Saturday, September 29, 2012

REVIEW: ONCE BY ANNA CAREY.

Title: Once
Author: Anna Carey
Series: Eve #2
Edition: Paperback, International
Publication: January 1st 2012 by HarperCollins
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 354
Genre: Dystopia, Romance

Synopsis:

In the second book of this thrilling dystopian adventure, Eve will come face to face with the king who has been ruthlessly hunting her and learn the shocking truth about who she really is.

Having managed to evade the soldiers hunting her, Eve finally reached Califia, a haven for women determined to live outside the oppressive rule of the King of New America. However, Eve's freedom came at a price: she was forced to leave Caleb, the boy she loves, wounded and alone at the city gates. When Eve learns that Califia may not be as safe as it seems she sets out once again in the hopes of being with Caleb only to fall into a trap that sends her to the City of Sand and directly into the hands of the King.

Once at the stronghold of the King, Eve will uncover the real reason he was so intent on her capture, and the unbelievable role he intends her to fill. When she is finally reunited with Caleb inside the city walls, Eve will risk everything to be with him.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:


THERE MIGHT BE SOME SPOILERS. BE WARNED.

Several months of waiting for Eve's sequel which is this book, Once, has tormented me big time. Eve has become one of my favorite series and ending it with such cliffhanger made me anxious to read its finale, Rise. Reading it gave me shivers because is the book is a knock-out and totally worth the wait.

Few months after Caleb left Eve to Califia, she tries coping with her life away from him and believes she's safe outside the King's radar. Though she manages, Eve's always longing for Caleb, wishing they'd be together even if it means having a rough life running in the wilds. Overhearing some girls premeditating how she would be turned over to the king once their location is found and that Caleb is alive, she grabbed her chance of finding him, only to be caught and brought to the City of Sands without knowing what awaits her.

What happened after Eve was brought to the king was something I didn't see coming. Honestly. That was something I wasn't really prepared for. I was so surprised seeing how her life dramatically changed that she took everything she have learned level-headed. She could've used her newly acquired power over the people of New America but she didn't. Instead, she remained herself and didn't stop thinking about her friends and Caleb. She continued to search for him in her own little ways and little did we know that fate would lead her to him. This is a dystopian world and you can see so much of it through Anna Carey's spectacular world building and the right amount of romance in it, which doesn't have an annoying love triangle, perfectly fits with the story it tells.

I adore Eve much more because she's so focused. She definitely knows what she wants and nothing in the story ever changed her mind, specially about Caleb. Unlike some female characters I've read before, Eve isn't easily bribed with anything grand thinking what she have been through. She also still managed to think about her friends and tried her best to save everyone she loves even if it costs her. Though her character is is typical, I love it because she's brave, smart and kind, so as Caleb. Its like no matter what fate throws at them, they would always find a way to each other holding the same intense love. I also love how they try to protect each other and how they communicate through codes despite the desperate situation they're in. It's a love story I think I haven't read before. Yes, it's a love story but it is something just perfect for my taste.

Its fun reading Once. It definitely transported me into the New America world and for 8 hours, I was so into it I completely forgot where I was! The pull is so strong that it feels as if I was seeing everything through the character's eyes and that's one thing that made this series my favorite: the story transports me.

""You do anything for the person you love,” she said finally. "And then when you don’t think you can give any more of yourself, you do. You keep going. Because it would kill you not to.""

Thursday, September 27, 2012

REVIEW: CITY OF LOST SOULS BY CASSANDRA CLARE.

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Edition: Paperback
Publication: May 8, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 540
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal

Synopsis:
The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

This was gifted to me by now an ex-boyfriend and we got it a few days after the release. I didn't read it right away because I forgot what transpired during City of Fallen Angels and it would be awesome if I reread at least the last book. Four months after, here I am, gushing while writing my review.

I honestly don't know how to write a review for this book. This has been saved on my drafts for almost a week now. The story if I may say focused more on Jace and Sebastian. Jace has been missing after Simon killed Lilith with his Mark of Cain rune in the last book. And this one tells what happened to Jace.

Cassandra Clare did another amazing job with City of Lost Souls. I loved everything about it specially how she manage to write the story with an intense back to back story telling. How she basically wrote one action-filled part of it and then just jumps over to another one and then leaves you reading faster so you could continue where you previously stopped. I remember even exclaiming so loud because Cassandra knows how to perfectly leave you with a cliffhanger chapter or cliffhanger book.

Simon still have his cute sense of humor and kindness but he's very much mature and even braver. So as Isabelle. But aside from Simon summoning a clever angel, my favorite part is where Magnus did the right thing with Alec because I hated how Alec is all jealous and selfish. So in your face Alec!

This wouldn't be a long review and if you haven't notices yet, I just wrote those striking moments of the book that I loved. I just want to guys to find for yourselves why I loved those or why I haven't written anything about Jace because he's not really himself in the story.

City of Heavenly Fire, why 2014? Why do you have to torment us this way Cassandra? Why?

"Blood isn’t love."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (07): REQUIEM BY LAUREN OLIVER.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.

*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*


Expected Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Add to Good Reads
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. Of Pandemonium, ALA Booklist noted that “like all successful second volumes, this expands the world and ups the stakes, setting us up for the big finale.”

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 fiancรฉe of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Delirium Series became one of my favorite books of all time. I just couldn't wait for the final book to arrive. Am excited to see how this awesome story would end and what will happen to the Lena's love story and friendship with Hana!

What is your pick this week?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NEW ON THE SHELF (30): THE AMAZING STACK EDITION.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that showcases newly acquired books or goodies we bought, received or borrowed during the week.
*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*

September is almost done and I could say that this is a month full of fun! Few special events happened like MIBF and my birthday! I honestly couldn't wait for October to arrive and look forward to attending/celebrating special events again and for another round of book shopping! I've now set a monthly budget for books because if I don't, I tend to hoard! And speaking of book hoarding, here's my haul for the month. Am happy that I was able to follow my limit of 5 books a month. But next month it would be different. I'll be setting 1500PHP (roughly 36$) or less a month! Wish me luck!


BOUGHT: (Fullybooked MIBF Booth)
๐Ÿ”ผ Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
๐Ÿ”ผ Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore
๐Ÿ”ผ Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins
๐Ÿ”ผ Hereafter (Hereafter #1) by Tara Hudson
๐Ÿ”ผ Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini

GIFTED:
๐Ÿ”ผ Carnival of Souls (Carnival of Souls #1) by Melissa Marr

Thank you Fullybooked and brother dear!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (06): CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE BY CASSANDRA CLARE.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.

*04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*


Expected Release Date: March 19, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Add to GoodReads
In Book 6: City of Heavenly Fire, Jace, Clary and their friends are drawn inexorably into a war that pits Heaven against Hell, angels against demons—a war that threatens to destroy our world entirely if the Shadowhunters can't end it first.

Added from GR (04/12/2016)

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

As you can see, this one doesn't have its cover nor summary yet and I have no idea when it would be updated. Am currently reading City of Lost Souls and am 10 chapters in. Yes, this series is one of my favorites that I even had one rune tatttoed. Its really making me anxious that this one will be released after 2 long years. I guess that would be enough time to re-read books 1-5, don't you think?

What did you pick this week?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

REVIEW: THE ALCHEMYST BY MICHAEL SCOTT.

Title: The Alchemyst
Author: Michael Scott
Series: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: May 22, 2007 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 375 pages
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Category: Adventure, Mythology, Fantasy, Middle Grade

Synopsis:

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
Amazon ๐Ÿ”ผ Barnes and Noble ๐Ÿ”ผ Book Depository


Whenever I visit book stores, I always get a glimpse of this book. I remember grabbing one, staring at the cover then reading the summary but I always put it back and go to another shelf. I've been ignoring this for years until one day, I decided to grab a copy and now I regret not giving attention to it for the longest time.

The story is just basically about fifteen year old twins Sophie and Josh Newman. Sophie works at Perenelle Flemings' coffee shop and Josh works at Perenelle's husband, Nick Fleming's book store across the street. One afternoon, mysterious John Dee attacked the bookstore in search of the Book of Abraham the Mage. It contains codex on how to make the Elder Race rule the world once more then the twins witnessed something that would change their lives forever - magic.

This book is one of those which attempts to retell mythology and history with a light fantasy approach and have perfected it. After books such Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I never thought that there is something as great as this one out there. The world building is something you could easily picture and the characters are definitely relatable. You wouldn't have a hard time reading this one because of the delightful way it was written.

Sophie and Josh obviously are young characters which is why most of their intake about each situation is tolerable. I didn't have issues with these cute characters but they aren't my favorites. It goes down to Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Flamel. They are just phenomenal. I liked how these couple grow on each chapter and how the story deepens each time. From being an alchemyst to meeting legendary characters are just mind blowing. Just after I Googled Great Fire of London and Great Famine of Ireland, I couldn't help but be amazed by Michael Scott. It is not always that I get to be completely dazed with authors after J.K Rowling, Rick Riordan and Dan Brown. You'd feel through his characters how hard he really researched about history and I think that's one of the strengths of the book aside from its alluring cover. The only thing I find ridiculously funny in the story is how can someone, who have lived over 600 years, doesn't know how to drive? The least you could find time for is to learn how to drive? But putting the book down as been a struggle because I wanted to finish it immediately. What's the worse part is not having its sequel books right away.

I just couldn't express how happy I am that this one exceeded my expectations. Its a light and fun read with an extra-ordinary adventure that would make you want for more!


"At the heart of every legend there is a grain of truth."
"But what science cannot understand, it dismisses."
"Magic is really only the utilization of the entire spectrum of the senses. Humans have cut themselves off from their senses. Now they see only a tiny portion of the visible spectrum, hear only the loudest of sounds, their sense of smell is shockingly poor and they can only distinguish the sweetest and sourest of tastes."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MANILA INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2012.

Where all other bookish explosions, shenanigans and fun stuff happen!
The 33rd Manila International Book Fair is a yearly event that showcases exhibitors nationwide to promote reading and books from local authors and publishers. Book enthusiasts all over the country gather to show support to our exhibitors, to meet fellow book lovers and to enjoy discounted books and freebies being given away. The event houses different book genres to cater everybody's needs and there's also a program for everyone who's interested to watch/learn. This is my first time participating in such events and I've never seen so much books in my life, from religious to text books to novels! And it will be from September 12-16!

Gorgeous free bookmark passes I got from FullyBooked Mall of Asia branch!
At SMX lobby.
I was a bit disoriented because I wasn't really feeling well and was completely overwhelmed by those hundreds of booths around me. And here are some of the exibitors:

FullyBooked
NBS
Roaming around these exhibits made my unwell feelings aggravated so I stayed at Fullybooked's then made a lot of thinking on what books to get because as you all know, I should still be on a book buying ban but since my birthday is coming up soon, I put it aside for the mean time.

 
My purchases from FullyBooked came with a nice shopping bag!
And after 30 minutes or so of debating with myself, here are my hauls from the event:
Book hauls from FullyBooked
๐Ÿ”ผ Fire (Graceling Realm #2) by Kristin Cashore
๐Ÿ”ผ Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins
๐Ÿ”ผ Hereafter (Hereafter #1) by Tara Hudson
๐Ÿ”ผ Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Josephine Angelini
    So there's my awesome first MIBF escapade! I sure did have a lot of fun and as early as now, I would be saving for the 34th MIBF next year!

    Did you attend?

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    REVIEW: WITHER BY LAUREN DESTEFANO.

    Title: Wither
    Author: Lauren DeStefano
    Series: The Chemical Garden #1
    Edition: Paperback
    Publication: March 22nd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
    Source: Bought from FullyBooked
    Pages: 358
    Genre: Dystopia, Romance

    Synopsis:

    By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males born with a lifespan of 25 years, and females a lifespan of 20 years--leaving the world in a state of panic. Geneticists seek a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Yet her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement; her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next; and Rhine has no way to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive.

    Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

    PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

    It was so difficult buying Wither because book stores here did not have it in stock I think at least four to five months counting from the day I inquired about it. And when I finally got it, I didn't doubt it being a good dystopian book! I patiently waited for its scheduled reading date and my high expectations didn't falter until yesterday when I finished it.

    Lauren DeStefano's debut novel is beautiful yet dark. It started when Rhine, together with Cecily and Jenna, was taken then sold by the Gatherers to be brought to Florida and be in a polygamous marriage with Governor Linden. Since they were like living time bombs (men dies at twenty-five and women at twenty after a modern medicine research gone wrong), Housemaster Vaughn, Linden's father and a doctor, tries to find an antidote to save his son and will do anything for it. And so the story progress from there.

    Is there a special way to look at Wither? I really had issues getting into the gist of the story. I was even doubtful whether to finish it or not. At first I thought it was just slow but up until the end, the pace didn't change. One moment, the characters were focused on doing their parts well then the next moment, they're escaping. Then that van incident which was very morbid and some characters who succumbed to the virus which I really don't understand how the virus started or what virus it was. Then Cecily's terrible attitude and Linden's cluelessness. Then a lot of back story telling. I guess there are a lot of things in the story that didn't work for me or perhaps, I wasn't just accustomed to this slow-paced kind of dystopian premise.

    Of course there are also things/characters I liked like Jenna. She's my type of character, the one who fights. I also liked the wind mill and the june beans! And who would forget about hardworking Deirdre and beautiful Rose?

    That's about it. Those are my thoughts about it. I love Lauren and I don't hate the story its just that I guess I've expected so much. Maybe I'll reread it but sure enough, I would give Fever a chance. Let's see if it would change my mind.

    "Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale."

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (5): OBSIDIAN DOOR BY CATHERINE FISHER.

    Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.

    *04/2016 EDIT: Tweaking the format to match the new blog theme.*


    Expected Release Date: October 4, 2012
    Publisher: Hodder's Children's Book
    Add to GoodReads

    Jake's father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger ... The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn's estate: Sarah - a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne - who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror's power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans. But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.

    I have Incarceron and Sapphique both by Catherine Fisher and both are great (that's according to the reviews, I haven't read them yet. Not until November :( ). Now this book excites me more than ever because it includes mysteries and a black mirror which is a portal to the past and the future! Can't wait!

    What title/s did you pick this week?

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    REVIEW: THE SELECTION BY KIERA CASS.

    Title: The Selection
    Author: Kiera Cass
    Series: The Selection #1
    Edition: Paperback (International)
    Publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
    Source: Bought from FullyBooked
    Pages: 352 pages
    Genre: Dystopia, Romance, Chick-Lit

    Synopsis:

    For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

    But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

    Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. 

    PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

    The time I heard a lot of negative reviews for this one, I became instantly hesitant about it. But I know I shouldn't be swept away by whatever I read and how, just how can someone resist that gorgeous cover? As I've said on Twitter, it might probably be the best cover I've seen and I did hope that it would make justice to the story.

    Illรฉa was a country formed after a war between United States and China now headed by Monarchs. Its citizens were categorized according to Caste, One being the rich and well-educated people while Eight being almost like slaves. America Singer belonged to Caste Five and her boyfriend Aspen Leger from Six. They've been secretly dating for about two years and their love was about to be tested when The Selection started. Prince Maxon will have to choose his future wife from ladies that would top the selection and America was one of them.

    I thought the synopsis was similar to the TV Show The Bachelor. I liked that the story had a light dystopian approach. After reading it, I felt bad that I initially entertained doubts about it because I really enjoyed the story. America Singer was a very laid back protagonist that fitted perfectly to the plot. She was your typical girl who fell in love and got hurt but knew how to cope and be strong. In short, she's resilient. Aspen Leger was my favorite here because of the selflessness he showed. I understand that it was so stupid of him to hurt America just because he didn't want her to suffer and he didn't want her to choose a life when she could have more but you see, I look at it as selflessness. Not everyone's capable of seeing things the way Aspen had and I give him credit for that. While Prince Maxon was the perfect gentleman, but without the crown what could he do or be for America?

    I wish we have book two available because this book is such a cliffhanger! Am sensing though that there would be a devastating heartbreak somewhere in the future so as early as now, let me prepare!

    "I hope you find someone you can't live without.I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it's like to have to try and live without them."
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