Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Love Unscripted (Love #1) by Tina Reber

“I don't want anyone else - just you. And no matter where I am, wherever I go, you're the only one who is holding my heart."

The Blurb:

Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that accepting a role in an unknown film would toss his career into overdrive. His new fame has cost him dearly; anonymity is no longer an option. His fans stalk him, the paparazzi hound him, and Hollywood studios all want a piece of him. Despite all of that, Ryan Christensen craves the most basic of human needs - to have love in his heart and privacy in his life.

Taryn Mitchell, the story's protagonist, is a realist. She's been feigning contentment, running the family pub in Seaport, Rhode Island, while quietly nursing her own internal heartaches. Her feet are fairly glued to the ground and she doesn't buy into all the hype that has descended on her tiny, coastal town. In her world, men are safe if they're kept at a distance.

Fate has other plans for these two when their paths cross one sunny afternoon. A group of female fans has attacked him, leaving his shirt torn, his face cut, and Ryan in obvious distress. Bonds between them form from the most dramatic of circumstances while jealousy, insecurity, and the stress of his celebrity life try to tear them apart.

Through all the tabloid lies, secrecy, and pressure, can Taryn's peace and Ryan's high-profile insanity live together in harmony?


I have a sort of like and dislike relationship with this book. I don't wanna say love and hate because hate seems so extreme and I do not hate this book. In fact, I love it. Well, parts of it, atleast.

Let's start with the stuff I like. I like how the writer build up Taryn and Ryan's relationship. I find it charming how they started off as friends, really good friends who call each other a lot and care for each other. With how they act around each other, one can forget that Ryan is this popular actor and Taryn is this low-key, bartender in a small town.

I like the sincere approach of how the author treated the problems surrounding the couples. I understand Taryn's insecurity and Ryan's attitude towards his fame. His loneliness as a result of being a celebrity was thoroughly discussed 

I also like the supporting characters. Taryn have such adorable friends who support her and care for her. Ryan also has a lovable family. Down to earth and totally kind.

However, there are also some stuff that prevented me from liking this book more. Even though I love the slow build up, I was kind of put off by the length of this book. I don't think their kind of love story is something that you would need 668 freakin' pages in order to be told efficiently. I find a lot of situations and events to be fillers and don't actually contribute to the whole story other than reiterate to the readers how good Ryan and Taryn are for each other.  But we actually don't need these extra scenes because we have more than enough scenarios already presented to us in the same manner.

The lead characters, though adorable, also feel unreal. Why? Because Taryn is so perfect and Ryan doesn't really act celebrity-like. Taryn is so beautiful, kind and totally not into celebrities. She's a good cook, she can play the piano and guitar, and also sing. She can even make stained glass photo frames. So, maybe there are times when jealousy and insecurity start rearing its head but other than that she's depicted as a freakin' Mary Sue! 

Also, some dialogues are cheesy and the author tends to over-describe and over-explain. We, readers, can read between the lines too, you know?


I think if Tina Reber kept this book to around 300 pages, it could've been better. There wouldn't be too much repetition and pages where there are absolutely nothing of interest happens. I'm still planning to read Love Unrehearsed. Actually, it's already on queue in my Kindle. Because I love Ryan and Taryn's love story in spite of everything, I really hope the next book is better.


Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (24SEP2012)

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila from Book Journey and Kellee and Jenn from Teach Mentor Texts. It invites people to share the books they read/reviewed the past week and also to share what books they are currently reading/or plan to read this coming week.

I've managed quite a number of books last week. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish Insurgent, which was in my TBR list last week, because I was distracted by other books (as what always happens.) 


Too Darn Hot by Pamela BurfordLina lives by one sacred rule: Never mix business with pleasure. So what’s a girl to do when the owner of the restaurant she’s secretly reviewing is the most sexalicious hunk who ever seared a T-bone? Chef Eric Reid is a widower struggling to raise twin boys and keep his fledgling Long Island restaurant out of the red. Little does he suspect that the intriguing new customer groaning in ecstasy over his bourbon pecan tart is none other than the legendary Lina Holland, restaurant reviewer for the gourmet magazine Bon Vivant. A favorable review by Lina could spell the difference between colossal success and bankruptcy. Throw in a buttinsky roommate, a lecherous ex-husband, bribery by chocolate, and the fishing excursion from hell, and the result is, well, too darn hot!

--> I loved this. Short and sweet. 

Love 'em or Leave 'em by Angie Stanton Ashley Reynolds, who hates even having her picture taken, lands herself smack in the middle of a reality television dating show. She finds herself surrounded by glamour girls and pageant queens all vying for a date with the smokin hot bachelor. Ashley's plan, to fly under the radar and get sent home early, falters when she soon discovers a knack for drawing unwanted attention her way. Bad boy quarterback Luke Townsend thought choosing between 25 stunning women would be a dream come true. How wrong he was! Luke's patience is tried by the wiles of the charmers and the persistence of the camera crews. It doesn't take long for him to realize, however, that the one girl trying the hardest to get off the show is the one who most intrigues him.

--> Just okay, but could've been better.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire - The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand. Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

--> I read this because I know there was a huge wank fest that occurred because of this novel. Author vs Reviewers/Readers. Now after reading it, I can say, I understand what the wank fest was all about. 

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young - Four years ago, Jocelyn Butler left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying the grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without any real attachments has worked well for her so far but when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street, her carefully guarded world is shaken to its core by her new roommate's sexy older brother.Braden Carmichael is a man who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Jocelyn in his bed. Knowing how skittish Joss is concerning any kind of relationship, Braden proposes a sexual arrangement that should satisfy the intense attraction between them without it developing into anything 'more'. An intrigued Jocelyn agrees, completely unprepared for the Scotsman and his single-minded determination to strip the stubborn young woman bare... to the very soul.

--> This book surprised me. I thought it was just gonna be a sexy read without much depth. I was wrong. It was very good!

Shadows (Lux 0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout - The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.Captivated. Lured. Loved.Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

--> Better than Obsidian. Even the leading characters are better than the ones in Obsidian too. Too bad they won't be in the next books.

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Starting over sucks.When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.

--> It was okay, but I prefer Shadows. 

Forever Mine (The Moreno Brothers #1) by Elizabeth Reyes - Seventeen-year old Sarah’s life is turned upside down when her single mom is sent to jail. She’s forced to move, leaving behind everything she’s ever known, including her best friend Sydney. Lost and bitter in a new school, her one goal is to save money and move back home. Then she meets Angel Moreno. Enigmatic but gorgeous, Angel is almost too good to be true. Except for one thing, his archaic belief that guys and girls can never be “just friends”. The problem? Sarah’s best friend Sydney is not a girl. With their unexpected romance intensifying to places neither ever experienced, how long can Sarah keep Angel in the dark about the guy waiting for her back home?

--> Started okay and sweet. Near the end, both lead characters became stupid. 

Always Been Mine (The Moreno Brothers #2) by Elizabeth Reyes - After one heartache too many, Valerie Zuniga vows to never let Alex Moreno hurt her again. A year later, she is forced to reunite with him at a party where one unexpected sizzling kiss tells her she’s far from over him. No way will she allow herself to get sucked back into that torment. She’ll resist him even if that means using the one thing that’ll stop Alex dead in his tracks: another man. Alex is coming off one of the worst years of his life. He spent so much time wallowing in self-pity, he never realized how much he’d missed Valerie. That is, until that kiss. Now, he’s determined to get her back one way or another, and no other man will stand in his way. Especially after discovering that Valerie may be in danger, a danger he blames himself for.

--> The story is okay as a whole, the lead characters are even irritating though. 

Try Me (One Night with Sole Regret #1) by Olivia Cunning - For the five sexy rock gods of Sole Regret, finding love is easy, keeping it is hard.Melanie has no desire to meet the members of the rock band, Sole Regret, but her groupie of a best friend gets them both backstage and then rushes off with the band’s lead singer. Left alone at an after party with a bunch of scary tattooed and pierced metal-heads, sheltered Melanie is relieved when the only normal-looking guy in the room insists on keeping her company. By the time Melanie discovers that Gabe is the band’s drummer and not as normal as she assumed, she has already made a complete fool of herself. She can’t help but be interested in him, not as a rock star, but as the sexiest man she’s ever encountered. Strangely attracted to his hidden tattoos and body piercing, she wonders what it would be like to spend a night with a bad boy.Gabe is more than willing to show sweet Melanie there’s more to him than meets the eye. All she has to do is try him. Will they only share a single night of passion? Or will their hearts entangle as quickly as their bodies?

--> Short, sexy read. 

Exclusively Yours (Kowalski Family #1) by Shannon Stacey - When Keri Daniels' editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job. Joe's never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he's intrigued to hear Keri's back in town--and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he'll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school. He proposes an outrageous plan--for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she's worked too hard to walk away from her career. But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe's sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn't ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.

--> I really liked this. 

Pollyanna (Pollyanna #1) by Eleanor H. Porter Pollyanna, an expert at her favorite "Glad Game" of always looking at the bright side in her numerous trials, is one of the most popular and enduring characters in all of children's literature.As Pollyanna arrives in Beldingsville to live with her strict and dutiful maiden aunt, she exclaims, "Oh, Aunt Polly, I don't know how to be glad enough that you let me come to live with you!." And from this point she begins to bring cheer into everybody's life, including the sick, the lonely, and the just plain miserable. All are transformed - until one day when something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn't know how to feel glad anymore. American novelist Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna series and "Glad Game" generated a popular phenomenon in its day. The improbable heroine remains popular today and the name Pollyanna is well known to be a stereotype for a person who is characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything.

--> Love this book! Maybe too optimistic, but in this world, we need optimism. 

Daddy Long Legs (Daddy Long-Legs #1) by Jean Webster - Jerusha Abbott has grown up in the John Grier Home for orphans. As the oldest, she is in charge of the younger children. An anonymous benefactor on the Board, "Mr. Smith," decides to send her to college, as long as she writes to him faithfully detailing her education. Originally published in 1912, Jean Webster's coming-of-age tale continues to be relevant to young women today. Actress Kate Forges shares these months and years, from freshman to senior in college. Through a series of letters Jerusha writes to "Daddy-Long-Legs," a relationship filled with affection and respect develops...

--> Judy seems a real, bratty and at times, irritating teenager. Jervis is creepy. 


*Currently Reading/To Be Read This Week*

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth 

--> I will try my best not to get sidetracked by other books. =)

Onyx (Lux #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Being connected to Daemon Black sucks… Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems. Something worse than the Arum has come to town… The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard. But then everything changes… I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me? No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

--> Already a few chapters in and I like it better already than Obsidian. I wonder why is that? Anyway, I'm excited to know who Katy saw that shouldn't be alive. PleaseletitbeDawsonandBethany. 

Undeniably Yours (Kowalski Family #2) by Shannon Stacey - Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly... Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant. Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child...

--> Liking this series and actually, I'm really liking Carina Press. =)

Castles on the Sand by E. M. Tippetts - Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget. John Britton is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce. She is beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art. When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?

--> I was given a free copy by the author so hopefully, I'll be able to read it this week. 

What have you guys read this week?


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Someone Else's Fairytale by E. M. Tippetts

Fairytale endings aren't just for normal people. Us abnormally famous guys want them as much as the next person.

The Blurb:

Jason Vanderholt, Hollywood's hottest actor, falls head over heels for every girl, Chloe Winters, who hasn't gotten around to watching most of his movies. She becomes the woman every other woman in America is dying to be, but it just isn't her fairytale.


This is my first book of EM Tippetts. The book cover caught my attention at first, I don’t know why. I just remembered I squinted to see what actually is going on in there. And then, I read the blurb. I must admit, famous guy/normal girl plot always makes me curious. Maybe because I know that although it happens in real life, it is not the norm. And then, I get curious as to how the author will handle this plot. Will she make it so cliché? Will it be fast love again? How much trouble will the paparazzi and crazy fans make this time?

Chloe Winters, as a character, is relatable to many people. Her family background is not ideal. She has problems and fears. A mostly absentee mother, a father who doesn't acknowledge her, half-siblings who doesn't care about her. She focuses in her studies in order to get over her past. She has friends she can rely on, although, one of them turned out to be such a douche. She’s seems real. 

Jason Vanderholt is indeed swoon worthy. Not only because of how he was described, but because of how he acts around Chloe. He’s always sensitive about her feelings and treats her with utmost respect. He’s not perfect as well. Like most real life celebrities, partying hard and women were some of his mistakes too in the past.

The plot seemed light at first. And then the author keeps dropping hints here and there about Chloe’s past. Then the readers were shown this past and it was dark and it was scary. I appreciate the back story because it made me understand her better. 

No fast love here too. Chloe was not charmed by Jason during their first meeting unlike her other friends. Instead, she and Jason become good friends first. They went through some trust issues, insecurities, failed relationship attempts, crazy fans, snooping paparazzi and insane brother before they become a couple. However, when they finally get together, there will be no doubt in the reader’s mind that they indeed belong to each other.

The ending may be too much of a fairytale already. However, I find it understandable why it was necessary. 


I’m glad to have stumbled on this book. It may not yet be popular, but it is a good one. I enjoyed it a lot. 


20SEP2012, 1730H: UPDATE
I visited GoodReads earlier and went to Ms Tippetts' author page and learned that there will be a sequel to this novel. The cover is out already. I'm so excited!!! Here's her post about it. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

About That Night (FBI / US Attorney #3) by Julie James

“Because nine years ago, I walked up to the most beautiful girl in the bar, and tonight she's still the only person I want to talk to.” 

The Blurb:

He's Playing Games

Though Rylann Pierce tried to fight the sparks she felt for billionaire heir Kyle Rhodes the night they met, their sizzling chemistry was undeniable. But after being stood up on their first date, Rylann never expected to see him again. So when she finds herself face-to-face with Kyle in a courthouse nine years later, she's stunned. More troubling to the beautiful assistant U.S. attorney is that she's still wildly attracted to him.

But She's Making The Rules

Just released from prison, Kyle Rhodes isn't thrilled to be the star witness in a high-profile criminal case—but when Rylann comes knocking at his door, he finds she may be the one lawyer he can't say no to. Still as gorgeous and sharp-tongued as ever, she lays down the law: she doesn't mix business with pleasure. But Kyle won't give up on something he wants—and what he wants is the one woman he's never forgotten.


After reading A Lot Like Love, I was already excited to start About That Night because I knew that Kyle Rhodes will be the male lead character in this third installment of Julie James’ FBI/US Attorney series. I liked Kyle in ALLL. I thought he was such an interesting character and I find his whole “shutting-down-Twitter-and-getting-jailed-for-it” funny and an amazing plot line. Can you imagine a hero being thrown into jail because he hacked Twitter? *Nerd Hero Alert* Although, the real reason why he hacked Twitter was sad and a bit pitiful but still I find it hot. 

The female lead character this time is Rylann. She just moved to Chicago to be an assistant US Attorney to the recently promoted Cameron Lynde (of Something About You). Like other Julie James’ female leads, she’s a smart and career-oriented woman. Although, she’s a bit more driven as she’s got her future planned out down to the exact year when she will achieved her goal. She and Kyle met in a bar back in college. Though nothing sordid happened that night aside from Kyle walking her home and them sharing a kiss, that night 9 years ago seemed to be magical for both of them. They were attracted to each other and when they met again after all those years, apparently, the attraction was still there.

This book doesn’t have suspense like James’ previous book in this series. Well, there was someone murdered in the jail at the time Kyle was still in there but although that affects Kyle and Rylann, it doesn’t put their lives at risk. 

The main conflict in this book is how to reconcile the fact that Rylann- an assistant US Attorney- is dating the so-called Twitter Terrorist who was put into jail by the office she’s serving today. How their personal relationship with each other affects their professional relationship with other people.


Once again, I enjoyed this book. Kyle was such an entertaining character. I wish Rylann was more fleshed out though, but overall, it is still a solid third installment to the series. I can’t wait to read the fourth book!


A Lot Like Love (FBI / US Attorney #2) by Julie James

“He didn't care whose league Jordan was in. All that mattered was that she was his.” 

The Blurb:

The FBI wants her cooperation. As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city's top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there's only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother's release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her. As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This "date" with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment— one they're both determined to pull off even if they can't be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick's investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they're a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.


I think by now I can say that I've become a full-fledged Julie James fan. The first two books that I've read from her are such a win and this next installment of her FBI/US Attorney #2 is also the same! 

I was entertained with the characters of Nick McCall and Jordan Rhodes. Jordan is this rich and beautiful billionaire heiress who actually is a financially independent woman. She owns a wine store and manages it with a business acumen befitting of the last name Rhodes. She's all woman but she's not whiny, not clingy and she’s definitely no Paris Hilton! Nick McCall is the undercover FBI agent who needed Jordan Rhodes to infiltrate a party thrown by Xander Eckhart who the FBI believes is laundering money for Roberto Martino, head of a big crime syndicate in Chicago. Nick is all business and professionalism. He doesn’t have the best first impression of Jordan Rhodes and it doesn’t help that he thinks she’s a spoiled princess pampered since birth. He’s tough, rough around the edges, a bit pushy and ofcourse, hot.

The dialogue is once again snappy, witty and sharp. The banter is obviously sexually-charged. Chemistry is floating all over the pages.

I was surprised and happy to see previous characters in Something About You here. Jack Pallas is Nick McCall’s colleague and Cameron is now the new US Attorney in charge with the case of Jordan’s brother.


Another Julie James book that I enjoyed and loved. Though I think Jack and Cameron love story in Something About You still takes the cake, I must say that I was still thoroughly entertained with Nick and Jordan’s love story too.


Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (17SEP2012)

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila from Book Journey and Kellee and Jenn from Teach Mentor Texts. It invites people to share the books they read/reviewed the past week and also to share what books they are currently reading/or plan to read this coming week.

Quite proud of the what I've finished this week.


Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica RothIn Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

   -it was really good. I was so glad I finally got around to reading it.

Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story (Divergent #1.1) by Veronica Roth#1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth retells a pivotal Divergent scene (chapter 13) from Tobias's point of view. This thirteen-page scene reveals unknown facts and fascinating details about Four's character, his past, his own initiation, and his thoughts about new Dauntless initiate Tris Prior.

   -what a teaser! I wished there was more. It was kind of refreshing to read a scene from Four's POV.

Love Unscripted (Love #1) by Tina ReberRyan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that accepting a role in an unknown film would toss his career into overdrive. His new fame has cost him dearly; anonymity is no longer an option. His fans stalk him, the paparazzi hound him, and Hollywood studios all want a piece of him. Despite all of that, Ryan Christensen craves the most basic of human needs - to have love in his heart and privacy in his life. Taryn Mitchell, the story's protagonist, is a realist. She's been feigning contentment, running the family pub in Seaport, Rhode Island, while quietly nursing her own internal heartaches. Her feet are fairly glued to the ground and she doesn't buy into all the hype that has descended on her tiny, coastal town. In her world, men are safe if they're kept at a distance.Fate has other plans for these two when their paths cross one sunny afternoon. A group of female fans has attacked him, leaving his shirt torn, his face cut, and Ryan in obvious distress. Bonds between them form from the most dramatic of circumstances while jealousy, insecurity, and the stress of his celebrity life try to tear them apart.Through all the tabloid lies, secrecy, and pressure, can Taryn's peace and Ryan's high-profile insanity live together in harmony?

   -as far as love stories go, it was good. It has the right elements needed for romance. However, I don't think it needs to be that long in order to tell the story efficiently. 

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis (Narrator)From the land of Mordor, an evil darkness creeps across Middle-earth. Armies of men and elves and dwarves have been raised in futile efforts to combat this evil. Great wizards have been unable to check it. But in the peaceful, far-off Shire, a hobbit named Frodo Baggins holds a ring that may be the key to defeating Mordor. This stirring saga of epic evil and heroic courage begins with a fellowship joined in a desperate quest that may be the only hope for restoring goodness and light to the land.

   -2nd book I finished as an audio book. The narrator was great. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. Entertaining book, too much descriptions though. 

Bah, Humbug! (A Romantic Comedy Christmas Novella) aby Heather HorrocksLexi Anderson is an up-and-coming, Martha Stewart-type TV hostess whose two kids love the Jared Strong adventure novels, which happen to be written by their new neighbor, Kyle Miller. For the first time in his writing career, Kyle has writer’s block--until he sees the snowman on his lawn and realizes it’s the perfect solution to his plot problem. He digs in and discovers two things: one, his villain’s weapon will fit inside a snowman's body, and two, this particular snowman was supposed to be the backdrop for Lexi’s next show. From this improbable beginning comes friendship, but can there be a happy ending for a woman who is afraid to get close again and a man who has shadows from his childhood? Families join together and hearts are healed as this couple goes walking in a winter wonderland.

   -Cute, quick fun read. Very early Christmas story for me but I like it. 

The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1) by Tarryn Fisher - Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.

   -This book left my emotions in a mess. It was so beautiful.I wish more people knew this book. 

Trying to Score (Assassins #2) by Toni Aleo - Fallon Parker’s dream was to have her family’s wine company at the top of all wine magazines and to have a cellar of her own. After graduating from college, she has worked hard to make that dream a reality, even if that meant having a nonexistent love life. She had her chance at love and that was a bust, so she put everything into the wine company. After becoming the official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, Fallon finally feels like everything is falling in place, that is until Lucas Brooks comes back into her life. Lucas Brooks hates his life. He is lonely, he is sober, and he is angry. On the ice, when he’s not in the sin bin, he the leading scorer in the NHL but off the ice, he is a mess. He threw away the most important person in his life, and has regretted it ever since but when Lucas sees Fallon again after being traded to the Assassins; he is bound and determined to get her back. Even if she wants nothing to do with him. The sexual tension between Fallon and Lucas is electrifying as Lucas tries to convince Fallon that he is a changed man. Fallon tries to resist Lucas, but it is so hard when all her body wants is his. But when Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a huge secret from him, the game he is playing stops and penalties are called. With new rules and new players on the ice, will Fallon and Lucas be able to work out their differences and work as a team or will they be left trying to score alone.

   -it was okay but once again, the 2nd book in this series fail to capture my attention. I just finished it just for the sake of finishing it.


*Currently Reading/To Be Read This Week*

Pollyanna (Pollyanna #1) by Eleanor H. Porter - currently on chapter 15 and I'm loving it.

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. ArmentroutStarting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up. And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.

   -been hearing so many stuff about it. I don't think I've read a book with an alien as a lead character. So far, it's okay.

Insurgent (Divergent #2)  by Veronica Roth - One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

   -I've restrained myself from immediately picking up this book after reading Divergent but will definitely read it this week.

What have you guys read this week?


Saturday, September 15, 2012

ARASHI: 5x13

(aka an Arashi pimp post in disguise. ^_^)

13 years ago, on this very same day, something happened that changed the lives of 5 boys that in turn changed the lives of thousands of girls all over the world.


When you hear something like, “Go and pack, you’re going to Hawaii!” What do you think you will do? You’re young, carefree and eager to experience a lot of things in the world – of course, no doubt, you’ll be excited. You’ll probably run home and pack immediately.

13 years ago, using words probably similar to what I’ve written above, five young, awkward boys full of dreams and hope were tricked into going to Hawaii. They didn’t know that on that trip, and on that boat (which probably made Nino sick as hell) they would announce their debut. On that very day, Aiba Masaki declared that they were going to “create a storm all over the world.”

Hence, ARASHI was born. 

Yes, they were named Arashi – the Japanese word for storm and even though I’m writing their name in romaji, Arashi remains to be the only JE group whose name is written in kanji – combination of Yama (mountain) and kaze (wind). 

This beautiful kanji = 嵐.

A month and a half later, they released A.Ra.Shi – which was used as the theme song for the Volleyball World Cup. This song is now the national anthem of Arashi fangirls. We overlooked the nonsense English and made the phrases “You are my soul, soul” and “Arashi, Arashi for dream~” our battle cry.

Arashi is composed of Ohno Satoshi, Sakurai Sho, Aiba Masaki, Ninomiya Kazunari, and Matsumoto Jun.

Ohno Satoshi 

What can I say about this old man? Ohno is Arashi’s leader, not because he is the oldest amongst them, but because he lost in a round of Jankenpon (paper-rock-scissors) to Sakurai Sho. Even though he is the leader, he hasn’t done anything that is leader-like but ironically, this made his presence in the group very special. Ohno is a very talented person. He’s an amazing singer and dancer. He’s the lead vocalist of Arashi and he choreographs all the dance steps of his solos and also some of Arashi’s songs. Ohno is also a very skilled artist. He can draw and sculpt. He is the very first one in Johnny’s who had an art exhibition entitled “Freestyle” and also a book of the same title, containing his artworks was published. Ohno loves fishing. He spends a lot of his free time fishing. It’s become too much that his skin is all burnt.

Sakurai Sho

He is a living proof that a perfect man exists (he is, if only he doesn’t get mad easily and he can do back-flips and he isn’t afraid of heights) Sho came from a well-off family. His father is a government official and his mother is a professor at a prestigious women's college (as well as an heiress to a huge company). His family was initially opposed to him joining JE and made the conditioned that if he wanted to continue in JE, he has to finish his studies. And he did. Sho is the very first JE idol who has finished college. He graduated with a degree in Economics from Keio University (Japan’s equivalent of an Ivy League). Despite Ohno being the official leader, it’s actually Sho who acts as the group’s leader. He emcees in their concerts and acts as main host for some of their variety shows. Sho is Arashi’s rapper and he writes his own rap lyrics. Aside from his work in Arashi, Sho works as a newscaster for News Zero – a late night news program in NTV. He has made coverage for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Lately, he went to Russia and interviewed Nobel Peace prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev, who was very impressed with him. Oh, have I also mentioned that Sho is as sexy as hell? Please find a copy/pic of his Anan photoshoot – thank you very much.

Okay, so to other people Sho may be the intelligent guy and the one you can take home to go meet your parents but to Arashi fans, Sho is known as Mr. Fail (or Captain Failboat – whatever). He fails, seriously. He sucks in VS Arashi games and he is such a big coward. He hates high places and cannot do backflips. But he has an amazing stamina: Weekend gonna make love ah ah- from Monday to Sunday, every every everyday, lucky lucky my life, let’s go! ^____^

Aiba Masaki

Aiba is just like the sunshine. His smile alone can brighten up a whole room. Okay, seriously, Aiba is the third oldest in Arashi. His reason to join the Jimusho is quite odd. He once saw SMAP playing basketball on TV and he thought that if he joins the Jimusho, he will be able to play with them. Aiba is also the member with the highest tension. During concerts he sings to the songs even though it is not yet his turn. He has lots of energy but gets sick often. One time, he was hospitalized due to pneumothorax – in which case, his lung had collapsed and had to undergo a surgery causing him to give up playing the saxophone. During that time, he feels he has burdened the other members a lot and feels terribly guilty about it that he wrote a letter to express his feelings and read it on 24hr TV. My favorite line in that letter is (roughly translated) “I hope we can achieve our dream of becoming No. 1. I am proud to be in Arashi.” Can someone tell Aiba – in case he has forgotten – that they already did achieve their dream???

Anyway, aside from all that, Aiba is also the one who thinks of bizarre experiments on their variety shows (with Sho most of the time his accomplice.) He also hosts Tensai! Shimura Doubuutsen (Genius! Shimura Zoo) which takes him to different countries, visiting zoos and helping animals. (Trivia: He went to the Malabon Zoo to feed an alligator and also visited Chavit Singson’s mansion to take care of his tiger.) I absolutely love his TSD clips because Aiba is amazing with animals. Yes, he gets mauled by them a lot, gets bitten but he is lovable and adorable with them. My favorite will be that South African clip where he takes care of a little cub. Oh, I almost forgot, TSD is also a haven of Aiba’s famous Engrish. (Very very danger! You are so cuticle.) Haha.

Ninomiya Kazunari

Also called Nino, he is Arashi’s resident brat. He likes to play pranks on other people especially the other Arashi members. In one of their variety shows, he has this segment called “Ni no Arashi” where all he does is play pranks on other people – from stupid pranks to really mean ones. Nino is also a huge game nerd. He absolutely loves playing different computer games and he can do it nonstop.

But Nino isn’t all that. Inside that slim body is one hell of a talented individual. Although everyone in Arashi acts and they’re good at it, Nino is considered to be the “actor” of the group. The one that gets countless awards and gets to act in Clint Eastwood’s Hollywood film “Letters from Iwo Jima” and receives critical acclaims. He also can play multiple of instruments and write his own songs –like the awesome Niji. He also wrote the fun and encouraging Arashi song – Fight Song and Matsujun’s birthday song, Matsujun no Uta. Lately, Nino is into magic cards and he has displayed his awesome magic tricks on their variety shows.

Matsumoto Jun 

Ahh, Jun a.k.a. the-very-reason-why-I-am-in-the-Arashi-fandom-in-the-first-place. However, I will not talk about that. I will make a separate post regarding that matter.

Also known as Matsujun (a portmanteau of his first and last name), he is the youngest of the group but obviously he doesn’t look like one. He is one of the three “elites” in Johnny’s because he got in without an audition. He sent an application to the jimusho and then afterwards received a call from the big man himself, Mr Johnny Kitagawa, to come and join the rehearsals. Also the fashionista of the group, I lost count to how many times he changed his hairstyle. He has also appeared in a bunch of popular dramas like Gokusen, Kimi wa Petto, Hana Yori Dango and Bambino. Jun is known for being very serious and dedicated to his work. Jun acts as a concert director for their concerts - meaning he voices out his ideas a lot and also did you know that the famous Johnny's Moving Stage (yeah, the huge transparent stage that goes above the audience) is his idea? Brilliant eh?

I read somewhere before, someone described Matsujun as “being capable of both geek and cool at the drop of a hat.” The coolness part is evident and self-explanatory now but the geekiness? Well, yes! Jun is a big geek! Actually, this is more evident during their early years, but nowadays it has toned down a bit and instead, he has nickname like DoS or “Extreme Sadist.” Why sadist? Because when Jun’s temper goes off, expect rude remarks! But don’t be fooled yet again, he loves Arashi so much – he writes songs about them. Who can forget “La Familia”? Found a reason to be strong, you are the one always in my heart, my friend. Every time you call my name, I will be there no matter how far, we are friends.  


What makes Arashi so special for us? They’re not superb singers and they’re not even superb dancers (with the exception of Ohno who excels in both), but remember Arashi is not labeled as singers or dancers, they’re labeled as an idol group.

And as an idol group, they’re certainly one of the best. They have their own variety shows (currently airing: Himitsu no Arashi-chan (Arashi’s Secrets), VS Arashi and Arashi ni Shiyagare), they have their own radio shows like Ohno – Arashi Discovery, Nino – Baystorm, Aiba – Aiba Recomen, Jun – Jun Style (defunct now but it ran from 2002-2011), Sho – Sho Beat (now defunct – but Sho is doing news report on News Zero), their concerts are amazing, they act in dramas and a whole lot more.

They’re special for us because they’re one hell of a cracktastic group. They’re dorky, they fail, they’re sparkly, they’re rainbow-y, they’re ghei. They're a cure for depression. They're my happy pills. A few minutes of watching them will surely put a big smile to my face. But aside from all of that, Arashi is a group that LOVE each other very much. Let me quote what Aiba Masaki said in an interview, “People always say we’re really close, but that’s really the norm. It’s a bond that can neither be called friendship or kinship, but a new genre that can only be called “Arashi.” I love Aiba. T^T

Thank you Arashi ~ for the 13 years of awesomeness, 13 years worth of songs, 13 years of amazing concerts, 13 years of laughter and smiles, 13 years of failing, 13 years of being dorks, 13 years of friendship, and 13 years of love.

It's 5x13 now, but surely someday it will be 5x15, 5x20. When that time comes, I will still be here for you guys.

I've said this before and I'm going to say this again, I may not have been with you from the very start but I will be with you forever. No matter what happens. Until the end. 


For those who don't believe me, well, you can go and find it out for yourself. You can listen to their songs or watch their PVs or check their concerts. No, better yet, go and watch their variety shows. I recommend the old ones, like CxDxG no Arashi, Mago Mago Arashi and Arashi no Shukudai-kun, because those shows were back when they were not yet Japan’s top idol group (except some later episodes of AnS) and you will get to know them better BUT I want to leave you with a warning. If you decide to watch any of those variety shows mentioned above – you must be prepared!



Don’t say you haven’t been warned.


(originally posted in my livejournal blog for their 11th anniversary.)
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