Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review - Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (Precious Stone Trilogy #3)

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Time Traveling
Format: Paperback (450 pages)
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date:  October 7, 2014
Rating: 3/5
Source: Bought
Get a Copy at: Chapters | Amazon 

Summary from Goodreads: 
Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along. Emerald Green is the stunning conclusion to Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red Trilogy, picking up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

What I Think:

Emerald Green is longer than the preceding books: Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue, and I had high hopes that the author would try to tie up most of the loose ends from the previous book. Emerald Green continued where Sapphire Blue has left off – the mini twist in Gwen and Gideon’s relationship. So I combed through pages to see how the two main characters resolved their conflict. However, to my surprise, it was not what I hope. It seems the author has rushed in the conflict solving situation between Gwen and Gideon – I mean, no girl would forgive such guy by merely a simple one sentence explanation/apology.

I felt that the character development was rather rushed and Gideon is still pretty one dimensional and a jerk from book one till now. I don’t know how Gwen can stand that kind of treatment. I just think the relationship built up between the main characters was a disappointment. In addition, the side character that has been introduced does not play much of a role in the main character’s life but more of a nuisance, for example: Charlotte (who is an annoying Ms Little Perfect), Aunt Glenda, etc etc. Moreover, two new characters have been introduced in Sapphire Blue and the author did not mentioned or drop any hint what role they play in Gwenyth’s life (Raphael and Xemerius). Lesley was the only side character that supports the main character throughout the Trilogy.

I guess I only read this trilogy was because the plot was interesting and have potential. There was a big twist in the story that makes me give this book a higher rating than the previous two books. However, how it was accomplished was such a disappointment. The whole thing with Lucy and Paul and their true motives was explained well, but I thought the reunion should be more in-depth, but sadly, the author had cut out the important part and left the reader’s imagination run wild.
I felt that this book have more filler than substance which is a disappointment because it has so many potential. There are MANY instances where the author can elaborate instead of cutting the scenes. It seems like she doesn’t want to write such emotional scenes. 

One thing I don't understand - if they can go back in time to save James, which they didn't go back in time to save Lucas?! Like Priority much?!?!??!

The movie: So I watched Rubinrot (Ruby Red) and Saphirblau (Sapphire Blue) and was surprised at how well the screen adaptations were. In fact they are EVEN BETTER THAN THE NOVELS which was very shocking because normally, the screen adaptation does not do the book justice. Yes, the movies are way different in a sense that they do not follow the book exactly. There are events from the second book that is in the first movie and the MAJOR PLOT TWIST from Emerald Green was portrayed in the second movies. However, I thought that the movie did a good job at tying up everything and made the events to have senses AND each scene have a meaning to it.
Overall, Just watch the movie. I only bought the last two books because I already have the first one on my shelves and I am OCD that my trilogy should not be incomplete on my bookshelf.


About Kerstin Gier
Website | Goodreads

Review - Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier (Precious Stone Trilogy #2)

 Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Time Traveling
Format: Paperback (354 pages)
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date:  May 28, 2013
Rating: 2.5/5
Source: Bought
Get a Copy at: Chapters | Amazon 

Summary from Goodreads:

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

What I Think:

I decided to give this Trilogy another chance after I saw this book on sale at the local bookstore. Like many of the second books in a trilogy series, Sapphire Blue's was rather slow, yet eventful. There are lots of questions raised while reading this book and I was looking forward to have those questions answered.

Sapphire Blue started off where Ruby Red left off, sort off. The relationship between Gwenyth and Gideon (the male lead) was still unclear at this point. There was not a build up of characters relationship and in terms of character development, there were close to none. Gwenyth's character did grow and developed a little bit as the reader can relate to the things she was going through and sympathized with her, but it was mostly her motives that kept me wanting to read more. Gideon's character on the other hand, was still flat as ever. I wasn't sure of his motives till the very end where there was a slight twist of his characters which I HOPE the author will explained it more in the last book in the trilogy, Emerald Green. Otherwse, I think Gwenyth's character was poorly developed - I mean do girls that age act that way? Love and hate relationship between the lead female and the lead male is rather cliche don't you all think?

As for Lucy and Paul, I enjoyed how the book started with them and also ended with them. It keeps the readers wondering what is going to happen to them and I hope there will  be more explanations about them once I read Emerald Green, cause their mysteries are still unsolved to the characters at this moment.

Although the plot has potentials, which is solely the reasons why I am even reading this book, I felt that I would have enjoyed it more if the author described and put more effort into character development. I mean the side characters are flat as ever. There was an introduction to new characters which I felt was important to the story and to the main character, Gwenyth, there were much explanations as to why they are there.

Since I already read the second book, I might as well read the last book. Although the rating is still the same as what I gave Ruby Red, 2/5, I will add 0.5 for slight character development and I hope the author explains and don't let out any loose ends on the last book.

I watched the movie, Sapphire Blue, although a lot of things were change to make the movie adaptation, I enjoyed the movie much more because the character isn't THAT flat. So i recommend people to watch it.


  • “The raven red, on ruby pinions winging its way between the worlds, hears dead men singing. It scarce knows it strength, the price it scarce knows, but its power will arise and the Circle will close.
  • “The lion-as proud as the diamond bright,
    Though the spell may be clouding that radiant light-in the death of the sun what's amiss will then mend, while the raven is dying discloses the end.”


About Kerstin Gier
Website | Goodreads

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Precious Stone Trilogy #1)

Picture from Amazon
 Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Time Traveling
Format: Paperback (352 pages)
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date:  May 22, 2012
Rating: 2/5
Source: Bought
Get a Copy at: Chapters | Amazon  | Barnes & Nobles

Summary from Goodreads:

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

What I Think:

I really don't know how to begin reviewing this story. The prologue was super interesting, yet however, it was not told by main protagonist herself which is strange and made the reader wants to find out why. 

I can see this book, or triology has a good potential, however, it was really disapointing. The whole book seemed like a long, long introduction to the story. There weren't much interesting event that capture my attention. In addition, I felt that it was super slow pace. Nothing was described in detail and the author just switch her point of focus every so often.

There were not much character development and I have no idea what are the motives and purposes behind each character. I felt that there way too many dialogues which act as filler of the story. Normally, in other books, dialogues serve to help reader understand the personalities of the characters, however, I found the characters, including the protagonist are just big whiny brats. 

It was not only till I got through 3/4 of the book, the intriguing feeling came back, unfortunately, it only lasted 2 pages. There was a snippet of the second book which seemed interesting, HOWEVER, I am not sure if I want to continue with the trilogy because there were many moments it gave me some hope that finally, an interesting scene was coming up, but nope.

Before reading this book, there were so many good reviews on it (rated 4.5/5 everywhere - goodreads, amazon, etc). So I decided to give it a try. After reading it, I cannot but help to wonder if all the online reviews are fake. Absolute waste of time.

I really don't know guys.. Should I give the next book a chance????? Sigh


"The first pair Opal and Amber are,
Agate sings in B flat, the wolf avatar,
A duet-solutio! - with Aquamarine.
Mighty Emerald next, with the lovely Citrine.
Number Eight is digestio, her stand is Jade fine.
E major's the key of the Black Tourmaline,
Sapphire sings in F major, and bright is her sheen.
Then almost at once comes Diamond alone,
Whose sign of the lion as Leo is known.
Projectio! Time flows on, both present and past.
Ruby red is the first and is also the last.”


About Kerstin Gier
Website | Goodreads

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review - Requiem by Lauren Oliver (Delirium #3)

Picture from GoodReads

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Format: Hardcover (391 pages)
Publisher: 3Harper Teen
Publication Date: March 5th 201
Rating: 4/5
Source: Library Loan
Get it at: Chapters | Amazon

Summary from Goodreads:

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.
My Feelings and Whatnot:

Like the two predecessor of Requiem (Delirium and Pandemonium), the writing quality was magical and enchanting. Although the pace of the story did not pick up until the last 50 pages, the quality of writing just kept me reading and reading.

That being said, there are things that are quite disappointing. I was happy that the author brought back Alex again, and from the very beginning I knew that Alex and Lena were meant for each other. However, the interaction between these two seemed to be very lacking. Because of that, I enjoyed the moments that Julian shared with Lena more. In Requiem, the character development that we see the most is Julian. In contrast to Lena, her character development just went a few step back. Here, she appears to be a whiny little kid and leading Julian on. Aside from the main characters, or should I say, love triangle, we get to see Hana and Grace too. I'm happy that Hana redeemed herself but then I can't bring myself to hate her after reading her back story (Hana, Delirium #1.5). I'm so glad that she made appearance. I'm also happy about the reunion about Lena and Gracie. What bothers me is that Oliver has not explained the other people mentioned in the trilogy. What happened to Jenny? What happened to Carol? What happened to Annabel? I think a lot of characters need recognition as well as they played a vital part in the protagonist's life.

The plot of the story is quite well planned. Although the moral of the story is to fight what you believe in, and tear down any wall of insecurity, the ending of the trilogy did not do justice. The ending is just plain opened. Yes, we do see Lena grow up and learn what's right and wrong, but the main event of the story didn't have an end. To me the ending was not wrapped up and I was actually waiting for another chapters.

I would have give this book a 3/5, however, the quality of writing just bump up a score.



  • “You know you can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes, right?”
  • “This is what amazes me: that people are new every day. That they are never the same. You must always invent them, and they must always invent themselves, too.”  
  • “There are some losses we never get over.”


About Lauren Oliver

Website | Blog | Twitter  | Goodreads

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review: Reached by Ally Condie (Matched #3)

 Genre: Young Adult,Dystopian, Romance
Format: Hardcover (512 pages)
Publisher: Penguins
Publication Date:  November 13th 2012
Rating: 4/5
Source: Library Loan
Get a Copy at: Chapters | Amazon  | Barnes & Nobles

Summary from Goodreads:

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.
What I think:

I was a bit disappointed with Matched Crossed because of the clichés and slow character development. However, Ally Condie`s work have a lot of potentials, so I decided to finish the trilogy afterall. Reached did redeem itself with its twists and beautiful writing style. The third book of the Match trilogy has indeed showcased the evolution of the author`s writing.

Reached in Cassia, Ky, and Xander`s POVs which sometimes is frustrated and interesting at the same time. There were moments that I did not want to switch point of views because I was too drawn into one character and had to dread reading another two chapters just to get back to the point of view I really enjoyed at that particular time. However, luckily, all three POVs were full of surprises so that dread feeling was not as big as I have anticipated.  

The three endings, since Reached was told in three different perspectives, were great. Although, there are some open-ended points, such as Xander`s case, I did not mind as much as I should. Some parts were bittersweet which was good because not everything is happily-ever-after as there are losses and sacrifices to be remembered.  

My only problems with this book is that the first 100 pages or so, there seemed to have no plots. The 
thoughts of all three characters seemed to be all mixed up at one times. I don`t particularly enjoyed alternating POVs as I got so confuse on who is talking and had to re-read the chapters to understand the event fully. They kept talking about the pilot, which to me, is a bit too repetitive, unless the repetitiveness has a symbolism.

Reached was a good conclusion of the Matched Trilogy. Many of the questions were answers, yet there still a few points that left the readers wondering. The writing was beautiful; however, I think it would be more extraordinary if the layout of the book was more organized. I recommend this book to the people that started reading the second installment and want to see who Cassia ends with or Xander`s fate. In addition, I think this book is perfect for the ones that just starting to read YA dystopian novels as the writing style is simple enough to understand. However, overall, this series is an okay read.



  • “I wish I could have one without the other, but that's the problem with being alive. You don't usually get to choose the measure of suffering or the degree of joy you have.”
  • “In a story, you can turn to the front and begin again and everyone lives once more. That doesn't work in real life.”
  • "There is ebb and flow. Leaving and coming. Flight and fall. Sing and silent. Reaching and reached.” 


About Ally Condie
Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads