Saturday, November 26, 2011

Goal Completed!

I challenged myself to read 35 books (on Goodreads) and my goal has been completed! I know this is a small number but with school and all I hardly get time to read. So I set a goal that was reachable for me. Next year I'll kick it up a notch! ;) How are you guys doing with your goals??

Review-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic
Publish Date: 2nd June 1999 (first published on 1st January 1998)
ISBN: 0439064864 (ISBN13: 9780439064866)
Edition Language: English
Series: Harry Potter # 2
Goodreads            Amazon

Summary: Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature who says that if Harry returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harray's secong year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girl's bathroom. But then the real trouble begins-someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects.............Harry Potter himself!

Rating: 10/10

My thoughts: Harry Potter. Enough said. Do I even have to review this brilliant book?

I loved it! And that about summarizes the way I feel about this book. I'll talk one by one about various aspects of the book so I can analyze them better.

First up, characters. I love the characters! They are believable and true (even if they are witches and wizards). Ginny's character at times irritated me. Not that it wasn't portrayed well or anything. People like that in real life irritate me too. I like a strong, independent female (like Hermoine) rather than a weak, always crying one (like Ginny). But J.K. Rowling showed Ginny really well as girls like Ginny do act the way Ginny does. Now, Gildroy Lockhart. I simply love to hate this guy! Why? I think anybody who has read/watched Harry Potter would know why. But I would never want him not to be in the books! He added a kind of charm and comedy to the book which wouldn't have been there if he wouldn't have existed. 

Then comes the plot. Oh how I wish I wouldn't have watched the movie before reading the book! But the book explained me a lot things which I couldn't comprehend from the movie. I don't think I need to say anything more about the plot as we all know it is flawless!

I hate reading books with complicated English as English is not my first language so I don't know it very well. At least not those medieval words! I like that Rowling used simple, readable English. Her writing is beautiful as well as capturing. I like how she builds up the suspense. Her use of humor is genius and I laughed out loud at many occasions! 

The problem mainly with series is that the author starts explaining the previous book and it just starts irritating  the reader. I don't know if it happens with you, but if the author starts explaining the previous book and tells the whole story continuously for 2-3 pages, it just gets on my nerves and I'm like "I've read the previous book! Could you please get on with the story!" And sometimes the author doesn't tell about the previous book at all, just mentions a few needed things and that's it. I don't like that either because then I have to work my brain and remember what was in the previous book which takes out the fun in reading that book. HP2 did not have any of this. J.K Rowling told the previous story in bits and pieces only where it was needed. This helped me remember what happened in the previous book and side by side I could also enjoy this book!

I think that's pretty much it. Overall, I think this book is perfect for all ages!

In My Mailbox-3

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I got new books! Certainly I'm going to read them after my mid-terms but I just wanted to let ya'll know what I got.

ARCs (from NetGalley):

1. Mesmerize (Mystyx # 4) by Artist Arthur

Summary (from Goodreads): You can’t move forward until you deal with the past… 

Starting over is nothing new to diplomat’s daughter Lindsey Yi. She’s grown up changing schools the way other girls change clothes. Still, moving to Lincoln, Connecticut, is different. Although she’s still reeling from the loss of her parents in an accident, Lindsey is finally in a place that feels like home. Because here, Lindsey’s ability to read other people’s thoughts doesn’t make her weird. It makes her one of the Mystyx. 

When Dylan Murphy—hot, popular and a senior—starts to notice her, things get serious, fast. But even as she’s figuring out how she really feels, the Mystyx realize that they’re not the only supernaturals in town. There 
are other gifted teens who have different motives. And they are hoping to get close enough to the Mystyx to convert them—and the world—to Darkness…

2. New Girl by Paige Harbison

Summary (from Goodreads): They call me 'New Girl'... 

Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed—because of her. 

Becca Normandy—that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl 
I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy. 
And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault. 

Except for Max Holloway—the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken. At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend…but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be. 

And maybe she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.

3. Secrets of the Lost Summer by Carla Neggers

Summary (from Goodreads): Beneath the surface lie the greatest treasures 

A wave of hope carries Olivia Frost back to her small New England hometown nestled in the beautiful Swift River Valley. She’s transforming a historic home into an idyllic getaway. Picturesque and perfect, if only the 
absentee owner will fix up the eyesore next door.… 

Dylan McCaffrey’s ramshackle house is an inheritance he never counted on. It also holds the key to a generationsold lost treasure he can’t resist…any more than he can resist his new neighbor. Against this breathtaking landscape, Dylan and Olivia pursue long-buried secrets and discover a mystery wrapped in a love story…past and present.

4. Allegiance (Legacy # 2) by Cayla Kluver

Summary (from Goodreads): Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn't help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive. 

An eighteen-year-old queen in love with the enemy as their countries pass the point of no return... 

Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn't truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica-until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge. 

Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....


1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Summary: Published in 1848, this is the dark story of Catherine Earnshaw and the swarthy Heathcliff - recording the progress of their love.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mid-terms!! =(

Hey guys! I just wanted to let you know that I won't be posting for a while. I'm going to have my mid-terms starting from 6th December. I did not get a very good result last time so I have to work super hard this time. That's why I'm stopping reading & blogging & watching TV and well everything else besides studying.
I'll have my winter vacations after my mid-terms so there'll be a lot of reading and blogging then. But till then, adios!! And please pray for me!

Love Hira, XOXO

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In My Mailbox-2

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

So I got a couple of books and I thought I should share them with you guys:

ARCs (from NetGalley):

1. Alias Dragonfly by Jane Singer

Summary (from Goodreads): "Don't love a spy," warns fifteen-year-old Pinkerton agent Maddie Bradford, a lonely, rebellious outsider with a mind on fire and a photographic memory. It is 1861, the Civil War has just started and this motherless teen must move with her soldier-father from New Hampshire to Washington, DC-a city at war, packed cheek by jowl with soldiers, Rebel spies, slave catchers and traitors of all stripes bent on waging a war of destruction against the Union, and President Lincoln himself. 

Maddie's journal, written in secret, of course, begins with her arrival at her aunt's DC boardinghouse through the first year of the Civil War, a time, as Maddie puts it, full of "dips and dangers," when she becomes a fearless Union spy. And then there is the mysterious, maddening Jake Whitestone, a young man who awakens something equally dangerous in Maddie: Love in a time of terror. 

Civil War historian, author and lecturer Jane Singer brings her unique voice to Alias Dragonfly.

{I got my first ever ARC! =D}

2. The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna

Summary (from Goodreads): 17 year old Leeann Worthier is the perfect girl in town - or so she says. 

George Willets is the heir to a booming petroleum business. 

When they announce their engagement, George's controlling mother is unimpressed and Leeann absolutely refuses to live with her mother-in-law. So George gives his new wife a house as a wedding gift. 

Thirty years before, the same house had hosted a grisly scene: George's uncle and cousins had all been slaughtered, his aunt Robina accused of both murder and suicide. 

The house is a gorgeous, well-maintained mansion but has stood empty since the tragedy. It's intimidating, but who is Leeann to turn down a free house? When the ghost of Robina begins to haunt Leeann, she realizes she's made a huge mistake ... 

"A rip roaring murderously good time," Tiffany Harkleroad of Tiffany's Bookshelf.

3. Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

Summary (from Goodreads): When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.  

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilirating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the insde, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.


1. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Summary (from Goodreads): An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life. 

{I watched the movie and I loved it! So now I'm going to read the book.}

2. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Summary (from Goodreads): She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom...
News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)
Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)
Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.
Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.
Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty—no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what's a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?
3. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Summary (from Goodreads): A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding, that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives, the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness, are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love, a stunning accomplishment.

So what did you get in you mailbox??

Thursday, November 10, 2011


TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by GReads.

This Friday's question is: 
Love-Hate Relationship: Which characters from a book do you love to hate?

Ans: I love to hate Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries.

I like Elena from the show but book Elena just really pisses me off! I know, I know....she's the main character, the leading can I hate her? But I do. She's just oh-so-perfect! Everything revolves around her. Every guy in the book is in love with her; Matt, Stefan, Damon, even Shinichi! She takes advantage of her friendship with Bonnie and Meredith. She wants everything to go her way. And why the hell can't she choose between Stefan and Damon! She's getting cozy with both of them and taking advantage of both of them. I think it's pretty obvious now that she's in love with Damon. So why doesn't she let poor Stefan go? I really feel sorry for that guy!

All the book Elena fans out there, I mean no offence. This is just my point of view so just please don't come here and start trashing me! I'm not saying she's all bad. There are some good points about her too..... I just don't like her.

BTW how cool are the pics I used in this post above?! I got them from fanpop but I'm not sure who edited them. But they're pretty well edited! I like the first one!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday-1

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. (This fabulous button was designed by Lindsay at The Violet Hour)

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me # 1
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Publication Date: November 15th 2011
ISBN: 0062085484 (ISBN13: 9780062085481)

Summary: Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. 

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. 

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting asThe Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Book Trailers:

My Book Boyfriend-1

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by The Unread Reader.

This sounds so cool, doesn't it? I've been wanting to participate in this meme for a while and now finally I've gotten around to doing it! Here is how My Book Boyfriend works:
  1. On Wednesdays, make a post about a fictional boy that totally made you swoon! In your post, make sure you include your book boyfriend's stats, a picture of what you imagine he looks like and some quotes from him that had you at hello. Credit the book and please include page numbers when you can.
  2. Grab the My Book Boyfriend button to include in your post.
  3. Be sure to come back here and add the DIRECT link to your post on the Mr. Linky Widget that will be provided here on Wednesdays. 
  4. Don't forget to check out other people's My Book Boyfriend posts. Everyone that agrees to participate will try to visit others and leave comments. Bloggers love comments.
  5. Anyone is welcome to join at anytime, but no one is obligated to participate every week.
  6. In your post provide a link back to this My Book Boyfriend introduction post so that other people can find the information about participating.
My book boyfriend is....... Jesse (Hector) de Silva from The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot. Oh how I would love to have him as my boyfriend! Here's some info on my beau (well my beau in my dreams!):

(Well this is not a real image but I thought it was cute. And nobody in real life can capture the hotness of Jesse but I'll still try to find someone who looks kinda like him.)

  • Born in the early 19th century to a family of wealthy ranchers in California.
  • Only male child in his family.
  • Wanted to be a doctor but couldn't because of his responsibilities to his family. 
  • Was supposed to marry his cousin, Maria de Silva, but discovered she was being unfaithful to him with a slave trader named Felix Diego.
  • Was strangled in his sleep in a boarding house in Carmel.
  • His spirit lingered in the boarding house for 150 years.
  • Suze Simons moves into his bedroom and their story starts......
(Thomas McDonell kind of reminded me of Jesse)

Appearance and Personality:
  • Jesse is the quintessential tall, dark and handsome man.
  • He has long dark hair and tan skin.
  • Has washboard abs. *sigh*
  • Has a small scar on his eyebrow caused by a dog bite.
  • Is noble and polite. (Just my type of guy <3)
  • He has a strong set of morals, as evidenced by the fact he won't go further than kissing so he can protect Suze's virtue. (Awww!)
  • He does have an explosive temper when provoked. When Paul insinuates that Suze slept with him, Jesse throws him down the stairs, through a glass door and attempts to drown him. (H.O.T!)
  • He frequently mutters to himself in Spanish when he's annoyed or angry. (Which is totally adorable!)
  • He calls Suze "Querida"  at times which means 'Sweetheart'. (Whenever he says this my heart does a flip-flop =P)
(Pierre Boulanger OK so he doesn't look that much like him but give me a break! It's hard to find a guy as hot as Jesse! =P)

Quotes From The Books:
  • Never had I been so aware of the way his dark hair curled 
  • against the back of his tanned neck; the deep brown of his eyes; the whiteness of his teeth; the strength in 
  • those long legs as he knelt down beside me; the tendons in the back of his brown hands; the sinews in his 
  • bare arms, . . .
  • And his voice. His voice! So deep, it seemed to reverberate down my spine. It was Jesse’s voice all right, but suddenly, it was in surround sound, it was THX, it was . . .
  • "I may have been dead for the past hundred and fifty years, Susannah," Jesse said, "but that doesn'tmean I don't know how people say good night. And generally, when people say good night, they keep their tongues to themselves." (Jesse said this to Susannah when she got back from her date with Tad)
  • Jesse was laughing at me now. "Go to bed, Susannah," he said, coming up and giving me a gentle push toward the front steps. "You have had enough scaring for one night.""But you – " "Some other time," he said. He had steered me in the direction of the porch, and now I stood on the lowest step, looking back at him as he laughed at me."Do you promise?" I saw his teeth flash white in the moonlight. "I promise. Good night, querida." "I told you," I grumbled, stomping up the steps, "not to call me that."
  • "Of course, querida," he said, and my heart gave a little flip-flop inside my chest at the caressing tone he always gave that word. I didn't even know what it meant.

(This is not what Jesse looks like but this is how he dresses.)

(Steven Strait is kind of close to how I imagine Jesse.)

(I guess Taylor could also play Jesse.)

Here are a few pictures edited by me:

(This is the perfect Jesse!)

Book Covers for Remembrance by Michelle Madow

I made a couple of covers for the Remembrance cover design contest and I would like you all to take a look at them and tell me which one's the best. Please take out a minute and look at the covers below and then vote in the poll for the best one. If you have any suggestions then feel free to state them in the comments. Your participation would be highly valued! Thanks!

Cover # 1

Cover # 2

Cover # 3

Cover # 4

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday-2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 Book: The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Vol 1 Phantom
Page #: 4

"That left her puzzled for a moment. Then, slowly, putting her cheek against his, she said, “I’m afraid that this is just a dream.”"

This is not my current read but it is in my TBR pile and maybe my next read so here you go! What do you think?

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