[Review] Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler

Pic Cred: Goodreads.com

From Internet stars Elle and Blair Fowler comes a scintillating new novel that takes readers Beneath the Glitter of the glitzy L.A. social scene.
 Welcome to a place where dreams are made.  And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.
 After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite.  Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy, and Ava starts dating an A-list actor.  But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.
 Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lies a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal.  Someone close to them, someone they trust, is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters falling down. And once the betrayal is complete, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about, including the one thing that matters most—each other. Courtesy of Goodreads.com 

I got into this book by recommendation of a friend. I would be lying if I said I did not know a thing about the two sisters, as I have been following them for years.

Back to the review itself. It is best to put it this way. I was disappointed to a point. Although I did not expect the sisters to be Cecilia Ahern or Nora Roberts, yet I was disappointed.
Where do I begin…
Beneath the Glitter start at the end or almost at the end then it goes back five months before the event itself. Yet the book lacks background and leverage. It almost seems like the book is just a fan fiction from a teenage girl who is not a native speaker to begin with. As a fan fiction writer myself, I’m not saying that all fan fictions lacks quality but this resembles ones that was written by writers who just started.
The book revolves around the two sister’s life within a short 5 months. Yet, there were quite a number of loopholes and also mistakes here and there (although I blame the editors for the mistakes) and the book needs a huge character development. It has a lot of interesting characters in it, yet the characters are just that. It has no history, no background and no structure to it.
Not only the characters resemble the sisters physically but it seems like their personality are very much alike as well (not that I know the girls personally but from their video). Girls seriously, if you want to write about yourself, write a biography.
Besides the main character, the supporting characters felt like they were popping out of nowhere and being skipped like they were not even there in the first place. I supposed there are many authors who write blindly creating characters to accompany their main characters but for the case of this book, it felt more like the characters were created so that they can get away from an obvious writers block.
Another thing that annoys me to the point that I felt like bashing the editor’s computer was the paragraphs that were written in capital letters. I know they are excited, but isn’t there a better way to show your excitement?
Though this book is not 100% pure and utterly crap, there are some nice things about it too. These two authors are good at promoting and also describing beauty products. Although at first it was a little annoying, but it is what they do. I do like the “LonDOs and LonDON’Ts”. Given, they are good at giving opinion about beauty products and fashionable things.
I do like a good written book with a sequel, but for this one I might just pass. The second book came out a couple of months back and I have seen it in a few stores here (I’m in Japan, they don’t carry much English book here unless they are good ones) but I think I’ll just skip it for now.
This being the authors’ debut book, I’d give them fair 1.5 out of 5 (1.5/5) stars just for their courage to put the book out there for the world to read. I do adore the sisters’ beauty video and I do still watch them, but that does not mean I have to like everything they like or do.

[Review] Forever Man a novel by Brian W. Matthews

Summary: Police Chief Elizabeth “Izzy” Morris enjoys keeping the peace in the small town of Kinsey in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But when her seventeen-year-old daughter goes missing after a school dance and the mutilated corpse of the girl’s date is discovered in the nearby woods, Izzy’s police skills are stretched to their limits.
     Her only suspect is a stranger, a mysterious black man with no known past. When a second stranger appears, the investigation stalls. People she once trusted turn against her. The local banker’s autistic son begins to know things no one else does.
      And now something unspeakable prowls the woods.
      Joined by three friends and the man she once considered her enemy, Izzy races to find her daughter—and ends up trapped in the middle of a war between an ancient evil and the man who has stood in its way for nearly two thousand years.

It took me at least half an hour pondering the right word to be put down to do justice for this book. I got this book as a ARC from Library Thing and had no idea what to expect as this is his first born.
For a first time published author, I am saluting this man. His book is much better than many other experienced author there is. It could just be me, but his way of writing strikes me as very interesting and very much a good one-stop reading. Something you would want to read even when you are eating breakfast.
The author wrote it in such a sense that he have just the right amount of thrill and excitement. Though this book is being categorized as a thriller/mystery novel, the author did not forget to place just the right amount of emotion and human elements weaved amongst the mystery and thriller.
Another plus point about this book is the pace of the story itself. It has a fine pace of not too fast that is has little character and emotion nor is it too slow that it bores reader. Although a little more character development would not hurt.
I would rate this intelligently written piece of investigative drama with a splash of supernatural mix a solid four out of five (4/5). The ending lleft me a little bit squirming for more, so I really hope that the writer could do a sequel for this book…
Girl with the Rouge Lips.

[Review] Frost Moon by Anthony Francis

I practically grew up reading about witches and vampires and this book really appeals to me. However, there are some parts of it just makes me want to turn off my computer and not read it any more. I might be a little bit emotional while reading this book but I strongly do NOT recommend this book for YOUNG readers. Unless you are the matured kind. I do NOT agree with the sexuality of the main character (although it might touch a little bit of a personal thing here).

Other than the sexuality of the main character, the book was not bad, just the first few chapters was (the pacing was a little slow and the description is a little too detailed). But believe me the rest of the book was quite pleasant. The plot of the story was well played and the character (although I have some personal issue with her) was well build and the story as a whole is fresh. And very much make Twilight seems like a kiddie book.

One thing though that makes this book be a little on my bad side is because I read it as an e-book. I never liked e-books as I just could not stand being in front of the computers for hours and just read. I guess the book will be much better as a physical book for me. This is just my initial review. I usually re read a book and comes up with a totally different outcome as of my state of mind and emotion at the time.

This book being the author’s debut book, it is an okay attempt. But for the time being, I am on the fence for this book as I will give it a three out of five (3/5).


[Review] The Running Waves by T.M. Murphy a Book

This is the first book I have read by this author. Set in Cape Cod, it’s about two brothers trying to reconcile their kinship and trying to remember why and what drove them apart. Their equally destructive path of life might appeal more for more mature readers or maybe if you have nothing else to read in a really long flight with bad on flight movies.

First of all, the story itself was not great. At a first glance, it would look like a whole bunch of words without much thing to tell. Just rambles. Second of all being an online novel made it that much worse. At least make it into a downloadable PDF form at least it is easier on the eyes and easier to flick. But once you get the emotions in, this book is actually great. The words are easy and emotions are easily touched by the author’s words.

There are times that the slang and the dialogue seemed to be overdone, but there are times that the description and such were done so perfect. The character build up is kind of strange to me, but it is the unique experience of the author to be writing about his imagination (or so I think). The conclusion of the story is a little bit abrupt and I sort of wish I could hold on to it a little bit longer.

Overall, the book is not terrible but not great either. A two and a half out of five (2.5/5) would suffice enough I guess.


[Review] Naqiah Khalida by Diya Nordin book review

I have not been reading much Malay book, okay I have not read much Malay novels, so I really have no idea on how should I review this book. Partly because my grasp on Malay language is not very strong and even though I am a Malay and I speak Malay language every day, but artistically and grammatically are totally different. Therefore, the only thing I can comment on is the content and the plot.
Truth is at first glance, I had no intention on reading it. I was buying it because it was on sale at an Islamic fair in my college and I have a problem with impulse buying. Then again I did read the synopsis on the cover leaf, and the word death and mystery illness had caught my eyes. Yes, my reading preference is usually about mystery illness and about someone dying or dies.
Compared to the normal genre that I usually read, this book does focus a little more on love than I would prefer. Though, it also does have an Islamic touch or influence in it. The advice and the message are mostly excerpt from the Qur’an and Hadith (though I could be wrong since I read this book a while ago and I don’t have it with me now to refer back to it). This was the first of its kind that I have ever read though.
The beginning was a little slow for me though. The first few pages were hard to get through, but once I got into the pace, it was a fine novel. The twisted road called life and the winding and surprises were somewhat expected but was a good read.
The important thing was it thought something valuable. It sort of thought me that life is never as we planned as well as in everything we do, there will be challenges but the challenges are what mold us as human, as who we are.
Her words were simple enough to be understood for any level of readers, but her contents is mostly aimed for teenagers and young adult readers. The novel carries quite a heavy theme, not to mention there is character death and mind you this is a love story (from my opinion).
Although the first thing that put me off the first time reading it was the English dialogue. I do understand that as a person with a Malay mother tongue, it’s a little hard to express your thought in English, but that is the use of an editor. The editor should double check every sentence, sentence structure as well as spelling. There were a few spelling mistakes and a few slips here and there also there were a few put off scene (this is just to my opinion). It does seem like there were one or two chapters that are there as a filler. It serves no purpose to neither the main plot nor the sub plot.
I’m writing this review entirely based on the little notes that I keep when I read or watch a movie or whenever I feel like giving a critique. I don’t have the book with me right now and I have read this book only twice. I do tend to have different thoughts about a book every time I read them, so this is based on both times.
Ms. Diya has written a few e-novels that are published on her site, and this is being the first book she had on print. A good choice, nonetheless I do think a better editor is needed for her later books. I’d give this book a fair three out of five (3/5), for the plot progression and for the reason that it does touch me. Yet there is always more room to improve. Though I’m not saying I could do a better job, it’s just an opinion.
That’s all from me this time around…

[Review] Able Danger by Kensington Roth

Able Danger is not just another spy movie. It has the super scheming government plotting against its own country for the gain of the few people in the top ranks and the charming, sleek but also sensitive main character that leads the story with such grace and adventure.

The main character, Harrison Ford a.k.a 006 is not only James Bond smart and thinks on his feet, he is also sensitive and loyal. Author, Kensington Roth steer the story with such elegance that many if not most spy thriller books lacks. Although, towards the end, the writing mirrors more of a script direction rather than a novel. Other than that on little glitch that might have been over looked by the author, the book is a perfect ten.

The ending makes you crave for the sequel for the story. Crossing my fingers for the next installment of Able Danger, I would highly recommend this book to all Spy Thriller fanatics and also spy virgins. I’d rate this book with a 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5/5).

Girl with the Rouge Lips…

[Review] Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

How shall I start really? In the beginning I thought the book was to be a draggy little sob story about a really sad life as a product of a screwed up family. However I would like to thank Mr. Tusa for writing such a beautiful character and great story line for us all to read.

The story runs about a life of a 16 years old girl with an alcoholic father, post partum depressed mother and a caring but troubled brother. The book does not explain life in a form of poetry instead it explains poetry in the form of life.

Though the book was a little short and the ending having you begging for more, but Chris Tusa’s Dirty Little Angel is an experience on its own. Like me, I have not been in the shoes of Hailey Trosclair but somehow with his words it was almost like living the life she was living. He could express her pain and suffering with simple and straight forward words.

Although, Chris tend to be a little too repetitive in his choice of words. He tend to repeat his metaphors a little too much in this book. And at times he also tend to over simplify and over explain the characters. Other than these little faults, this novel is really a good read.

I especially like the way he wrote “I began to think about the dirty little angels Chloe told me about, how they have to eat your soul before you can get into Heaven”.
Personally I have read this book at least three times, and enjoyed it more each time. Mr. Tusa has the ability to grasp his audience in the middle of the book and make them hooked to it. I am now on the hunt for his next novel.


Girl with the Rouge Lips.

[Review] Angel Time by Anne Rice

It has always been the problem of wrong book, wrong time for me. This goes for Angel Time as well. Having been an Anne Rice fan since I was 12 when I first came across with Interview with the Vampire in the year 2000. The writing was very blunt and imaginative as well as clearly put out and very intricate. I’m not a professional editor and I am not a writer, but this was what I felt when I first read the book. Then, I started reading more and more of her books. Although I admit that there are works of hers that have yet to read.

In my opinion, this is definitely not her best work. Anne Rice to me was mostly about crafting a great story line with a brilliant subtle description of the soul and mind of her characters. With Angel Time however, it’s a little draggy. I do feel like as if my late grandmother was telling the tale of the past or telling story about history to me. And I dreaded history when I was younger and it does not get any better now, but I do have a little bit more respect and want to know about history.

This book begins with the unveiling of a young hit man name Lucky the Fox… then it slowly reveals the past of a young boy to the day he became Lucky the Fox. That boy is Toby O’Dare. Anne Rice’s choice of words are unmatched by most contemporary writers nowadays. But at the part where she was revealing the past of Toby, it seemed a little too boring. But to put a mild mannered lute player as an assassin, the idea is awesome.

All the while reading the book, I felt like watching a Malay TV drama. It’s always seems that when a person is in a bad situation more and more bad things happens to them until someone break the chain to the unfortunate events. But that what sells the movie and books.

Like I have said earlier, the last part just does not do it for me as I am not really a historical fiction reader. But it makes me look up a little bit after I read the book. The question comes down to has Anne Rice lost her touch with younger readers? Hopefully not, because there are not many like her out there… Maybe for The Songs of Seraphim #2 she will do better…

Personally I’d give the book a three out of five (3/5) for I love her choice of words and intricate character of O’Dare. But it just lack the juice that she had years before as she had it with Interview with the Vampire and most of her Mayfair Witches collections. If you are Anne Rice fanatics, go ahead for the hard cover, if you are just like me, I’d advise to wait for the paperback version (we only have the hard cover version of the book here in Malaysia). It would not be a miss if you don’t read it though…

P/S: If this were to be made into a movie, personally I think Travis Fimmel (Ellis Dove in TV The Beast) would fit in the mould of this Toby O’Dare (only Toby is a few inches taller) or Nicholas Hoult would not do that bad either…


Girl with the Rouge Lips.