First and foremost, I apologize for this late post. (Especially to Jennifer: Sorry! My bad!) Anyway, here is the post of our first day of the trip. I hope you enjoy the pictures if not my writing!

When my husband asked me one day if I wanted to go on a trip, I said, "Why not?" Who wouldn't want to go on a trip, right? I love travelling. I love seeing new things and experiencing other cultures. So after calling several travel agents about their packages and making comparisons, we finally decided on Perth, Australia (initially we had thought of going to Pennsylvania or Japan, but that is a long story!) since we heard it is a nice and relaxing place to visit. Moreover, my husband and my eldest daughter have not been to Australia before (I had been to Gold Coast several years back with my mother and my youngest sister).

At first, we had wanted to join a tour package but the travel agent said there wasn't any at that moment due to low demand and that the school holidays were already over. He suggested a two-to-go package, which is actually similiar with a free-and-easy package and to join the local tour when we are there. So we decided on a 5 days 4 nights stay in Perth, with a half-day city tour in Fremantle and a one-night farmstay in Swan Valley. The day arrived on 13 January, and we bade goodbye to the in-laws and our baby (who agreed to take care of her) before we lugged our luggage and began our journey.

Everything seemed to be in a rush after we arrived in Perth International Airport. It was nearing to mid afternoon and there was no time for photo taking as we were arranged to pick up by a coach captain (through a local agent) to fetch us to the hotel. We checked into the hotel ourselves and after dumping our lugguage in our designated room, with a map in hand we are free to explore around. At that time, it was towards five o'clock and most of the shops are about to close so we had a simple dinner (Chicken Kebabs and Fish and Chips) and walk around the area.

Here are a few places we stopped by. We did not explore much since night was falling and it was funny that the weather was getting colder even though it is summer (however, the subsequent nights were extremely warm though).

(In chronological order.
You may wish to click onto the pictures for a larger image.)

I simply like the structures of some of these buildings. I especially like the London Court in Hay Street (Pic 3 - 8); there are a lot of shops there and I am sure anyone who love to shop would be thrilled with this place. As you can see, the shops were already closed by the time we reached there. I whipped out our camera to take a few pictures, enjoying the peace and freedom since there were not many people around. Being a shopaholic, I told my husband that I wanted to come here again. Of course, he had said, it is not like we are following any tour groups.

Yes! That is it. We are in total control of the schedule and time and we could go anywhere we like (given that we are not lost!). Anyway, we decided to call it a day (or night) and walked all the way back to our hotel (it was a distance but we are not complaining). We had to wake up early the next day to join a local tour to visit to more places. With this in mind, we slumbered into dreamland.

[To be continued...]


1. I'd really like to read right now.

2. "Ouch!" is the word you'd most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.

3. Possession is considered an unhealthy trait, but not when it comes to my books.

4. Johnny Depp is Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like ice cubes and water (they tend to melt quickly!).

6. Life goes on and on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up on my reading (I'm hoping to finish the book which I'm currently reading), tomorrow my plans include laundry and doing the rest of the household chores and Sunday, I want to rest and relax (and not to mention to spend time with my family)!

I was tagged by Sandy for this Six Happy Things Meme. (Thanks, Sandy! This is fun and not to mention an easy one to play.)

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. List 6 things that make you happy.
3. Post the rules and tag six more people.
4. Let your tagger know when you have completed your mission.

So here are a few things that make me a very happy person:

  • Spending time with my family
  • Travelling
  • Reading
  • Blogging/Writing
  • Shopping and visiting bookstores
  • Getting mails from my best friend (or better still, to see her in person again! After all, she is living in PA! Too far away from Singapore!)
Now my turn to tag six more people (I am tagging the following friends who have not played this yet):

... and anyone who is interested to play! Leave me a comment so I will come visit and read your answers! :-)

Is the Lunar New Year holidays over already? Traditionally, it is not yet over until the fifteenth day, but since we are only given two working days off, so it seems like it is to me.

My family and I had enjoyed ourselves, especially my eldest daughter who gets to eat all the new year goodies and receive Ang Pows (red packets consist of money) from the elderly, but most of all she does not have to attend school (which is actually a childcare centre). However, My 4-month-old baby also gets some attention for herself as all of my relatives were delighted to see her and all seemed so excited carrying her around and cuddling her that we forgot to wish one another and exchange mandarin oranges. Taking pictures are out of the question because we were too busy playing catch-up with one another, after all it is not often we get to see one another given everyone have their own busy schedules to attend to. I did manage to take one or two pictures though before I was 'ushered' back to our conversations again.

So how is everyone doing? I hope you all had a wonderful time reading! I did not read for the past few days, so I am hoping to catch up on my reading soon (and not to mention that I need to catch-up on reading your blogs too).

I hope everyone has a great week!

Wordless Wednesday

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser sentences for today [The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder (Pg 1)]:

My dad died eleven years ago. I was only four then. I never thought I'd hear from him again, but now we're writing a book together.

These are the very first lines of this book, and I'm the one doing the writing, but my dad will get his chance a bit later. He is the one with most to tell.

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about lending books...

A few weeks back we had a question about borrowing books, this week I was wondering what your policy was on lending books. Do you lend books to anyone? Just friends? Only big readers? How long are they allowed to have them?

Most of my friends are non-readers, so no matter how much I gush about a book or tell them that they are more than welcome to borrow my books, they will only smile politely and decline my offer. Thus, I know what not to discuss whenever I am with them. (And that explains why I am so happy to start this blog because I am free to rave or rant about without anyone rolling their eyes on me, haha. Well, except my fellow bookbloggers friends of course!)

So, that answers the above question. No, I do not lend books to anyone. And I could never lend a book to someone whom I barely know and trust he/she will take good care of my book(s) and return them on time. I treat my books with care, so I would expect anyone who borrow my books would do the same.

How about you? Do you lend books to anyone?

First and foremost, I wish to apologise that my post about my trip to Perth, Australia will be delayed. My husband had uploaded all the pictures the other day (there are a lot!), but because of the preparations for the Lunar New Year and some other stuff, I am not able to post them at this time. Plus, I want to choose the best pictures and I need some time to draft about my trip too (which is not an easy task with our two little darlings who are always begging for my attention at home!) but I promise I will do it.

Anyway, I shall leave this festive picture for you.

Yes, it is the Year of the Ox!

May The Year of the Ox brings you flourishing prosperity and greater success!

(Picture by chooyutshing)

ISBN: 9780571171040
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Published: 1993
150 pgs
Translator: Megan Backus

Thanks to Iliana, I came to know about this book through her recommendations (coincidentally, she also has her review posted. You can find the link at the end of this post).

I had a hard time looking for this book. I dared not even hope I would get it at BookMooch, since there are a number of BookMoochers hoping to get this book too. But a trip to Perth, Australia proved to be more worthwhile as I found it (the only one left) during a visit to Borders.

Anyway, back to Kitchen. What should I say? I am in love with the book. A simple story yet it struck a chord in my heart. The title may give a hint about the story surrounding kitchens (and cooking), but there are something much more than that. It is a moving tale about dealing with losing one's loved ones, grief and then, the simplicity of love.

Mikage Sakurai lost her parents since she was young. Her grandmother is the only person who has brought her up after her grandfather passed away when she was in junior high. So when her grandmother died, she is at a loss. It then dawned on her that everyone around her was no longer around, and this makes her feel very lonely, besides having to bear all the grief herself. But she knew she could not exist like that, doing nothing and moping around, so she pulled herself together and look for another place to stay as the place she stayed with her grandmother is too big and expensive.

Yuichi Tanabe, a young flower shop delivery man who also knew Mikage's grandmother, offers her his place where he shares with his mother. Eriko's mother is an extraordinary "woman". Apart from her cheerfulness and her generosity, she is actually a transvestite and is Yuichi's biological father. How he had became Yuichi's "mother" is another a sad and a complex tale to tell. It had seemed so natural for him being a transvestite after he had lost his wife and funny enough, I do not find it distasteful.

So the three of them live under one roof, although Mikage and Yuichi hardly see Eriko around at home as she owned a club. As the days goes by, Mikage feels closer with Yuichi and Eriko, whom the latter treats her as one of her own children. However, everything changes after Eriko is murdered and it is Yuichi's turn to grieve. And soon Mikage and Yuichi will learn something more about life and death and being there for each other and moving on is what most matters.

Here are a few passages I like:

By Eriko:

"If a person wants to stand on her own two feet, I recommend undertaking the care and feeding of something. It could be children, or it could be house plants, you know? By doing that you come to understand your own limitations. That's where it starts."

"... But if a person hasn't ever experienced true despair, she grows old never knowing how to evaluate where she is in life; never understanding what joy really is. I'm grateful for it."

By Mikage:

"I had come to understand that despair does not necessarily result in annihilation, that one can go on as usual in spite of it, I had become hardened. Was that what it means to be an adult, to live with ugly ambiguities? I didn't like it, but it made it easier to go on."

There is a novella, Moonlight Shadow, also featured in Kitchen which is another haunting story about loss and acceptance. Like Kitchen, I was captivated by Banana Yoshimoto's prose. I find Moonlight Shadow and Kitchen are very much alike in some ways, whereby life and death are the main issues of the story. However, Moonlight Shadow leaves a bittersweet feeling and reading it had brought tears to my eyes. As much as I love this story, I do not wish to elaborate much as I fear I may not do justice to it. You simply have to read it and understand how I felt, and that is it.

Other blog reviews:
(Let me know if I have missed yours.)

Booking Through ThursdayCheck Spelling

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

What inspired my reading? Well, there are way too many things that inspired my reading. For starter, I am just fascinated by the simple joy of reading. Reading entitles me to break away from reality for a while and allow me to immerse into the fascinating worlds which the authors created. They can be imaginations or true experiences from the authors; either way there are always something I can learn from them.

I am also inspired by my fellow bookbloggers. They always have great recommendations and even though I do not lack of books with my huge TBR pile, most of the times I am swayed by their recommendations because they give me the opportunity to explore the authors who are new to me, and not to mention books that interest me but I just missed reading them.

And then of course, my reading is inspired by my moods. I can never tell which book I will be reading next. I may have decided on a book to read prior to my current reading, but sometimes I do not stick to it as some other factors may have influenced my choice of reading (e.g. good reviews or ravings from fellow bookbloggers, my favourite authors' books have released, reading challenges and so forth).

So what is your reading inspired by?

ISBN-13: 9781416593140
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Published: December 2008 (Reissued)
509 pgs

This is the second book I read by Philippa Gregory after The Other Boleyn Girl. I really enjoyed reading the latter; there is so much historical stuff and drama in that novel. I do not think I will ever forget the characters like Mary and Anne Boleyn, or even King Henry VIII. Perhaps for these reasons, I had high expectations on Fallen Skies and I am glad this book does not disappoint me.

Set in the 1920s after the end of World War I England, this is a story of a war hero and a young chorus girl.

Captain Stephen Winters returns home after the war ends, but his soul is shattered. The cruelty and the horror of the war often left him with nightmares, but the worse of all is he could never stand the guilty thoughts after seeing so many of the soldiers died in the battlefields while he has survived. It does not please him further to find himself taking over his brother's role, who had also died in the war. He has lived his life meaninglessly until he meets a chorus girl, Lily Pears. Lily is like a breath of fresh air to him; she seems undaunted by the war and Stephen is quickly drawn to her purity, her gaiety and the way she look at life positively.

Seventeen-year-old Lily Pears has no idea she could make it big on stage, but an encounter with musical director, Charlie Smith changes everything after he has spotted her talent. She caught the attention of Stephen on her opening night of the show. They got acquainted and although Lily is drawn to his wealth and status, she is instead attracted and fell in love with Charlie. Unfortunately, due to an injury from the war, Charlie could not commit to her although they remain the very best of friends and offer each other support should anyone needs it.

However, Lily's mother passing has led to changes and Lily has no one to turn to except Stephen, for she knew he is very much attracted to her and he has offered to marry her. Lily agreed to it since she has not much of a choice, but unfortunately the marriage is not a happily-ever-after for her. Stephen is still troubled by the nightmares of the war and most often, he seeks solace from his mute batman, Coventry, whom had also shared the bad times from the war. Stephen is hoping the marriage to Lily will help him to forget everything but it seems it has the opposite effect, especially after she has given birth to a boy, Christopher, who bore the same name and reminds him too much of his late brother but most of all, Lily's coldness towards him reminds him of his loneliness and the war again. He feels Lily is no longer the same girl he had known from the past as there is a motherly radiance around her instead of the fresh and innocent girl who cares not much about the war.

Their relationship is strained although both of them still respect and talk to each other. It is only the disappearance of baby Christopher that leads to a tension in the Winters family and the police is called to investigate this matter. And from there there is a turn of events as suspense took over the story.

Fallen Skies was first published in the UK in 1993. One thing I love about Philippa Gregory's works is her ability of bringing all her characters to life, besides the historical settings and the history I came to learn about from her stories. Through this story, I learnt a few things about World War I and how the impact had caused to the soldiers, in which this case about Stephen Winters. He is one of those shell-shocked victims who could not brush away the images of the war and thus led it affect his life and towards the people around him. There are several scenarios which I was not sure if I should be angry or sorry for him.

Then, there is Lily whom I feel is much stronger as compared to Stephen. She has matured and her mindset has changed ever since her mother's passing. She took the role of a fighter instead of a whiner, but yet I see a different person in her when she is with her baby. She turns to a submissive role and is willing to do anything as long as Stephen would not hire a nanny to look after her baby. One has to marvel at the power of motherly love!

I was quite satisfied with the ending though, for I could not think of any other better scenarios than that. Although the impact is not as great as compared to The Other Boleyn Girl, I still think Fallen Skies is a powerful read.

(Note: I think this also fits for the Romance Reading Challenge since there is romantic love between Lily and Charlie although their story is bittersweet and a sad one.)

Poppets wishing all a Happy Lunar New Year!
Hello, everyone! I am back from my vacation!

We had a wonderful time in Perth, Australia. The weather there was quite hot and dry, since they are having summer at the moment. And due to this, I am more tanned than before, which is something I have been trying to avoid but just could not help with it.

The farmstay at The River Retreat was really a great experience to us, and viewing those luscious globes of grapes at the vineyard just made me happy and drooling at the same time. I will share my experiences and post some pictures about my trip at a later date, since I have not uploaded any of the pictures yet but I did manage to unpack all our luggage and done the laundry though. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

For our second Weekly Geeks of the new year and our second post without our founder Dewey, Joanne of The Book Zombie has these questions:

For those who have been with the group, either from the start or joined within recent months, what does being a member mean to you? What do you enjoy about the group? What are some of your more memorable Weekly Geeks that we might could do again? What could be improved as we continue the legacy that Dewey gave us?

For those just joining us, why did you sign up for Weekly Geeks? What would you like to see here?
One of the things I always admire about Dewey is her enthusiasm and her efforts in building the bookblog community. Honestly, to-date I could not think of anyone who is able to do this much better than her, yet. To me, particpating in the Weekly Geeks means more about anwering the questions (although I think they are great questions and not to mention so much fun!), it is the exploring and meeting new bookbloggers that make it more lively and interesting. I especially like Dewey's idea about discovering other bookblogs and posting about them (be it books and authors we like, or even share some pictures about our TBR pile and bookshelves). I think this is both a wonderful and an innovative way of learning more about other bloggers, don't you think so?

I am glad that Weekly Geeks continues, and I think this is a great way of paying tribute to Dewey. (Keep it up, Jill!)
(This is a scheduled post.)

Clifford Pier, Singapore


Teaser Tuesdays

(This is a scheduled post.)

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser sentences for today [Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory (Pg 3)]:

She glanced up at him from under her eyelashes. Stephen felt desire like hunger. She was hardly a woman yet, she was still a girl with skin like cream and hair like honey.

"Valance is my stage name," she said. Her voice was clear, her speech elocution-pure. "My real name is Lily Pears."

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

My husband and I had a busy weekend. We went to collect our airtickets from a travel agency on Saturday as we will be leaving for Perth, Australia tomorrow (Tuesday). Yesterday we spent the day cleaning the house and packing our luggage. We are already looking forward to the trip!

I will definitely miss visiting and reading everyone's blogs. I shall play catch-up next week. Meanwhile, have fun and happy reading!

Beth from Beth Fish Reads is one of my latest, favourite blog friends. I enjoy reading her reviews and I especially love reading her Weekly Discoveries posts whereby she list the books she discovered from fellow book bloggers, and the best part is some of the books she suggested ended up on my wishlist. Besides these, she has lots of other interesting stuff to share too. Do check out her blog if you have not done so.

Thank you, Beth!

And now for the award details:

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I decided to borrow Beth's line because she has outlined every words I want to say ~ The following blogs are places I go pretty much every day. Each person has a unique outlook on life -- some make me laugh, some make me think, some share my reading tastes. All make my life online a rich and interesting experience.

Edit to Add:

I have another great surprise from Naida, The Bookworm when I visited her blog earlier and read that she has passed me with another award - The Well Worth Watching Blog Award!

This is for all those blogs you cannot wait to read every day, that you look forward to seeing updates on and that have inspired you in your own blogging. There are no rules for this one, but feel free to pass it on to whomever you feel deserves it!

Thank you so much, Naida! I feel so loved with these awards! I will pass this award to all my blogging friends on my blogroll as I think all their blogs are well worth reading! Thank you for visiting, but most importantly, for being my friends!


Friday Fill-Ins

1. It's January; a fresh start for a new year!

2. Apple strudel is what I crave most right now.

3. Cork and wine go together like fork and spoon.

4. Chicken soup is so nourishing.

5. Let us dare to do something new and different.

6. I love my home.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up on my reading, tomorrow my plans include a trip to the travel agency and Sunday, I want to do household chores and spend time with my family!


Booking Through ThursdayCheck Spelling

It’s a week or two later than you’d expect, and it may be almost a trite question, but … what were your favorite books from 2008?

(It’s an oldie but a goodie question for a reason, after all … because, who can’t use good book suggestions from time to time?)

Here are some of my favourite reads from 2008:

My 'Book(s) of the Year'

Fiction & Literature

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi
Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald
Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg (Click here for more details.)
Loved Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos
The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

Mystery & Crime/Thrillers

The Treatment by Mo Hayder
Sacred Cows by Karen E. Olson
No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
In the Woods by Tana French
The Likeness by Tana French (Click here for more details.)
Out by Natsuo Kirino
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman (Click here for more details.)
Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

So what are your favourite reads in 2008?


Dar from Peeking Between the Pages presented me with this Butterfly award on Monday. I had meant to post this on the same day to thank her for the award but other things got into the way.

Dar is one of the coolest blog friends I know lately, and I love reading all her comments on my blog. She always writes the best reviews and sometimes I look out for the books she recommended even though they are not my usual reads and to me, that is a great thing! Thank you, Dar!

I want to present this award to everyone who visit my blog regularly but I also want to highlight these blogs that I like and which I have started to visit on a regular basis now. They are:
Once again, a BIG thank you to everyone for taking the time to stop by to read and leave comments on my blog. I really appreciate it!

Edit to Add: I also want to thank Jen from Up Close & Personal with Ladytink for presenting me with the same award! I feel so loved! Thank you so much, Jen!
Labels: 15 comments | edit post
ISBN-13: 9780593056424
Publisher: Bantam Press
Published: 2008
410 pgs

Police diver, Phoebe "Flea" Marley found a human hand nine feet underwater just after lunch on a Tuesday in May. The Bristol police suspected it was an accident, or even a suicide attempt but the weird thing was, they could not find the body attaching to the severed hand which looked like it had been sawed. As if it was not strange enough, they found another hand of the same victim buried underneath the restaurant. And speculations was that the victim might still be alive when those hands were removed.

DI Jack Caffery, who first appeared in The Birdman, has been newly seconded to the Major Crime Investigation Unit and was requested to look into this case with the assistance of Flea Marley. Though they were of different profession and background, however both shared the loss and the misery of their loved ones. For Jack, it was his loss of his murdered brother Ewan, while Flea lost her parents during a diving accident. Flea often thought of her parents' death and through his father's best mate, Kaiser Nduka's information, she knew a certain drug - Ibogaine, a root bark used by the Bwiti believers might lead her to communicate with the dead.

When the report indicated that the severed hands belongs to a young heroin addict named Ian Mallows, a.k.a. Mossy, they began to dig deeper into the case and discovered that Mossy might have conned into selling something to get his fix. Soon Jack and Flea realized that there was something more sinister than the drugs and the belief of the African folklore might have started everything.

Ritual is the first of the Walking Man series. Although there is not much coverage of the Walking Man in this story, he played a subtle role of an ex-con whom offers some advice and some lessons about life to Jack on and off during the investigation. As much as I am delighted to see Jack Caffery again, I found Flea to be an interesting character. She is strong, impulsive but most of all, she has guts and would not allow anyone, or anything to intimidate her. I am thrilled to learn that she will continue to work with Jack in the next instalment, Skin.

Aside from the intrigue and suspense, Mo Hayder also added in some folklore and superstitions into this story which I find it refreshing yet disturbing. Although this is nothing new and she had done it before in Pig Island, the difference is there is a lot more humanity and psychological issue in this story. And the glimpse of the drug addicts' and the hookers' dark worlds reminds me the sad reality of life.

The setting and the atmosphere are fitting to the story; and of course I need to mention that Mo Hayder's writing is superb. I am awed that she always has a way of connecting the story bit by bit smoothly. It is no surprise that she is one of my favourite crime thriller authors.

Lunar New Year decorations at Chinatown, Singapore
(Note: LNY falls on 26 & 27 Jan.)

Teaser Tuesdays

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser sentences for today [Ritual by Mo Hayder (Pg 39)]:

It was the weirdest thing. She didn't see anything, and afterwards she wouldn't even be able to swear she'd felt anything, but suddenly, for a reason she couldn't explain, she was certain someone else was in the water with her.

ISBN-10: 026384210X
Publisher: Harlequin Mills & Boon
Published: 2005
187 pgs

Tara Devlin likes men to be tall, dark and good looking, but most of all she likes them fictional. For you see, she is a writer and moreover she does not think men with the above qualities would happen in reality anyway. Until her sexy neighbour moves right next to her.

Jack Lewis' Jeep has broken down and he is in need of a mechanic. Having just moved into his house and without any telephone connection, he thought his neighbour would be able to help with his difficulties but he was dead wrong. Not only did his neighbour proves to be not trusting, but she even accuses him of imposing as her hero as it happens that he and her fictional hero shared the same name!

Tara thought it was a joke initially, but it proves not when she realizes Jack and hre fictional Jack have too many similiar concidences. But what infuriates her further is his flirtatious attitude and his charm that seems to affecting on most women, including herself even though she does not want to admit it. Although she finds his annoying, she could not help notice him and how he manages to evoke the emotions she feels about him the more they are seeing and understanding each other. She could not imagine and believing herself about liking him until it happens. And then she would realize that the Jack in reality is nothing like her fictional Jack after all.

Her Real-Life Hero is a fun read. It is a heartwarming love story about two different people falling in love. Although there is nothing complicated about the plots, what I liked most about this story is the characters and the dialogues that had me smiling and chuckling. This book is a good read if you want something light and entertaining.
ISBN-13: 9781416932437
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published: 2007
227 pgs
Private Series #1

Fifteen-year-old Reed Brenna leaves her Pennsylvania home and begins her new school life in the posh Easton Academy where most of the students came from wealthy families. Reed managed to get in due to her soccer and lacrosse skills, her scholarship and then the stellar recommendation from an Easton senior who used to be her brother's ex.

During the first day in school, she met Thomas Pearson, one of the coolest and most popular guy in Easton. Then there are the Billing Girls who seems to have everything in life. They are beautiful, sophisticated, intelligent and it seems most girls in school look up to them. Reed wishes to be one of them, but she was told that not anyone could be a Billings Girl, and that one only gets invited by them to be one of them.

Back in her old school, Reed used to get good grades but things are different in Easton as they have their own standards and rules to adhere. When the Billings Girls started to ask her to run errands for them and breaking up with a guy on of the Billings Girls' behalf, Reed gritted her teeth and did them because she knew she would be invited to be one of them if she did what they told but the tasks got worse and dangerous when she is later asked to steal tests and to spike a teacher's drink. She turned down the last 'errand', for she thinks the request is too much and moreover, she does not believe in doing so anyway.

And then, there is the attraction she has for Thomas but it seems he has his own secrets even though they have became a couple and they felt their situations are very similiar to each other. For Thomas, he does not get along with his parents and as for Reed, her mother has a drinking problem. However, the Billings Girls warned her something about Thomas and suddenly, Reed is torn between them and Thomas. Finally, there is the big question about Thomas' disappearance during the parents' meeting that leaves the readers intrigued besides wondering if Reed could be the next Billings Girl.

When I first started reading Private, I told myself to keep an open mind. After all, there is nothing good about reading how a bunch of over-spoiled girls into bullying a newbie who seems to be entirely out of their league. I was not too pleased with Reed initially after reading the things she had done hoping to be a Billings Girl, but in the end I was glad to learn that she does have guts and a mind of her own overall. She may want to be the next Billings Girl in Easton, but she also has her conscience and that I find is a good message to the young readers. I was also intrigued with the mystery surrounding the Billings Girls and Thomas, and I cannot wait to find out what has led to Thomas' disappearance. I hope I would be able to find these answers in the next instalment Invitation Only, and not to mention to read more about Reed Brennan's life in Easton Academy.


Booking Through ThursdayCheck Spelling

Happy New Year, everyone!
So … any Reading Resolutions? Say, specific books you plan to read? A plan to read more ____? Anything at all?
Name me at least ONE thing you’re looking forward to reading this year!

Happy New Year to all my dear blogging friends and readers! I hope everyone had a great reading last in 2008! I did, but I am hoping to do better this year.

I suppose my reading resolutions is the same as in every year ~ to read as many books as I can, and to explore more new-to-me authors. I am also looking forward to all the reading challenges I have participated for this year, and hopefully be able to complete all of them since I did not complete a few of them last year. And of course, I think my biggest challenge is to read all the books in my TBR pile but I think this is very unlikely.

What about you?