Skylark- Skylark#1

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Overall I gave it somewhere between 4-4.5/5.

Summary (according to goodreads)- Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children’s innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret—but can she stay alive long enough to find them?

 

When I started reading this book, I was reminded of the book ‘City of Amber’. Lark lived in a city that’s protected by a Wall. Everyone believed that they were the only humans left and if they leave the city they would die. But, this book is quite different as it revolved around magic. I loved the whole idea of it. At first it was confusing in a good way. It made me want to keep reading, so I would understand. When the Institute kept harvesting Lark, I knew that they’re not good guys. I also think that everyone else always forgets what happened during the harvesting. That’s why no one ever talked about how painful it was. I loved how the ‘outside world’ was described in the book. I thought the idea of the shadow people were very scary but clever. And the whole idea of magic turning them back into humans is just awesome. Lark was alone for quite a while, so there were hints here and there that seemed unimportant at the start. The writing was quite descriptive. I liked how Lark’s reaction to seeing new things were described. Such as the sky, bees etc. It was believable, like it wasn’t too much or too subtle either. The whole use of magic weaved into what I imagined to be the futuristic world, was very creative. So yeah, I quite liked the writing style of this book.

I loved the characters. At the start, Lark seemed to be a kinda weak and needy girl who’s very curious. But then you realise that she’s also very brave. I mean, if I was in her place, I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to escape. I think her adventure outside the city also made her more matured. She learnt how to survive in the wild, which must be very hard. I loved Oren too. He was very mysterious, and he intrigued me. Obviously he had been out in the wild for many years. But how come? How is he still alive, was a mystery. I was very surprised when I learnt the truth. I just never expected THAT. I was saddened when he left without Lark. Well it’s more like she told him to leave. I really, really hope that they’ll end up together in the next book~

There was also a tiny hint that this could’ve been a love triangle with Kris. I mean, Lark trusted him at the start, and he did help her. When they met again, I really thought that might happen. Even from the start, I must admit I didn’t like Kris. Something about him made me dislike him. But I honestly thought he was a good guy! Apparently not though! I was very surprised when he betrayed Lark. Like….wow what just happened?!

So, overall it was a very good book. I can’t wait to read the next book. I really want to know if Lark and Oren are going to meet again, if she finds her brother and many other things!

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Amnesia – Shin

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So, today I will be reviewing a game that I’ve recently started. This game is called Amnesia. It is a Japanese otome game, which is a dating simulation game. Okay if you’ve never heard it before, this must sound really weird. Basically, it’s a visual novel game where you play as the heroine, and you get to choose one of the may good looking guys, and develop a relationship with him. Still sounds weird? Well to be honest, I’ve only recently started playing it too, it is quite interesting I must say. In this game, basically the heroine loses her memory for some reason (it differs for each route) and finds herself stuck with a spirit named Orion. Then after you choose a route, they both try to regain the heroine’s memories. There are 4 initial routes in this game- The Heart World(Shin), The Spade World (Ikki), The Clover World (Kent), and The Diamond World (Touma). Well since I started with Shin, let’s go through that first!~~ Ah! Also, in this game you can choose the name of the heroine, and just to let you know, I named her Ayuka. So then, I’ll be referring to her as Ayuka and not heroine.

Okay. Well Shin is my second favourite character, after Ukyou. He’s quite a blunt guy who at first can appear a bit rude. He even calls Ayuka ‘Baka’ (Idiot) quite a few times throughout the game xDD However, he’s actually really protective and he sincerely loves her. Shin’s goal in his route is to find who’s responsible for Ayuka’s lost of memories, and to prove himself innocent.

So, each route starts with Ayuka meeting a strange spirit in the form of a young boy named Orion. Orion explains to her that she has lost her memories, but he will help her regain them by sticking with her until they do so. Basically, now Orion resides inside Ayuka if that makes sense. No one else would be able to hear him though, except Ayuka. Ayuka then wakes up in the hospital and soon a mysterious guy (who is actually Shin) came in and kissed her. Haha I was so shocked when he did that. I mean I was expecting kiss scenes but within 5 minutes of the game?? *laughs*

Anyway so later on Shin told her that he knows about her memory loss and that he’s her boyfriend. He hopes that she would be able to regain her memories so she can remember him again. Haha it’s really funny though~ He told Ayuka that they’ve been dating for a year, when in reality they’ve only been dating for 3 months!  Sheesh Shin, what were you hoping for when you said that~~ xDDD Oh yeah, did I mention where they worked? Ayuka, Shin and the other 3 guys works part time at ‘Maido no Hitsuji’ which is a maid cafe. If you aren’t familiar with it, basically in Japan they have cafes where the female workers acts as maids and not just a normal waitress. It’s kinda hard to explain actually…..

Anyway, I found Shin’s route really interesting because it is similar to a mystery/detective story. Basically before she lost her memories, Ayuka, Shin and some other people went to a resort for a holiday. There, someone had somehow caused her to hit her head, which was the cause of her amnesia. There are 3 suspects- Shin, Touma and Ayuka’s friend, Sawa. This is because the three of them had spent alone times with her at the time and had the opportunity to do it. So, Shin wants to uncover the truth and prove that they are innocent.

There are quite a lot of memorable parts of this game, but I won’t be covering them all…..so let’s select a few.

The first one is when they went to see fireworks at an abandoned shrine along with Sawa, Touma and Waka (their manager). I found this part interesting because Shin revealed something about his past. He told Ayuka about his father who was a drunk, and one day had accidentally killed someone. Shin was being so sweet here~~ He said how Ayuka and Touma (the three of them are childhood friends) were really good friends to him. He also wants to be different from his father, who is just…..hopeless I must say. So, he wants to work hard so he can succeed. *sniff* I will be rooting for you Shin!! Anyway, I thought that it was just so sweet that Shin trusted Ayuka enough to tell her about his father.

The second one occurred when they went back to the resort to investigate about Ayuka’s incident. They were there for a few days, but on one of the nights, Sawa was attacked by someone which alarmed Shin. He then decides to have Ayuka room with him for the night to protect her. Haha don’t worry, there’s not alternative intention here~ xDD Anyway in the room Shin told Ayuka to sleep and said that he’ll stay awake to keep watch and protect her. My, he’s so protective it was so cute!~~~ ><
Ayuka then went up to him and asked he was scared. I was wondering what he’ll say and at first he called her an idiot again xD But then after awhile, Shin said how he’s scared of her being hurt again and that he’ll definitely protect her. Ahhh what a good boyfriend he is~~~~

The third moment I chose was when Shin, Ayuka and Touma went out to the park. I chose this moment because it was hilarious. So, the three of them were playing paper-scissors-rock and the loser will get hit with a stick by the other two. Anyway, Touma and Shin were certainly hitting each other extremely hard based on their reactions. Haha they were acting like little children fighting over a cookie or something (In this case I would say it’s Ayuka they’re fighting about ^.^;;;;;) . It was so ridiculous but funny! Also, there was a time when Ayuka lost. Orion was worried because the two guys have been hitting each other really hard, and they might hurt her. So, Touma went to hit her…….and he hit her softly, which made Orion relieved. Then he said something like since Shin is her boyfriend, then he won’t hit her hard. Think again Orion. Haha!! It turns out he hit her hard enough to for Orion to say out loud that it hurt. And then, Shin said that she should be thankful that he only used one hand when he used two hands on Touma. Hahahaha Shin~~~~ you are so childish!! ^o^

Anyway, so those are a few of my favourite scenes. Hmm…..also this game has different ending, depending how well you played it. There’s a ‘Good Ending’, a ‘Normal Ending’ and a ‘Bad Ending’. So I’ll also be talking about each of those endings. Therefore if you don’t want to read spoilers, then I suggest you don’t read them. So, here they are~~~~

Good Ending

So, it is revealed that the one who cause Ayuka to lose her memory was Touma. Sheesh that guy really creeps me out! I hate him ><
Apparently Touma has always liked her since when they were kids, but Ayuka only had eyes for Shin. When they were at the resort, Ayuka fell and Touma had helped her. However her vision was blurry and she kept calling him “Shin”. He got really angry and pushed her away, causing her to hit her head. Man I’m glad it wasn’t Shin after all and not Sawa either. I liked Sawa, she’s a good friend ^^
Well Shin and Ayuka confronted Touma about it and at first Touma asked why Shin thinks it’s him. Shin then replied how Touma had asked Ayuka about her head wound after her release from the hospital. However, only her arm was visibly seen in bandages since her head wound wasn’t visible. I think it might be because of her hat or something. Anyway, Shin said that the only person other than them who could’ve known is the culprit himself. That’s why Shin started suspecting Touma as the culprit. Wow Shin, I was amazed when you said that~~ good job!! ^o^ Shin also asked Ayuka to remember and eventually she did. She revealed that yes, Touma was the culprit. I knew it!!!!! After she regained her memory, Orion also left, as he wasn’t needed anymore. ORION!!!!!! I’ll seriously miss him~~~
Anyway, so Touma then apologized (in which Shin didn’t accept) and said that he’ll give himself up to the police. Good on ya Touma, I’m glad you’ll do that. The three of them also remembered a scene in their childhood where Ayuka promised Shin that she’ll marry him in the future. Actually, Touma was there too, but was ignored by the other two. Ugh, I felt a bit bad then……

But anyway!!! The next day the two are taking a walk and Ayuka asked if she can hold his hand. At first he refused as he said that it’ll make them look like children and it’s embarrassing. But then, he grabbed her hand and he was blushing! Haha Shin you’re so cute!! Shin then said that he really likes her, that he loves her. And he adds by asking whether that’s enough while blushing still. Pffft~~~~
Ayuka seems to also think that it’s cute and funny since she laughed and replied that she loves him too. The scene ends with them holding hands, and looking really happy (As shown in the pic on the right). Ahh~~ I was so happy when I got this ending~~ ^o^

NORMAL ENDING 

In this ending Ayuka and Shin still confronts Touma about the incident. However, the difference is that she refused to remember what happened. I got really annoyed then, seriously don’t protect a guy like him!!!!! Anyway, so the revelation part ends with Touma saying that he’ll probably never see them again. I was relieved for that, nevertheless.

Anyway so 2 weeks later Ayuka and Shin are studying together. Then suddenly Shin stood up and hugged her. He said that Ayuka doesn’t completely love him and that if they break up then it might be better. I got a bit panicked since I really didn’t want them to break up!!!!! Fortunately though Shin then said that he’ll never give her up and he’ll definitely steal her away. So he asked her to wait for him. In which, she replied that she’ll be waiting. Ahhh!!!~~ so sweet~ Although this one wasn’t as good as the good ending, it was still a really sweet ending. And besides all hope is not lost still Shin will definitely steal Ayuka away eventually!!~~ ^o^

BAD END 1

Ugh…..I hate this ending so much that I avoided it. So unfortunately (Actually, fortunately), I don’t know exactly what happens. I only know so much from what I’ve read about it. Basically throughout the game Ayuka doesn’t trust Shin and until the end she thinks that Shin is the culprit. Instead, Ayuka chose to trust Touma instead. Bad decision lady!!!

Bad decision indeed, since Touma then gave her a drink which he had actually drugged. As Ayuka drank it, she started feeling dizzy which made Orion also panic. Yeah since she didn’t regain her memory, Orion is still there in this ending. Well the last thing she saw is Touma, saying that he’ll give her a never ending dream in which she won’t be able to wake up from.

………….yeah you can see why I avoided it.

BAD END 2

This ending happens in the middle of the game when they all went back to the resort to investigate. First, there’s a character that you need to know about. His name is Ukyou, and as I said earlier he’s my favourite character! However if you don’t know this game at all….then you won’t understand why I like him I suppose. Not until later anyway. Basically, he’s a mysterious character who somehow seems to know Ayuka well, although she doesn’t know him. He also has a double personality although he remains a mystery until all the routes have been completed.

Anyway in this end, when Sawa was attacked, Ayuka chose to room with Ukyou instead. By the way I knew this was coming so I chose it on purpose since I was curious…hehe
Well in the room , Ukyou then started talking about how this is a bad idea and that he’s dangerous and she shouldn’t be around him. Of course, this made Ayuka really confused. Ayuka and Orion are worried and were thinking that they should leave after all. However, it’s too late!!! Ukyou turns around, revealing his second personality, which I must say has a really scary face, and was holding a knife. He then stabbed her, causing the scene to turn red! Uh yeah, I was surprised. But then it cleared, and Ukyou’s face appeared again. He still had that creepy grin, goodness. Then he said “Sayounara” (Goodbye) and kills her. In which, the scene turns completely red again…………..

So, that was Shin’s route which I really enjoyed. I found it really interesting, and I really liked Shin’s personality. He was so protective which was nice. Anyway, the next route is The Spade World- Ikki’s route!~ ^^

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

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So, this is one of my favourite series. I find steampunk really interesting with its mix of Victorian world and the modern world. This series, is an example of one which really held my interest. Hmm unfortunately this review isn’t very long sorry. I was struggling to not give away too much so yeah~~ ^.^;;;;;

If you don’t know, the first book is called ‘The Girl in The Steel Corset’. It’s a story about a girl named Finley who has a double personality. When she’s angry or terrified, her “other side” appears, and she is violent and incredibly strong. One day, her master attacked her and she ran away after knocking him out. She was then found by the Duke of Greythorne- Griffin King. Griffin also has a special power and he helps her combine her two personalities. Other main characters are Sam, Emily and Jasper.

Anyway, in this book, the group travels to New York to save Jasper from a dangerous group. Jasper is held there against his will as the man is controlling Jasper’s love interest- Mei. Mei is wearing a clockwork collar (as shown in the pic) which will be tightened if Jasper does anything wrong.

Well, I hope those little summaries did not give the story away. I liked this book because it’s interesting and quite exciting. It is also set in the Victorian era, which I totally LOVE! The girl Finley is a strong female character as well. This is good, because I really hate weak female characters who can only plead for help. Griffin is also really cool! In fact, he’s my fav character in this story. Even though he’s a Duke, he’s not overly arrogant in regard to his wealth. Well he is a bit arrogant, but what man isn’t? Haha 😀  I also love his power. I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s just really cool! This book particularly, has shown development in the characters. It’s like they’re on a journey to figure out who they are as a person, especially for Finley. I also love the villains in this book. They are interesting and you can’t help but think they’re cool even though they’re evil. They’re not over-the-top evil like in some stories, but they’re still evil, if you get what I mean.

Anyway, if you love romance, adventure, and interesting powers, definetly give this book a try. It’s totally worth it! I really can’t wait for the third book!

 

Aside

Kingdom Hearts

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So, this is one of my favourite games out there! I first played it like…..4 years ago actually. But, there are other installments that have been released after this one so even now I’m still playing one of those installments. I just love the characters in this series, the plot line and more importantly the gameplay~

Story: The story of Kingdom Hearts starts at a place called Destiny Islands. In this place, three best friends lived, Sora, Riku and Kairi. The three of them are building a raft, wanting to leave their island and explore the outside world. One day however, strange dark creatures attacked the island and destroyed a lot of things. The main character Sora rushed to find his two friends and found Riku. Riku asked him to come with him, but before Sora could take his hand, Riku was swallowed by the darkness and Sora was too. Strangely enough in Sora’s hand a strange weapon appeared in the shape of a key- it’s called a Keyblade. Sora then found himself transported into a strange town and met Donald and Goofy. They informed him about the keyblade and the Heartless- the dark creatures that attacked his island. Donald and Goofy was given a task by their King- King Mickey- to protect the keybalde wielder which turned out to be Sora. The trio then agrees to travel together, in a quest to find Sora’s friends Riku and Kairi, and save the worlds from falling into darkness…

Main Characters- 

Sora: 

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Sora is the main character in this series. His name means ‘sky’ and he’s a cheerful and happy-go-lucky person. Although Sora is not my favourite character, He is still quite an admirable character. What I liked the most of his personality is the trust he had for his friends. Even though his best friend Riku had attacked him, Sora still trusted him and did his best to save him. I also liked how Sora doesn’t get jealous of his friends. Well perhaps a little after all, but he certainly controlled it well. I mean throughout the game it was shown that Riku was the stronger of the two, however Sora doesn’t show his jealousy towards Riku. In fact it was shown that Sora had the stronger heart, hence allowing him to wield the keyblade. It was after all revealed that Riku was the true keyblade wielder. Sora was also persistent in doing everything he could to find Riku and Kairi. He even gave up his heart so that he was able to save Kairi.

Other than that, Sora is quite funny as he often jokes with Donald and Goofy. He also makes friends rather easily as he seems to attract people with his bubbly personality. This was clearly shown as he made many friends in the worlds he visited. Of course I was overjoyed when I saw Squall/Leon and Cloud! ^o^ (They are characters from the Final Fantasy series)

Riku:

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 Riku!!!!~~ Now, Riku is my favourite character in this series. His name means ‘land’ which explains his personality really. He’s kind and protective towards his friend and not to mention, he’s also *cough* good-looking *cough*. Anyways, unfortunately Riku was separated from Sora and was found by the evil Maleficent. Yes if you know your Disney fairytales she should sound VERY familiar. Have I mentioned that there are a lot of Disney characters that appears here??

Well Riku was tricked by Maleficent into thinking that Sora had betrayed him and Kairi. Therefore Riku was somewhat an antagonist here…although not the main one. Never fear though! He’s really not evil, trust me!! He was merely used by that evil witch and Ansem! Later on Riku realizes his mistake and helps Sora defeat Ansem, who’s the actual main antagonist here.

I liked Riku because of his protectiveness towards his friends. Yes I know, he fought against Sora but he was tricked. Riku was shown to try his best to save Kairi (though he shouldn’t really she’s completely useless). His actions often were taken because he believes it would protect his friends. In this game he thought that Sora betrayed him and Kairi, that’s why he acted the way he did.  Hmm am I doing a good job of explaining his good qualities? Anyway, he does become even better in the later games. In those games, Riku felt guilty for what he did in this game, and tried everything he could to protect his friends, especially Sora. Really, you just can’t dislike him believe me…

Kairi: 

Now Kairi…..ugh I hate her. She’s Sora and Riku’s best friend and unfortunately she’s….totally useless. I suppose I should appreciate her more, but I really din’t like girls that do nothing and can only be saved all the time. Well anyway after their island is destroyed, Kairi is also transported to another world and ended up with Maleficent. It turns out she was one of the Princesses of Light. Oh yeah, the other princesses are the Disney princesses like Aurora and Snow White (by the way, I hate Snow White with a burning passion!). The princesses are needed for Ansem to open Kingdom Hearts. Yeah you may be wondering what that is, but it’s kinda hard to explain. Besides, even until this day I’m not 100% sure what it is. I think it would be fully explained in KH 3. Well the point is both Sora and Riku are trying to save her so yeah. By the way, her name means ‘ocean’ I believe. Kinda ironic since the ocean separates the land and the sky ><

Ansem:

Now, Ansem is the main antagonist of this series. He’s a mysterious character who had supposedly released the Heartless to the different worlds. His intention is to unlock the door to Kingdom Hearts. Anyway I hate this guy~ How dare he posses Riku! Leave him alone! >< 

His looks doesn’t help either goodness~ Ah he’s also the final boss battle of this game and was a little hard. Although really I must say the hardest boss battle is Riku. That guy is completely awesome as your ally but not when he’s against you. Definitely not…. Oh my why am I talking about Riku here? Hehehe…

Gameplay : 

I really like the gameplay of this game. Basically you can control Sora and control whatever he does during battle. Unlike some other square enix games, you have total control over Sora which means he can move!! Haha! If you played like…Final Fantasy, you’ll know what I mean ^^

Anyway, Sora fights using a keyblade and you can collect different ones throughout your travel. They get stronger as you go. Also Donald and Goofy fights with you as well. Even though you can’t control them, you can use combos with them which can be quite useful. They also fight independently for example Donald will sometime use ‘Cure’ when your HP (Health Points) is low. Although it can get frustrating and funny sometimes. Why? Well sometimes he just happens to cure me when I chucked a potion at myself. Ended up wasting a potion~ xDD

Worlds:

Also in this series, you travel through different worlds. Many of these worlds are from Disney and will be quite familiar. They were rather interesting, though some of them were ridiculous as well. My favourite world is ‘Twilight Town’ (which comes out in KHII and KH:358/2 Days) and my least favourite is Antlatica

Here are a list of the worlds:

~ Destiny Islands                                                                        ~ Disney Castle

~ Traverse Town                                                                        ~ End of the World

~ 100 Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh)                                     ~ Halloween Town ( Nightmare Before Christmas) 

~ Agrabah (Aladdin)                                                                   ~ Hollow Bastion

~Atlantica (The Little Mermaid)                                             ~ Monstro (Pinocchio)

~Deep Jungle (Tarzan)                                                               ~ Neverland (Peter Pan)

~ Realm of Darkness                                                                   ~ Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland) 

~ Olympus Coliseum (Hercules)

So yeah~ I suppose that sums up this game… It has interesting characters, a nice storyline, nice gameplay and a lot of interesting worlds. Not to forget, a few Final Fantasy characters appeared too which are awesome! Some of these characters are Wakka, Tidus, Cloud, Squall/Leon, Sephiroth, Yuffie and Aerith. Overall it’s a wonderful game and you all should check it out! ^o^

Anna Dressed in Blood – Anna#1

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Rating- 5/5

 Summary (Goodreads) Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story…

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

 I LOVE, LOVE this story! It’s such an unusual story, well for me at least. I don’t usually read horror stories, so I was expecting a lot from this book, and I’m glad that I enjoyed it. The writing style itself was quite simple, but I found that it worked really well with this book. Because it was simple, it was also easier to connect with the story.It was quite scary at parts though, since it’s pretty gruesome. I convinced myself to not read this book at night… 😛

Like, when Cas met the hitchhiker ghost at chapter 1 and then the ghost went crazy? Well, that was quite a scary opening…

 I loved Cas. He was such an interesting character, and I loved the connection he had with Anna. Anna wasn’t like an average ghost. At the start, I thought that she’s just a ghost that Cas is going to kill, and I was wondering how the romance is going to work. But then, when we first met Anna, I realised that she’s more than a mere bloody killer. There’s more to her story, so I was very impressed with it.  Cas was…I guess kind of a closed person. Before this point, he didn’t have any friends, he just used others to get information. He’s also bent in getting revenge for his father, which added more depth into his character. It showed why he chose this path, and the actions he took. I don’t think the characters are very developed yet, but since it’s only the first book, then that’s alright!  

I also really liked the supporting characters. At first I thought that Carmel was going to be one of those super annoying girls, but luckily she’s not! She’s grown on me, and I think Carmel and Thomas would make a cute pair~ :]

 The twist. Oh, the twist. How wonderfully horrible it was. I really didn’t think of it, until I got a bit further into the story. There were more clues dropped in (especially by Anna), and when it happened…I was like- yup, I thought so! But it was quite a nice twist, and yeah…somehow surprising as well. The ending was pretty sad though…~sigh~  But the fact that there’s a second book lifted my hopes. I’m going to find it in my library! HEHEHE XD

 Anyway, I really recommend this book to everyone. It’s wonderful, kinda scary, exciting and original. What more do you want? :]