ISBN-13: 9780142422014
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date: July 2013
Format: Paperback, 368 pgs
Source: Jennifer (Thanks, Sis!) 

First love is usually unforgettable; after all it brings up emotions that one may never have felt before. Some people are lucky to find their true love and continue to stay in love till they grow old and die, while others are not that lucky. For some other people, they find second chances in their first love, and this story is about that. 

Seventeen-year-old Lola Nolan lives with her two fathers. Well to be precise, Lola doesn't know who her biological father is. Lola's mother's brother, Nathan, agrees to take care of Lola. Andy, who is Nathan's boyfriend, naturally treats Lola as his daughter as they all live under the same roof. 

Across their house is the Bell family. Their houses are built so near to each other that Lola could practically have conversations with them through her bedroom window. She has a fondness for Cricket Bell like forever, but he broke her heart two years ago. It does help her a bit after the Bell family move away due to Cricket's twin sister busy schedule for her figure skating practice, and Lola has find romance with Max, a rock band member who is five years her senior. 

Lola thinks her life is happy and perfect, until the Bell family move back to their house next door. Seeing Cricket once again sent ripples through Lola's heart, yet she isn't sure how she feels towards Cricket as she feels they are more than just friends, though their past left them equally awkward. Despite the awkwardness, they remain friendly towards each other even though Cricket's twin sister and Max are jealous of their reacquainted friendship. 

Perhaps it is fate, or perhaps they are just meant for each other, Lola and Cricket find themselves do have feelings for each other despite what happened two years ago. However, both of them are afraid of showing their true feelings towards each other. But of course nature has its own arrangement and Lola will learn that besides from casting her insecurities aside, she should listen to her heart and gives life a second chance, be it her relationship with Cricket or her estranged mother. 

I loved Stephanie Perkins' first novel, Anna and the French Kiss, but I find this second novel even better. The author has perfectly captured Lola's voice and the best of all is, through Lola's various encounters she gives readers the inspirations about finding courage and giving things a second chance, no matter how hard or impossible they may sound. 

I also enjoyed reading the secondary characters, e.g. Lola's best friend, Lindsey, and Cricket's twin sister. I find their characterizations to be well developed and I felt myself caring for them even though this story is about Lola and Cricket. In a nutshell, this is a coming-of-age story and a sweet story about rekindled love. I trust many readers will love Lola and Cricket (especially Cricket because he was such a talented and nice young man) because I do! 


ISBN-13: 9780765374295
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
Publication Date: March 2014
Format: Hardcover, 352 pgs
Source: Publisher

Most of the crime thrillers are written either from the victims' or from the detectives' perspective, but very rare from a reporter's point of view. In this third installment featuring Liam Mulligan for a newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island, readers will follow his journey in reporting (or to be exact, helps unveiling the truth on his own) the gruesome crimes committed by a teenaged boy, who finds bliss and release in his killing spree. He is not like other boys his age, who would find themselves getting excited over pretty girls or even pornography. No, Kwame Diggs harbors more devilish thoughts; from dismembering his sister's Barbie dolls to killing his neighbours. 

Liam Mulligan is initially a sports reporter. A news editor seeks his help to cover a gory double murder and although Liam has no intention of doing so in the first place, he finally agrees to it given the extra pay. 

Liam quickly gathers some information from the police due to his persistence and from some connections. He learnt that the killer must have known and scrutinized his victims before killing them. The same happened to three more victims two years later before Kwame Diggs is put behind bars. 

But the climax didn't just end there, the highlight of the story is Liam, together with a coworker Mason, finds themselves on opposite sides when they are thrown with a moral dilemma. What is a journalist to do between exposing the truth and protecting people? Both of them know that the faking charges to continue keeping Kwame Diggs locked up is wrong, but then is it absolutely right to set free of a dangerous man who might murder again? 

Inspired by the true story of Craig Price (America's youngest serial killer), author Bruce DeSilva cleverly crafted a thriller with a debating issue and journalism as a setting surrounding it. I was quite fascinated by the character of Liam Mulligan although this is the first book I read about him (and this author as well). Liam's persistence and his spirit of pursuing the truth is truly an inspiration. I couldn't comment more on Mason though as I felt Liam's characteristic has more or less over shined his coworker. That said, Mason is still an interesting character, given his position as the heir to the newspaper they work for. 

Kwame Diggs, on the other end, gives me the shivers. I couldn't imagine why a grown man committed those gruesome crimes, let alone a teenager. Providence Rag definitely leaves the readers a lot to think about, aside from the intriguing crime story. 

I don't know about you, but I love watching crime mysteries with a tinge of horror. The latter does not have to be scary ghosts that haunt people but specifically more towards spirits which would help the living people to solve cases and release them from sorrow and give them the rightful justice if they were the victims. Who Are You? is such a drama and I enjoyed it very much, given that there is even a romance theme in it.

Detective Yang Shi-ohn (starring So Yi-hyun) has somewhat lost some of her memories after awakening from a six-year coma. She has no idea what happened to her and this upsets her; but what really troubled her is she discovers that she has gained the ability to see ghosts connected to the objects left behind there. Assigned to the lost and found department after her accident, she and rookie cop Cha Gun-woo (starring Ok Taecyeon) are partners to solve cases which involved the dead. No one knows Shi-ohn's ability to see ghosts, not even Gun-woo who always believes what he can see but after matching the information from what Shi-ohn has told him, he couldn't help but to believe her. 

They cracked several cases through Shi-ohn's supernatural ability but there is a case which both puzzles and troubles her. It involves a passing coworker who died from a gunshot while he was on duty. She also noticed a ghost who seems to be following her on and off, and it takes her some time to remember that the ghost was none other than her ex-boyfriend, Lee Hyung-joon (starring Kim Jae-wook). It appears that Hyung-joon's death had something to do with a crime syndicate and someone had shot him to silent him. Shi-ohn was there on that fateful night but she failed to see the killer. The next thing she knew was her awakening from a coma which was caused by a head injury. 

Determined to unravel the truth, she goes around digging for information with some help from Hyung-joon. On the other end, Gun-woo finds himself falling for Shi-ohn but he has no confidence in winning her heart, after all how could you compete with an ex-lover who was dead? 

Who Are You? reminds me a little of Master's Sun, another South Korea drama which the heroine also has the ability to see ghosts and help them to solve cases before they rest their souls. However, the difference between the two dramas is the former focus more on police procedural while the latter is more on the heroine's attempts to help the ghosts despite she is scared of them. It is also through these acts that she allows herself to fall in love with a rich yet arrogant businessman and how she had slowly changed him the more they are together. 

Aside from the police procedural, what I enjoyed watching Who Are You? is the chemistry between Shi-ohn and Gun-woo. Gun-woo is a quick-tempered cop who always act first before anything else, while Shi-ohn is the coolheaded one. She always act on rational thoughts and no matter how dangerous the case may lead her, she always allows her instincts to guide her. 

I have to say I was quite thrown off by the ending though, but still it was a satisfying ending. After all, I could think of no other ending which would suit better than that.


ISBN-13: 9781447263227
Publisher: Macmillan Publishers Ltd 
Publication Date: January 2014
Format: Paperback, 480 pgs
Source: Personal Library 

I read Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park and Attachments and I loved them all. I find her characters especially interesting and engaging and how their stories made me glowed warm in the heart and made me cared for them as if they are flesh and blood human beings instead of fictional characters. Yes, Ms Rowell has this capability of making her characters come alive and in Fangirl it is no exceptional. 

Cath and her twin sister, Wren are both huge fans of Simon Snow series (think of Harry Potter series and you will understand why). Cath and Wren are not only close in blood but they even co-write fanfiction of Simon Snow; this not only shows their passion for the series but it is also another way for them to cope with their life after their mother left them when they were in elementary school. 

As they grow up and enter college, Cath and Wren slowly began to drift apart. Wren is interested in parties and making new friends, while Cath is still absorbed in her world of fanfiction and refuse to explore her new life in college. In other words, she is simply happy being alone with her books and Internet. 

But of course life has its own way around, and Cath slowly find herself getting acquainted with her roommate, Reagan and her ex-boyfriend, Levi. As the days go, Cath finds herself being attracted by Levi but she is clueless when it comes to boy-girl relationship. On the other end, Wren seems to be on a drinking binge and Cath feels she doesn't know her twin sister anymore. To make things worse, Wren seems to be accepting their mother again and this made Cath very upset considering she and Wren had decided to let her go out of their life years ago. Their father has a problem of his own and it gets worse when he is working too hard on his advertising projects. 

Cath knows it is up to her to start living her own life, but it is finding that courage that makes her pause and she is not sure if she can give up writing fanfiction for writing her own stories, even if they are meant for her grades. 

Fangirl is absolutely a story of fanfiction, family and finding love the first time but it is also very much of a coming-of-age story of Cath and her dilemmas between writing fanfiction and writing fiction. What makes this story shine is the love and support Levi gives to Cath and I often find myself rooting for him even though Cath is still thinking twice about their relationship. Levi is simply a like-able character, and many times what he did for Cath (by being there for her and supporting her) just made my heart melt. 

I also enjoyed reading bits of Simon Snow's excerpts and Cath's fanfiction in between the story of Fangirl. They made Fangirl so much more interesting to read and I even wished Rainbow Rowell would write a real story of Simon Snow and not just part of Cath's fantasy. 

As you can tell, I enjoyed reading Fangirl. And yes, you can say I'm a fangirl of Rainbow Rowell (look out for her next release, Landline, to be released in July).