There's never one way to do things, but an incredible amount of ways to get things done. It takes an open and creative mind to find, invent and execute them."

"We learned a great lesson: If you just focus on making sure that your product or service continually WOW people, eventually the press will find out about it."

"...they saw a real-life example that it was actually possible to run a values-based company that also focuses on everyone's happiness. They saw that it wasn't just theory, that there was a way to combine profits, passion and purpose."


Once and Always

Book: Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Synopsis: Suddenly finding themselves orphans in America, Victoria and her sister return to England to stay with their remaining living relatives. Victoria was sent to live with an elderly cousin, the Duke and his son, Jason. Their love story embarks with the Duke trying to match Victoria and Jason, much to the horror of the two. Victoria is keen that her childhood sweetheart, Andrew, would find her, marry her and take her home to America. But when Victoria believes Andrew has married another, the Duke pushes for a quick engagement. Suddenly Andrew calls on Victoria only to find it was too late for she was already a married woman.

Book Notes: I felt like the character Andrew could have played a much bigger role in this book. His sudden appearance and disappearance was absolutely senseless especially since I quite honestly rooted for him because I didn't like Jason's character. He merited sympathy for having a horrible childhood, and he deserved recognition for his self-made wealth, but this was a classic tale that money cannot buy manners. Try as he might to be a gentleman but he raped her twice in the book. Not only that, he treated her like a common whore, giving her jewellery after every deed. There came a point when I couldn't understand how and why they fell in love with each other.

There could have been so much more to this story and so much less of the other stuff. It had the makings of a good plot, gone terribly wrong with a cruel, self-loathing, leading man.


Whitney, My Love

Book: Whitney, My Love by Judith Mc Naught

Synopsis: Whitney is a strong-headed country girl with a fixed obsession that she would one day marry her childhood crush, Paul Sevarin. Tired of her antics, her father sends her to Paris to live with relatives and learn the proper ladylike manners. Suddenly, Whitney was no longer an awkward infatuated juvenile—Paris has transformed her into a charming rare jewel. From the town joke, she was the toast of Paris with suitors falling all over themselves to win her over. But with her heart was still back in England, anxious to finally win Paul's affection. But unknowing to Whitney, the Duke of Claymore has taken a fancy with her and with the sudden financial difficulties of her father, she is suddenly betrothed to him. Posing as her neighbour, the Duke sets out to court Whitney although she wants nothing to do with him.

Book Notes:With their love-hate relationship, it was poised to be a very interesting love story. It constantly pulled on my heartstrings, and I felt butterflies in my tummy the entire time I was reading the book. But upon further scrutiny, I realized how dysfunctional her main characters are. They were highly emotionally abusive and often too proud and stubborn to communicate properly with one another. There was also a scene in the book during one of the blind rage black outs of the Duke that I felt was so horrid and emotionally wrenching. If you decide to read this, be the judge of this scene.

But that aside, truth be told I enjoyed this book because I happen to like complicated, dysfunctional and passionate characters. Bottom line: I just want to point out that this is a work of fiction, and although this book has some violent scenes, any woman who finds herself in an abusive relationship should not be blinded by a false kind of love.

***edit: January 07, 2013***
At this point i have lost count on how many times i have reread this book! in the three years since ive read this i always seem to find myself running back to it just to relive some fond memories. Its come to a point that sometimes i feel like these characters are real, like as if i know them.

Sometimes it even scares me a little that i have placed Clayton at a pedestal, as if yearning that his likeness would come to life some how. (clearly, i still do have a penchant for the dysfunctional for that seems to be the only normal i know of) there is just something about him, from his physical attributes to his character flaws, i cant help by keep falling in love with him.

I reread my earlier review and it sounded very constricted to how i imagined internet readers to judge it by but screw it... i bloody love this book! there is something about this book that i cant seem to get enough of, and must continue to relive every moment and all 700 pages of it!


Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Title: Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Synopsis: Here's something different: a vampire novel that's light, funny, and not at all hackneyed. Between scenes of punks bowling frozen turkeys on the graveyard shift in a supermarket, or snapping turtles loose in a loft and gnawing on designer shoes, this novel has comic charm to spare. But it also packs an appealingly downbeat message about the consumer culture: Becoming a vampire has given the twentysomething heroine "a crampless case of rattlesnake PMS"--a grumpy mood in which she realizes that she can dress to the nines as a "Donner Party Barbie" and still end up disillusioned and unhappy, just another slacker doing her own laundry and watching sucky TV 'til the sun rises. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: It was good to take a break from the heavy, brooding vampire love stories that's been all over pop culture and Christopher Moore's take on the vampire-human love story was absolutely hilarious. You get a wide-eyed, naive, country boy in the big city and a newly turned bombshell vampire trying to figure out life and their newly discovered urges together. It was fast, and punchy with jokes carefully placed at just the right moments. It was also brilliantly set in Downtown San Francisco and I loved the easy references to landmarks I was so familiar with. It made the story feel so much more real—like I knew exactly which Safeway they worked in and I've walked that same Ghirardelli Square several times as well. If you're tired of the Edward Cullen types, try this one for a good laugh.

Quotable Quotes:

"The plea for eyeliner appealed to the writer part of him, the part that believed that creative thought was worth something."

"I haven't seen anything that over-accessorized since Batman."

"Is there something wrong with your food? No, I'm just not very hungry. You're going to break my heart, aren't you?"

"Okay, not a particularly smart god, but at least a god who has her original nose."

"I suppose you could complete the look with a pair of Italian f-me pumps and some maroon lipstick."

"This is just pot right? This isn't some weird designer kill-the-family-with-a-chain-saw-and-choke-to-death-on-your-vomit drug, right?"


The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life

Title: The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life by Ivanka Trump

Synopsis:  Eager to share what she's learned at some of the best schools in the country, as well as from her driven, successful parents, Trump is straightforward and fully self-aware, realizing that readers will dismiss her achievements as simple nepotism; as such, she owns her privilege, acknowledges her advantages and then sets about disabusing readers of their presumptions with intelligent, well-conceived, positive advice; unbridled ambition; and a strong measure of graciousness and humility. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: The starts out with a narration of her early up-bringing and it gave a glimpse into why she became the woman she is today. Being born into privilege and with her last name, she quite frankly doesn't have to work a day in her life. But a silver spoon life has no meaning if it wasn't earned, and the ambitious Ivanka was not just going to live off her last name. Of course she got the elephant out of the room and acquainted the truth that she was rich, her last name was an extra leverage and her father was her boss. Politics on being a young VP existed but there's a distinct difference being the boss's kid who got the title and being someone who stepped up to deserve the title. Ivanka has proven to be the latter. Throughout the book she also gives smart pieces of advice on moving up the fierce corporate ladder, emphasizing on hard work, dedication and exceptional ideas as keys to success. Between chapters, she included excerpts from her famous associates penning various pieces of advice from their own experiences.

Overall it was quite refreshing to read about a 27-year-old that wasn't all about sex, drugs and DUIs. I would definitely recommend this to children with family businesses to work in or are working in already. Hopefully it would inspire a next generation of young entrepreneurs to take advantage of a very lucky position they find themselves in—you're already one step ahead, own your birthright.

Quotable Quotes:

"And so: get over it. Go ahead and bring it up if you feel you must. Acknowledge the elephant in the room. But then move on. Move on, because I'm way past it. Move on, because even though those who believe that my success is a result of nepotism might be right, they might also be wrong. Try as I may—and try as my critics may—there's just no way to measure the advantage I've gained from having the Trump name, just as there's no way to know if the person sitting across from you in a job interview or a negotiation is there on his or her own merits or with an assist of one kind or other."

"No other day is like another, and they've added up to a wealth of experience. My experience. I've been exposed to a level of responsibility that's very rare for someone my age. My responsibility. While most young people in business spend their twenties enduring the growing pains and lowly paper-pushing assignments that come with earning your stripes, I've been able to bypass (mostly) that sort of grunt work and have been part of upper management from very early in my career."

"if i get creative and think against the grain, I can make a whole lot of noise."

"It isn't enough to win a transaction. You have to be able to look the other guy in the eye and know that there is value in the deal on the other end too—unless, of course, you're a onetime seller and just going for the gold."

"The single most important thing you can do in business is stay away from negative people."

"Some people turn whining into a career, but those people can be so depressing. They'll bring you down, and you'll never be at your best when you're down."

" reinforce for their children to earn their lifestyle. They put out the message that all those fine things were there for the taking but we would have to reach for them; nothing would be handed to us."

"Make no mistake, I wanted to enjoy first-class comforts, but not so much that I was willing to pay for them. Not with my own money, anyway." (on spending her modeling money when she was young)

"If you want something, you have to work for it."

"Somehow my parents had me thinking I should be self-sufficient, and for as long as I can remember I've never been comfortable relying on someone else to provide for me."

"Now, as an adult, I like the feeling of being able to provide for myself and of owning my own lifestyle."

"At this point they are not friends, because there's no room in my life for people who can't seem to find any motivation in theirs. They're more like a sad collection of cautionary tales."

"If you're merely surviving at work instead of thriving, perhaps it means you're not in the right field. Or maybe you don't have enough passion for what you're doing to succeed to the highest level."

"Stress does not equal hard work."

"We have been conditioned to expect success—sometimes instantly."

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel

Book: The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo

"With practical life lessons for women of all ages"

Synopsis:  Chanel is credited not simply with giving us the little black dress and boxy jackets, but popularizing pants for women and easy, practical clothes that allowed women a chic freedom they'd never known before. The story of the designer's extraordinary life and rise to unprecedented success is both compelling and admirable. And while the great Coco may have launched her singular empire a hundred years ago, her methods, attitude, and elan are as relevant and modern as ever, and perhaps more appealing. Chanel was a self-made girl who knew how to make do with less until she had more, discover and stay true to her own style, problem-solve using the tools at hand, and do it all with seemingly effortless flair.. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: For years all her perfume ads were all over airports, I toted her 2.55 quilt bag and even had some of her trademark Chanel costume jewellery. I follow their runway, I visit their boutiques abroad and their logo was even my bb wallpaper for the longest time. But then I realized I knew nothing about this infamous fashion icon. So I went through a week long Chanel high spending my idle hours watching all the Coco movies and reading the Gospel According to Coco.

Truth be told, Gabrielle Chanel or Coco was a bitch. She was a head-strong, unapologetic, temperamental, self-made genius. She revolutionized fashion and captured the perfume market. Karbo documented her fabulously elegant life of Chanel exploring her philosophies from style and fashion, to money and success and living without giving a damn. It was witty, entertaining and charmingly humorous. I even quite enjoyed the personal anecdotes of the author, most specially her search for the perfect vintage Chanel-Chanel jacket.

Without doubt, this is the perfect book on life's lesson for a modern woman based on the life of fashion's most elegant lady—Coco Chanel.

Quotable Quotes:

"If nothing else, the woman was a complete stranger to the embarrassing impulse buy, and for that alone we should salute her."

"What has grown up in the place of verifiable facts is Chanelore, a combination of truth, embellishment, lies and legend."

"To embody the Chanel style, it is not necessarily necessary to wear Chanel."

"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."

"To know who were are is a challenge for most of us. As dutiful consumers of media we are dogged by the feeling that we should exist in a state of eternal self-transformation. To plant our flag in the ground—right here, and right now—and say "This is me!" seems to us to be settling for less or giving up, or not being all that we can be."

"Self invention is an act of the imagination, the ongoing writing of an enormous never-ending novel in which you are the protagonist. It's not a makeover, a new hair color, a new wardrobe, or even a week long wellness vacation in the desert. It requires a rugged determination and sometimes unflattering desperation."

"Perhaps what they mean to say is that being stylish is worth the cost, that the money shouldn't concern you. Otherwise they're just feeding us all a line of bull. An Herm├ęs crocodile Kelly bag and a black Chanel evening dress of embroidered lace are beautiful objects perfectly made from high-quality materials. Cheap knock-offs are just that. They pucker, pinch, rise up, droop and itch, then disintegrate in the machine the second time you wash them. Style has always been about money, and it always will be."

"The shop is no larger than an American elevator. (A French elevator holds one supermodel and her roller suitcase.)"

"Like tiny dogs and British queens, Chanel was poised to live forever."

"In the beginning was Coco and Coco was fashion and Coco said to the multitude, fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." 

Romanov Prophecy

Book: The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry

"Russia is a country with an unpredictable past."

Synopsis: Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord is thrilled to be in Moscow for a such a momentous event: After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the tsar, who will be chosen from among the distant relatives of Nicholas II. Miles is assigned to perform a background check on one of the candidates, but research becomes the least of his concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza. Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, his only guide a cryptic utterance of Rasputin's implying that the infamous 1918 massacre of the Romanov family was not the last chapter in their story. The prophecy's implications are earth-shattering—not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles as well.

Book Notes: I've always had a fascination for Russian royalty. Maybe because growing up I loved the cartoon Anastasia and I have all their songs on my iTunes, except the one of Rasputin, I never fancied his song anyway. Or maybe because we were in high school and my section transformed our classroom into a Russian palace and we gave tours acting like we were Russian royalty. Or maybe because it is one of life's greatest mysteries and that in itself is enough to intrigue.

I love receiving book recommendations, and this one was sent to me by a friend. It was my first time to read anything by Steve Berry and its been a while since I've read anything from the mystery/thriller genre, so it was definitely a treat to find that this was one nail-biting page turner.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical reference to the Romanovs and loved how clues were referenced to archived texts. The atmosphere was amazing and I felt myself racing with Miles as he dodged armed gunmen. Berry has definitely penned a classic thriller that brilliantly merged fact and fiction.

Life on the Refrigerator Door

Book: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

"A novel in notes"

Synopsis: Claire and her mum share the same house but they live on different planets... While Claire's world revolves around school, shopping and her new boyfriend, Mum is always busy with work, work and more work. But they do have one thing in common: the kitchen fridge. It's where they leave little notes for each other. It's how they keep in touch. Then one day Claire comes home to a note that's different from all the others. And life is never the same again. [Paperback Edition]

Book Notes: I once learned in literature class that brevity is the soul of wit. It takes remarkable talent to get a powerful message across with the least amount of words and this novel is definitely a perfect example. Throughout the book, readers are privy into the relationship of Claire and her Mum through the notes they leave for each other on their refrigerator door. Through the short notes, elements of the characters are revealed through their daily conversations. Definitely realistic, the bubbly teenage qualities of Claire were also revealed by the constant doodles found throughout the book.

With a limited and unconventional format, the author was able to create an emotionally moving story out of the everydayness of something as mundane as refrigerator notes. With the least amount of words, she was able to tell the bittersweet story of two people who knew they were running out of time. it was distinctly moving that I found myself in tears towards the end of the book.

Its a beautiful, simple and powerful book that reminds you to constantly make time for the ones you love.

Dead in the Family

Book: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Synopsis: Still reeling from the deaths of her fairy cousin, Claudine, and many others in 2009's Dead and Gone, Sookie Stackhouse struggles with paranormal politics in her entertaining if slow-moving 10th outing. When Claudine's triplet, Claude, appears at her doorstep, Sookie reluctantly allows him to move in. The government threatens two-natures with mandatory registration, and tensions run high in the local Were pack. Then Eric's maker, a Roman named Appius Livius Ocella, arrives without warning, bringing along Alexei Romanov, whom he rescued from the Bolsheviks and turned into a vampire. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: Although it's not the most eloquently written books, the vampire bug caught me pretty bad and I joined the unashamed teen wagon for Team Edwards and the more mature True Blood audience. I originally started the series because of the tv show and pretty much followed the new releases since. But with the latest addition to the Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 10 was nothing more than a complete disappointment.

The overall story lacked a strong, definitive plot line. With the lack of backbone, the story seemed to thread on hanging statements that were never followed up to help thicken the plot. It came to a point that I felt like I was reading a checklist: vampire sex-check, random dead bodies-check, someone who wants to kill Sookie-check. The overall format had become painfully predictable and with the lack of a proper plot, it made finishing the book rather excruciating. I couldn't even understand the point of having a Romanov. Did anyone who even read the book remember that?

Talk online is saying that Harris is working on a follow up, but I find myself losing interest with the book series much preferring the dialogue and storyline of the TV show. Dead in the Family is definitely one you can skip. It was nothing more than an uninspired attempt to produce a 10th installment.

Every Boy's Got One

Book: Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot

"She's on holiday from heave—with the man from hell..."

Synopsis: A day-by-day travel journal intended as a first anniversary present for Jane Harris's best friend, Holly, turns into Jane's rollicking private diary account of the madcap events leading up to Holly and Mark's Italian countryside elopement. The jaded, bitterly divorced Cal makes a worthy opponent to Jane, whose notions of marriage are much more romantic than his. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: It was my first time to pick up a Meg Cabot novel and the moment I started, I just couldn't put it down! The novel was absolutely delightfully hilarious! Not only was it a good laugh, but Cabot was clever enough to tell the story through emails, journals and even passing notes! Perhaps its because of this unconventional manner of reading diaries and PDAs that one quickly relates to the characters as their own friends! The language was simple and very pop, and it was so easy to fall in love with the very quirky Jane!

Quotable Quotes

Why are men—and boys—so weird? I mean they certainly LOOK nice enough, for the most part.

You know I'm starting to think that The Dude might actually be my soul mate. He's everything you want in a man... loyal, trustworthy, attentive, handsome, smart and not afraid of commitment... he even has a good sense of humor. Too bad about the fish breathe though.

*my bad i lost my bb file on my fave lines! when i get the chance to re-read it, ill update this!*

A Hollywood Ending

Book: A Hollywood Ending by Robyn Sisman
"Ever wished life was like the movies...?"

Synopsis: American starlet Paige Carson is off to London to try her hand at Shakespeare, and prove that she deserves more than bimbo roles and Hollywood hunks who can’t see beyond their own reflections. But stage acting is not quite what she expected. Neither is her landlord, Ed Hawkshead, a highfalutin documentary-maker who seems far from the charming, floppy-haired Brit of her daydreams.

Having a spoiled Hollywood brat—even one this attractive—as a tenant is Ed’s worst nightmare. He’s certain he will have to rescue her from trouble and is surprised when the tables are turned and he is the one needing help. Opposites attract as Paige and Ed must revise their assumptions about each other and rise to new challenges professionally. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: Ever wonder what life would be like as an A-list celeb? Kabbalah water stocked and ready to serve with bendy straws, a personal guru to revitalize the positive energy on speed dial, cute boys you get paid to makeout with—the life of a celebrity is definitely a star-studded circus!

I loved how the book was divided into two major parts that allowed you to get to know the protagonist in two totally different aspects—Paige the Hollywood actress and Paige. The LA scene was definitely one crazy ride that you felt like you were caught in the middle of a TMZ episode! it was so fresh, current and pop which made a hilarious page turner! I loved how they were talking about the Golden Raspberry Awards (Razzies) and the Oscars cause it felt so current with all the entertainment media hype for the Oscar's!

the playful banter between Paige and Ed totally brightened the pages and the presence of her rockstar dad and her diva best friend towards climax of the book provided exactly what the book promised—a Hollywood ending.

Quotable Quotes:

"Brazilians are so yesterday," Lola was saying. "Everyone wants personalized designs now—flowers, hearts, a dollar sign, their boyfriend's initials. I knew Laura and Scott were an item way before they went public, when she asked me to shave the Scientology logo into her muff. Boy, was that tricky."

So remember the three Ls: love, language, laughter

"Here you go Cinderella," he said, when she opened her front door to him, and handed her the crystal-heeled shoe she thought she'd lost last night. "At least, I assume it's yours." His grey eyes glinted with mischief. "It says 'Marc Jacobs' inside. Perhaps it belongs to a transvestite?" "Marc Jacobs is a brilliant fashion designer," she told him reprovingly.

Freshly, fried, fresh, flesh

"No. Listen to me. I mean it. You should value yourself a bit more. What you deserve is a beautiful young man, not a half-shot, dotty old poseur like me." She looked back bleakly. Her mouth twisted. "So you say, but where is he?"

"Perhaps you're thinking too hard. Isn't the explanation quite simply that she's ready to fall in love; that she's looking for it even before she meets him?"

What a complicated man he was—one moment open and ardent, the next prickly and unreadable.

Breathers: A Zombie's Lament

Book: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne


Synopsis: Andy’s life is a mess. A newly risen zombie, he’s forced to live in his parents’ basement, attend Undead Anonymous meetings just to get out of the house, and endure abuse of all kinds from the living. To make matters worse, he can’t even talk, though that’s because his mouth was sewn shut prior to being embalmed. Things begin to look up when Andy meets Rita, a gorgeous zombie who slashed her own wrists and throat; nebbish, vegetarian Tom, whose arm was stolen by a pack of drunken frat boys; and Ray, an undead renegade who introduces the gang to the wonders of eating “breathers.” Some die-hard horror aficionados may find this take on zombies too full of shtick (e.g., the running joke that falls flat by its second appearance), but Browne confidently balances a love story with ample amounts of gore and gags that should win over fans of George Romero (Night of the Living Dead et seq.) and fans of Shaun of the Dead, too. A welcome deviation in zombie lit. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: Definitely a surprisingly charming read! I really dont understand my fascination with zombies, but theres just something about them thats just, well to put simply put it—awesome.

The book lived up to its promise of a zom-rom-com—zombie-romantic-comedy. Andy was a great protagonist, and despite his lack of a fully functioning heart, you couldnt help but feel sentiments for his struggle to be as close to human as it was possible for his poor decomposing self. It was a fun, light read with very entertaining characters and plot twists. I loved the sarcastic tone the novel tends to take. It was truly enjoyable journey as we join Andy and the rest of the Undead Anonymous find their identity and purpose with their 'second life'.

Although i must add that i couldnt properly eat my dinner the night i finished reading this book. I kept thinking of Ray's Resplendent Rapture, and that definitely made me think twice about my meal!

Quotable Quotes:

"She says we need to let go of the past before we can embrace our future. I'm still working on that. Right now, the past is all i have and the future looks about as promising as the new fall lineup on CBS."

"Even Hollywoof couldn't recreat my accident and make it look unstaged. Of course in a movie, the lead actor would somehow manage to walk away from the car with his body intact. Maybe not Mel Gibso or Bruce Willis, but Brad Pitt, definitely."

"Except this isnt life anymore. And its not death, either. Its not even in between. Its more like a bad spin-off from a successful sitcom that the network refuses to cancel."

"You will not disturb the living. You will not be out after curfew. You will not commit necrophilia. You will not covet your neighbour's flesh."

"You'd be amazed at how much formaldehyde you can consume from a single bottle of liquid foundation. Cover Girl is especially nourishing."

"Well its true that getting embalmed can get rid of crow's feet and laugh lines and take fifteen years off your obituary, it can also leave your face as hard and as fake looking as a porn star's breasts. Plus the whole process is pretty invasive."

"Contentment breeds laziness," says Ray. "And someone who tends towards laziness is likely to allow others to tell him what he can and can't do."

"From what ive been told, the shows i appear on get higher ratings than God on Sunday."

Movie News: Diablo Cody set to produce Breathers, Fox Searchlight secures zombie book, scheduled release 2011

Her Fearful Symmetry

Book: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

"A novel about love and identity, secrets and sisterhood, and the tenacity of life—even after death.

Synopsis: Following her breakout bestseller, The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger returns with Her Fearful Symmetry, a haunting tale about the complications of love, identity, and sibling rivalry. The novel opens with the death of Elspeth Noblin, who bequeaths her London flat and its contents to the twin daughters of her estranged twin sister back in Chicago. These 20-year-old dilettantes, Julie and Valentina, move to London, eager to try on a new experience like one of their obsessively matched outfits. Historic Highgate Cemetery, which borders Elspeth's home, serves as an inspired setting as the twins become entwined in the lives of their neighbors: Elspeth's former lover, Robert; Martin, an agoraphobic crossword-puzzle creator; and the ethereal Elspeth herself, struggling to adjust to the afterlife. Niffenegger brings these quirky, troubled characters to marvelous life, but readers may need their own supernatural suspension of disbelief as the story winds to its twisty conclusion. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: I really have no idea what took me so long to get around reading this book. I've had it since late last year, but i just kept delaying until i finally came across it once again and i told myself, ok its now or never! the second novel is always the most difficult to write, especially after a majorly successful first! i totally enjoyed the Time Traveler's Wife... i cried and laughed and fell in love with the characters. I loved the originality of the story, and its that same originality that continues on with Her Fearful Symmetry.

The twists of the story were to an extent unexpected. The characters were plotted out extremely detailed, and you felt that you came to really know them very well. Consider this a major strength or a major flaw... the narration of the characters were so detailed that i found myself detesting the twins—Valentina and Julie—for being juvenile 20-year-old girls. I found myself getting terribly annoyed at their wide-eyed approach to the most mundane things, riding the tube freaks them out? I found it absolutely silly, girls who were old enough to live alone acting like they're 12-year-old brats with matching outfits. But of course this was essential to the overall plot, but trying to grasp the irrational logic of the twins made reading this book a tad bit difficult for me to get by.

Nevertheless it was still a very original,and interesting ghost story although not one of my most enjoyable reads.

Quotable Quotes:

"A bad thing about dying is that I've started to feel as though I'm being erased. Another bad thing is that I wont get to find out what happens next."

"Dear Chap, the branches were the ghost. There weren't any trees within a hundred yards of that house. They'd all been cut down years before. I saw the ghost of the tree." Robert thought about it. "That's rather elegant. I was expecting ghouls." "Well, that's just it, you see. I think perhaps if that sort of thing does happen—ghosts—it must be more beautiful, more surprising than all these old tales would have us believe."

"Sometimes a thing is—too much—and it has to be isolated and put away." Martin shrugged. "So what's in the boxes is—emotion. In the form of objects."

"For more than a year now this room has been her haven, fortress, retreat, her triumphant, undiscoverable gambit in her marital game of hide-and-seek. Standing there, clasping the earrings in her hand, Marjike saw he snug room as a lonely place. Apartment. A place to be apart."

"There are several ways to react to being lost. One is to panic: this is usually Valentina's first impulse. Another is to abandon yourself to lostness, to allow the fact that you've missed placed yourself to change the way you experience the world."

The Gift

Book: The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

"If you could wish for one gift this Christmas, what would it be?"

Synopsis: Everyday Lou Suffern battled with the clock. He always had two places to be at the same time. He always had two things to do at once. When asleep he dreamed. In between dreams, he ran through the events of the day while making plans for the next. When at home with his wife and family, his mind was always someplace else. On his way into work one early winter morning, Lou meets Gabe, a homeless man sitting outside the office building. Intrigued by him and on discovering that he could also be very useful to have around, Lou gets Gabe a job in the post room. But soon Lou begins to regret helping Gabe. His very presence unsettles Lou and how does Gabe appear to be in two places at the same time? As Christmas draws closer, Lou starts to understand the value of time. He sees what is truly important in life yet at the same time he learns the harshest lesson of all.

Book Notes: Cecelia Ahern has got to be one of my favourite chick-lit writers. Her stories are never really the typical boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy courts girl, girl falls in love and they live happily ever after. Her stories are a step beyond the cliche, theres always some magical twist just waiting to happen.

Its a really quick read, something you can go through in one sitting. Its rather endearing how you get so engrossed in the characters that Ahern created. I found myself really detesting Lou for being such an ass, yet at the same time Ahern manages to instill sympathy, hope and surprisingly attachment to what seems like a very unlovable character. Although some parts of the book could have been deleted, like the turkey boy story and the police. I feel like it could have stood alone without that sub-plot that quite frankly left more questions than answers to the overall story. Nevertheless, its still a very enjoyable read that definitely warms your heart strings.

I know the holidays are over, but i read this book a little late (January to be exact). despite being set during Christmas, the theme of the story simply transcends any holiday notions. its one of those books that one has to read no matter what month of the year we're in. its one of those stories that makes us just stop drop and really ponder about our lives. It was written very simply, no big philosophical jargon, just a good story that really reminds you to slow down and value life.

Quotable Quotes:
"Truth and time always work alongside each other."

"Sometimes you have to give yourself to somebody in order to see who you are. Sometimes you have to let that person unravel things to get to the core."

"This is a story about people who find out who they are. About people who are unraveled and whose cores are revealed to all who count. And those who count are finally revealed to them. Just in time."

"Brown bread, brown rice, brown this, brown that. I used to remember a time when my life was in technicolour."

"Beggars can't be choosers, isn't that what they say? Though is that to say choosers can be beggars?"

"A person could be awakened when his eyes were already open. He didnt realize a person could be awakened when he considered himself to be calm, composed and collected, able to deal with life and all it had to throw at him."

"'Youre happy there' his father asked casually, still looking out the window, the party behind them visible in the reflection. 'No point in working that hard if youre not because at the end of the day, thats what its all about isnt it?'"

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