CHIT CHAT | (zombie hotties) Die for Me, (earth air fire water) Storm, (way out of mind) What’s Left of Me

Hi, new feature time! I’m in a huge ass review backlog now, and that only struck me after I’ve updated my Goodreads “to-review” shelf to a whopping forty. I need help. So CHIT CHAT is going to be a quick, casual conversation of some super overdue books!! My memory is getting fuzzy and I apologise beforehand if I get some details wrong.

I’ve separated ratings into how much I liked the book, and how good I think it is objectively. Because there’s a big difference!

die for meDie for Me by Amy Plum
Published May 15th 2011 by HarperTeen

Why I Picked This Up: This book had the CUTEST character interview ever.  I dare you not to melt like ice cream in summer after reading it!

WHEN Kate Mercier’s parents died in a car crash, she and her sister moved to Paris to live with their grandparents. To regain her bearings in a new place with a shattered heart, she spends her time reading classics in Parisian cafés. Until she met Vincent in the City of Lights. 

Vincent is no normal human. He’s a Revenant, and he’s got his enemies… immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

MINI REVIEW

DAYUM, I’m not really sure how to rate this! I really enjoyed it back in 2012, but I was a noobie to YA then. Things were easily cool for me. On the surface, Die for Me has got Paris and revenants, basically zombies with an intrinsic obsession to give their lives for humans again and again, what’s not to swoon for? Yeah… Well…  Look deeper, and this story is all about girl meets guy at the lowest point in her life, and then girl changes forever to revolve her life around his. Can you already see where this is going?!! Most characters in this book are predictable– Kate is stuck in self-pity after her parents’ death for the good first 30% and Vincent is Edward Cullen 2.0, except French. If not for the cool revenant concept, and dynamic cast of side characters (LOVE AMBROSE & JULES), and unless you enjoy a plot reminiscent of Twilight, I’d say skip this one.

Amazon | Goodreads | @AmyPlumOhLaLa |

ENJOYABLE RATING: ★★★

HOW-GOOD-IT-SUBSTANTIALLY-IS RATING: ★★

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Storm by Brigid Kemmerer
Published April 24th 2012 by Kensington

Why I Picked Up This Book: Another one sold by the character interview! And there was some kind of read-a-long happening at that time so why not?

ELEMENTALS!! That’s all. These are magical people who can control the elements like Earth, Fire, Air, Water and Spirits. And the 4 Merrick brothers are some of them. 

After Becca gives a lacklustre performance in her self-defence class, she’s horrified to hear the sounds of a vicious fight brewing in the dark parking lot. Caught between the urge to flee and help the outnumbered Chris Merrick, Becca’s decision will change her life forever.

MINI REVIEW

HAHA that synopsis didn’t give you much to go on, sorry not sorry :P This is a really fun book so no much explanation needed, just read and enjoy!

The characters must be the standout for this book. I was really amazed by how Brigid Kemmerer kept tabs on all SIX characters, and managed to make them all come to life in a mere 353 pages. Not only do we have five (count ‘em, FIVE!) male characters you will go absolutely insane for, but the storyline of Storm is consuming and suspenseful, with bullies who are more dangerous than they really let on and cryptic Guides lurking in the background waiting to spring up and attack. Things that seem insignificant at first come to haunt you later on in the story and suddenly everything will make sense like a big conspiracy. Even though I figured some parts out, it didn’t kill the thrill of exactly seeing it happen! Kemmerer, you are the queen of twisty stories. Can’t recall WHY I didn’t continue the series, but I have plans to do so one day :)

Amazon | Goodreads | @BrigidKemmerer |

ENJOYABLE RATING: ★★★★

HOW-GOOD-IT-SUBSTANTIALLY-IS RATING: ★★★★

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What’s Left Of Me by Kat Zhang
Published September 18th 2012 by HarperCollins

Why I Picked This Up: That cover. I’m not usually a fan of faces on the cover but I think What’s Left of Me did it so well! Please note the two faces on the cover.

IN a world where every body is born with 2 souls, Eva and Addie started out normal. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t.

MINI REVIEW

What’s Left Of Me is a dystopian that surprised me with its achingly beautiful moments between 2 sister. Kat Zhang got my head warring with the so complex connection between Eva/Addie. With any sisters, there’s a whole mass of love-hate-ugh-hugs relationship going on (trust me, I would know), and imagine that x10 for Eva/Addie! They are the closest you can get to tight-knit sisters, but Eva lives a life of longing what her sister has (a life, basically). Their strong, emotional yet difficult bond was the one thing that glued me to the story.

I’m not even sure how to classify this book! There’s the element of an oppressive government, but it gives me more sci-fi-ish feels because of the soul duality concept, which was refreshing and extraordinary. Plotwise, things stagnated quite a bit around the middle, and I didn’t quite get the ending. I can’t remember the love interests so I presume they didn’t play much role. Either that or they were unmemorable. Eh.

Amazon | Goodreads | @KatZhang |

ENJOYABLE RATING: ★★★

HOW-GOOD-IT-SUBSTANTIALLY-IS RATING: ★★★★

What do you think about this new chit chat feature? Would you prefer more in-depth reviews for each book? Have you read these books? Share your thoughts! Since all of them are series-starters (that I’ve read a looooong time ago), tell me if you think I should pick the series back up again!

I Hate To Admit This But Something HAS Changed

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Let’s Talk is an occasional feature on Summer Next Top Story to shed some light on the less-known lives of book nerds.

The past June/July have been the most amazing ever. I’ve studied 25 hours a day till my head burst, went (underage but not illegal shh) clubbing with the craziest friends, then kicked off July with my last theatre production in high school. I FELT SO ALIVE.

But as all good things, they come to an end.

After all that ups and downs and turns and tipsies, recalling myself back to the mundane daily routine is the last thing I want to do. I’ve been sitting at home feeling all blue and miserable at the thought of sinking back into the same lackadaisical body. It’s like being a snuffed out candle. Where’s the brilliant eureka? Why am I stuck at the same spot doing the same things when something should have changed within me? WHY?

Okay. As you can probably tell by now, I’m having issues. And this glum has, inadvertently, affected my reading. I’m going into decay mode soon because OH CRAP, here comes another book slump. I can feel it. In fact, it’s already happening!! I’ve been changing cover after cover on my “Currently Reading” sidebar widget without adding any new books to my READ shelf. I’ve been picking up so many first chapters that I couldn’t invest myself in.

This feels absolutely horrible.

I’m not saying that reading is anything “mundane”, it is NOT. I still love reading, perhaps not the choices I’m making. I’ve been wondering what exactly I’m missing from the books I’ve recently read, and I really really really hate to face the conclusion.

I might not enjoy YA as much anymore.

It’s not like I’ve never paused my reading to deal with LIFE, and usually, after those busy days I could slip right back into my happy YA-loving-YA-reading routine. This time though, going back to YA books don’t feel like home. The characters don’t speak to me, the plot doesn’t make sense and many times, I catching my brain dozing off even as my eyes force themselves across the page. Instead, a tiny part of me is craving for something else. Something different.

I can’t pinpoint what went wrong between me and YA, yet something is certainly disparate now. Am I too saturated by the voice of sixteen, seventeen year olds? Have I lost the connection? Are the plotlines getting too similar? HAVE I OUTGROWN YA?!!

I don’t actually believe people outgrow YA. Young Adult dictates only the age of the main character, not the theme or depth or content or writing. Search up my archives and you would know that I’ve been blogging YA fiction books since a long long time ago, and I love it as much as I did then, if not more. There are great works of YA Literature out there worth ruminating over, and I’ve certainly come across some before! Books like Just One Day changed my perspective of carpe diem; Books like The Hunger Games haunted me for days; Books like Harry Potter… enough said right.

Maybe I’m just not picking up the right books…? Of the 7 YA books I’ve attempted to read in June, I put all of them down except Crown of Midnight because, EXCUSE, it’s Crown of Midnight!!! This DNF rate is too high to simply be an unfortunate incident of me picking up 6 lousy books consecutively.

What is this bookworm to do?! :((

Any advice? Being stuck in a book slump AND knowing that your favourite category of books isn’t so much favourite anymore… AHHH. MOST TERRIBLE FEELING. I could be wrong (and I hope I am). I want to read YA books, I want to enjoy them again, I want to pick up the momentum and start posting book related SPAZZ. It’s just not happening. I feel so bad for leaving the blog empty for so long, and I don’t want to fake the book love when I’m not actually feeling passion for the books. My thousand apologies.

Have you ever felt the same? Do people actually “grow out” of reading YA books? How have you gotten yourself out of a book slump? Recommended reads?

BABBLE & BOOKS | On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West
Published: July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Genre & Keywords: Super Cute Contemporary
Part Of A Series? nope
Other Books From AuthorPivot Point duology, The Distance Between Us

Why I Picked This Up: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Distance Between Us! I’m not a big fan of Kasie West’s sci-fi-ish Pivot Point but she has solidified her status as one of my auto-buy contemporary authors <3

I received this for review from the publisher, but that in no way swayed my opinion, promise!

Amazon | Goodreads | @kasiewest |

TELL ME ABOUT THIS BOOK!

She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door.

Charlie spent almost all her life with 1 dad, 3 older brothers, and a boy next door, which explains why she’s probably the toughest contemporary female MC. She plays football on the guy’s team, outruns any of her brothers, tackles the stupid things brothers do, hasn’t worn a single make up in her life, and doesn’t give a crap about what others think of her. So you can imagine the shock she went into when she had to work as a model at a chichi boutique to pay off her speeding ticket!

When things get too tough, Charlie finds herself wandering at midnight to the fence separating her house from Braden’s, who had been together with her family for so long that he was almost like a brother… almost ;)

IN A GIF


Keyword: BEST FRIEND ROMANCE = cutest!!!

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BABBLE & BOOKS | The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

10215349The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Published: April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
Pages: 485
Genre & Keywords: Vampire Dystopian. Yep, you heard me right.
Part Of A Series? Book 1 of Blood of Eden series
Other Books From Author: The Iron Fey series, The Eternity Cure (BOOK 2), The Forever Song (BOOK 3)

Why I Picked This Up: Julie Kagawa is famous for her Iron Fey series, but I’m going to read The Immortal Rules anyway.

I received this for review from the publisher, but that in no way swayed my opinion, promise!

Amazon | Goodreads | @Jkagawa |

TELL ME ABOUT THIS BOOK!

Remember Edward Cullen? Remember the sexy, sparkly, human-loving vampires?

Well, FORGET THOSE.

The Immortal Rules is set in a post-apocalyptic world of fierce, hungry, savage vampires who rule in the Inner City, and herd humans as blood cattle. Allison Sekemoto from Sector 4 of New Covington is an Unregistered who lives outside of the Inner City. Being Unregistered means you’re off the system and don’t have to subject yourself to monthly bloodletting, but it also means that you’re without food tickets and it’s your own fault if you simply vanish (read: be killed by a vampire)!

Allie hates the monsters that trod on them like worthless dirt under their feet. Until the night Allie herself is attacked and given the ultimate choice: die or become one of them.

IN A GIF


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Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR list

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HELLO! WELCOME TO TOP TEN TUESDAY. It’s great to be finally back at my favourite meme, and as always, this is a weekly feature hosted by the lovelies at Broke and Bookish. This week, we have:

TOP TEN BOOKS ON MY SUMMER TBR LIST

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – Now this isn’t going to be any sort of surprise! Ice-cream + bucket list + contemporary genius Morgan Matson… WANT WANT WANT <3

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo - As far as I’m concerned, Alina will rule the world, Sturmhond will continue being his awesome self, and Mal can go away.

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang - “On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. ” This is the kind of book that’ll make you suffer, but you’ll love it. Also, YES NEWTON *science geek*

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – My friend will be breathing down my neck till I read this series and I will!! She promised it’ll be better than Just One Day, and there’s the legendary Adam, so we’ll see. And the movie is out soon so more reason to finally get to it.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord – This must be everyone’s favourite contemporary of the year. YES to going on a music tour!

Angelfall by Susan Ee – SOMETHING TELLS ME THIS NEEDS TO BE ON THE LIST!!!!!

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta - Been hearing a lot about Melina Marchetta and her books, so when I saw this for SGD3 at a book fair last weekend, I HAD TO GET IT.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – UMM THAT CoM END?!!! I think it’s high time something groundbreaking happens in Ardalan.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – I’m still a noobie to Rainbow Rowell’s books, and I’ve set my eyes on you, Landline.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare – LOL I don’t even know what to say about TMI and TID except that I’m super late to the game. Even my sister finished CoHF, and has since been giving me conspirational looks whenever we walk past the shelves of Cassandra Clare in bookstores.

Honourable Mentions: The One by Kiera Cass, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie PerkinsThe Jewel by Amy Eewing, Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes and so many, many, more books that I’ll never finish!! sigh.

What books are topping your TBR list this summer? Do our lists look the same, or vastly different? I’d love to hear what you guys are planning to read, and do tell me which of the aforementioned books you think I should get into first! Have a great summer ♥☼☂