Monthly Archives: May 2014

The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris

I came upon this title while I was browsing for any good books to read. It didn’t catch my attention at first, but after checking the reviews on Goodreads and figured that the book might suit my taste, I decided to buy a copy from The Book Depository.

Here’s the synopsis from the back cover of the book:

The First Last Kiss coverCan you let go of the past when you know what is in the future?

And when you know that every kiss is a countdown to goodbye?

This is the story of a love affair, of Ryan and Molly and how they fell in love and were torn apart.

The first time Molly kissed Ryan, she knew they’d be together forever. Six years and thousands of kisses later she’s married to the man she loves. But today, when Ryan kisses her, Molly realises how many of them she wasted because the future holds something which neither of them could have ever predicted…

The arrangement of the storyline in this book is surprisingly different from the other books I read. Every chapter is subdivided into three parts. There’s Molly’s narration of the present time, the type of kiss and Molly’s insight on it, and her recollection of an event in the past in which that certain type of kiss happened. The whole story mainly centers on Molly’s life as well as her love life – basically from teenage love to adult love. But what makes this book unique is the way Ali Harris creatively comes up with the different kinds of kisses Molly experiences throughout her life and Ali Harris’ strategic process of delivering the story.

Aside from Molly, readers are also introduced to other characters: Ryan, Casey, Mia, Ryan’s parents, and Molly’s parents. The dynamism in their characterization makes them more realistic and relatable to the readers. They possess distinct personalities – showing their vulnerabilities and strengths – that I can’t help wonder how I would react if I were in Molly’s position and meet people like them. Molly, on the other hand, interests me the most. Throughout the book, readers are able to witness Molly’s life as a teenager up until she becomes an adult. Ali Harris manages to portray Molly realistically with flaws and insecurities and doubts, as well as her growing maturity as she grows older. I could vividly see the gradual change in Molly’s priorities as opposed to her younger self where her teenage unconsciousness overshadows the reality of her current situation.

Seeing how she lives her life pushes me to reflect life in general. I could see how Molly is conflicted with herself as she is torn between attaining her dreams versus spending life with Ryan. Sometimes I feel that Molly tends to become immature with her decision-making. It somehow shows that Molly is trapped between two goals she wants to achieve – two goals that can’t be done at the same time. And this situation often applies to us in reality. More often than not, it’s harder to decide once we’re in that position as we are forced to compromise or sacrifice one over the other.

Although this book entertains me well, it doesn’t have that WOW effect on me. Story wise, I enjoy reading the life of Molly, but the way it’s written sometimes confuses me. The timeline jumps from one period to another, thus, weakening the coherency of the plot. I guess this is one of the reasons why it took me so long to finish the book. But aside from that, I still love how Ali Harris focuses on the different types of kisses Molly encounters and how these kisses affect and define Molly.

The First Last Kiss is a story about kisses, young love, finding hope, friendship, loss, and finding love once again. This book manages to teach me not to take kisses for granted, that every kiss could be cherished. The revelation towards the end definitely helps me gain some insights about life. I look forward to Ali Harris’ next book.


The Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan (Short Story)

Fans of Rick Riordan surely has heard and read of The Percy Jackson and The Kane Chronicles crossover before which involves the encounter of Percy Jackson and Carter Kane in The Son of Sobek. For a short story, The Son of Sobek was written with such an interesting plot that readers would crave for more. Hence, when I found out that Rick Riordan released another short story – now involving Annabeth Chase and Sadie Kane –, I immediately bought a copy from one of our local bookstores. The Staff of Serapis is bundled with the paperback edition of The Mark of Athena.

Here’s the plot description from Goodreads:

The Staff of Serapis coverRiordan has already released a crossover story that involves Percy Jackson meeting Carter Kane from the Kane Chronicles series that involves Egyptian mythology. This short story has been a long time coming for fans, who have been wanting to see the two worlds collide for quite a while.

Luckily, Riordan has been planning more crossover stories like this, the next of which will involve Sadie Kane meeting Annabeth Chase. We definitely can’t wait for that interaction! The reaction to the first crossover story, “Son of Sobek,” was very positive, so we’re sure fans will enjoy the second and third just as much.

In this adventure, Annabeth encounters more oddities in the subway than usual, including a two-headed monster and a younger blond girl who reminds her a little of herself. . . .

First it’s Percy Jackson and Carter Kane, and now it’s Annabeth Chase and Sadie Kane. It’s kind of intriguing to read about two protagonists from two different worlds and backgrounds meeting each other “accidentally” by some mysterious force and have them work together as a team to defeat a villain. In this book’s case, it’s Serapis who they have to fight against. Rick Riordan amazingly crafts a unique story and utilizes a certain god as a mean to intersect the world of Greek and Egyptian mythologies. He surely has an impressive imagination and the way he translates it through his stories keeps readers entertained from beginning until the end.

I love how despite the differences, Rick Riordan is still able to show some similarities in the lives of demigods and magicians. Moreover, Annabeth and Sadie both possess different personalities and yet they team up to defeat Serapis. Along the way, they discover new knowledge and information about each other’s worlds and surprisingly, that doesn’t stop them from being friends in the end. Overall, The Staff of Serapis is another masterpiece of Rick Riordan. Even though the story is short, it still kept me glued to the seat. I would definitely look forward reading about Percy and Annabeth and Carter and Sadie meeting up if ever Rick Riordan will plan to write a story about them.