My Small Kucing Blog

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Taste By Kate Evangelista Reveal

Great news! Taste by Kate Evangelista will be release in May 2012.

Synopsis :

 At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud

Here is a teaser on what you'll find in the Taste :

I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what I was seeing at first. A statue? ­My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts.  I didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.
“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who the boy was.
He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self-assuredness of someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.
I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled. My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch-black irises, like the other Night Students, but blue ice stared back at me.
“Human,” he whispered.
He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face. He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the way my body shivered.
Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.
“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.
He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and lilting.
Footsteps retreated behind me.
Luka reached out again.
It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled. I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he helped me stand.
“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my heart to the brim with comfort.
I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”
“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”
My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.
From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again. Recognizing the blue-black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta hadn’t come back to finish me off.
Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in his tense muscles vibrated into me.
“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.
I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.
I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.
“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”
“I don’t think so.”
Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”
“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although, she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”
There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t funny.
“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.
Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”
Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.
Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him? I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?
Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic. The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.
Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he said formally.
Luka nodded once.
Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be shared on a later date.

A little about the Author

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

You may follow the author at the following :

Author Website:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Find Taste on Goodreads:
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste:

I leave you here with the Official Trailer of TASTE. Be sure to grab the book in May 2012.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Synopsis at

Death, a sardonic and articulate character who is afraid of humans, narrates this WWII coming-of-age story about faith, love, hope amidst tragedy.

Zusak has created a work that deserves the attention of sophisticated teen and adult readers. Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands.

The child arrives having just stolen her first book –- although she has not yet learned how to read -– and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when she's roused by regular nightmares about her younger brother's death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayor's reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents.

Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesel's story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.

–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA

My Comments :

I picked up this book from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme(SJBEP). It's the community book exchange programme which is held every fortnight on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month at the USJ 2 Community Hall, Subang Jaya.

At the beginning I was a bit confused on the narration of the book. The Prologue confused me. Initially I didn't know who was "talking" on and on about meeting the book thief three times. The beginning sounded very depressing.

As the story unfolds, I was mesmerised. Story is told by Death and his description of the events was very captivating. If you do not have the heart for sad story, then this is not the book for you. The point of view was from the innocent by stander whose words seems very naive. Love the way Death describe Hitler.

Death have a sense of humour too for in page 470, Death said "It kills me sometimes, how people die."

It's War time and yet despite all the chaos in that era, the story was told in a very calm manner. At least that was how it felt for me.

I guess, you'll just have to read it for yourself to get what I mean.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

Synopsis from

After igniting a firestorm of debate across the nation, Amy Chua's daring, conversation-changing memoir is now in paperback.

At once provocative and laugh-out-loud funny, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" set off a global parenting debate with its story of one mother's journey in strict parenting. Amy Chua argues that Western parenting tries to respect and nurture children's individuality, while Chinese parents typically believe that arming children with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence prepares them best for the future. Achingly honest and profoundly challenging, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" chronicles Chua's iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, the Chinese way-and the remarkable, sometimes heartbreaking results her choice inspires.

My Comments :

I have been looking forward to getting my hands on this book since I heard about it.

Started reading it this afternoon and I feel that I had to write down how I feel about it before I forget. getting senile.

I read to page 47 and I text my friend and told her that am not liking this book much. Managed to finished the book somehow

From early on, the author had stressed what she deemed to be a "Chinese Mother" and "Western Mother". A Chinese mother is not necessary of a female and Chinese. It could be of other gender who follows the trait of a Chinese Mother.

It is good to demand excellence from children. I agree with the author to some degree that  "view childhood as a training period. a time to build character and invest for the future." However, I would not go to the extend to rejecting Birthday cards that my child made for me because they are not good enough and that my child could have made a better card if they put 100% effort on it.

I believe that the author is not a monster like some people thought she is. She loves her children very much and wanted them to excel in life which is why she was constantly pushing them to their limit and trying to get them to the best teacher and institution for their lesson in piano and violin.

Nevertheless, I suspected at times, she might have lost her way in her quest to give her child a better life. She is living their life for them instead of letting her children to live their life.

For example in page 213 when she describe that when Lulu decided that she does not want to go to New York every Sunday for violin lesson.."so we gave up our spot in Miss Tanaka's studio - our precious spot with a famous Julliard that had been so hard to get!". It makes me wondered about the "we" and "our" part.

However, I do admire the author for being frank in her book on her child rearing method although I do not fully agree with her methods. 

For me the method is too strict. Not letting the child to attend party and sleepover? Pulling the kid from gym and art class so that the child can have some extra practice session with her violin teacher is a bit extreme to me.

Some parents might demand too much perfection from their children that it might have and adverse effect. This can be seen by Lulu's rebellion. Anyway, from the description, Lulu who is the younger of the two daughters has always been rebellious while her elder sister, Sophia is more mature and biddable.

Maybe I am over sensitive, but I feel that the author seems to be rather smug and racist at some parts of the book. It leaves me with the impression that she feels Chinese method of child rearing is superior than the west.

It is certainly nice to see at the end of the book there is a letter from the author's eldest child, Sophia defending her mother when the author was criticize by some people for what she wrote in this book.

But you know what would have been nicer? It would have been nicer if the letter is from the younger sister, Lulu, who is the more rebellious one.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Best Friend's Girl By Dorothy Koomson

Synopsis :

What would you do if your Best Friend who bedded your fiance and had a daughter by him asked you to adopt her 5 year old daughter in her dying breath?

That was what happen to Kamryn. She found out about her best friend, Adele and her fiance, Nate, two weeks before the wedding supposed to take place. She practically broke off all contacts with the both of them.

She concentrated in her work and hope to climb up high in the corporate ladder.

The out of the blue, she was notified that her best friend is dying and hopes that she would adopt,Tegan, her 5 years old god-daughter.

Would Kamryn be able to accept Tegan as looking at her reminded her about the betrayal? What about the skin color difference between the two of them? What about her career?

My Comment :-

I have seen many praise works by Dorothy Koomson. Hence, I can't resist picking up this book at last years Big Bad Wolf Sale. After all, it was only RM8. The price of a bowl of noodle and a glass of drink. Worth the risk.

Am glad I pick up this book as after reading it, I know that I would like to read more of her works.

Although I like to classify this book as Chick-lit which for me usually translated as no need to think much when reading, but this is not one of those books. It kept me wondering and I was amazed on how Kamryn was able to cope with the life as a "mother" to Tegan.

It was not smooth sailing all the way. The problems 'highlighted' by the author are possible and the solution were logical.

One thing that I did not like about this book is the ending was a bit too tidy.

Overall, I gave it 4 stars out of 5.