Monday, December 31, 2012

REVIEW: BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS BY MARGARET STOHL AND KAMI GARCIA.

Title: Beautiful Darkness
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #2
Edition: Paperback
Publication: October 12th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company
Source: Bought from FullyBooked
Pages: 503 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together Ethan and Lena can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

*MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS*

I am so happy that I am posting my review this early for the reading challenge. Good thing as well that it is on my reading schedule for the week. And honestly, this sequel took me by surprise.

After Lena's sixteenth birthday, Ethan could no longer deny that something has changed. Something is terribly off not only with Gatlin or the Ravenwood Manor but Lena as a whole. Lena seems to be too far from his reach and he thinks he's losing her. She's been acting like a Dark Caster. Ethan has been seeing visions again and he has to find out why Lena is acting weird and who is the guys he's with.. Who is John Breed in Lena's life and is Ethan really ready to let her go.

Beautiful Darkness is the sequel to Beautiful Creatures I reviewed last month. I was kind of disappointed with the first book but this one swayed my feet off the ground. I almost hated it then eventually fully loved it. The first two hundred pages, it just keeps dragging on and on and nothing really happens. I was starting to be afraid for it might bore me to the extend of not finishing it altogether. But thankfully, the last three hundred pages redeemed itself from a DNF.

I almost hated it because of Lena. Her character here didn't not progress at all but in fact, she's at her worse here. She still couldn't decide whether to be Dark of Light and for goodness' sake, she let go of Ethan to be with someone she barely even know. If it wasn't for Ethan's eagerness to save her, she's done. I almost hated it because of Ethan. Well, just a little. There are some moments when he doesn't know when to stop which surprisingly, his stubbornness lead them to unveiling deep secrets and it saved lives. And then I pitied Ethan. A lot. The revelations and challenges he faced in the novel are all mind-blowing and painful that I even experienced a little shortness of breath. I loved how Liv and Link have a major part in finding the answers to Ethan's misery and again, at some point, it reminded me of Harry, Ron and Hermione.

Beautiful Darkness is a sequel that is full of answers. All of the questions Beautiful Creatures left me were explained pretty well. Though new characters were added, the initial approach for the old characters developed in a way that made the second novel better than the first. My original rating for this book was just three or four stars but it erratically changed after I read it! The twists and surprises were so heart warming and heart breaking at the same time that I almost couldn't put the book down.

It is a riveting novel that requires a lot of patience. It rewarded me with so much happiness that I couldn't wait to read Beautiful Chaos and I am really looking forward to another fantastic, hair raising and heart breaking read!

"We don't get to chose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it."

THE BEST OF 2012.

Where I get to recap my fruitful year and compile all the best ones I've read!

I can't believe that this year is almost over.

I've so much fun writing, reading, shopping for books and meeting bloggers and authors. My decision in focusing on book blogging has been fruitful and I know I've made the right choice. This year basically is my first in the book blogging community and I could say, somehow, I am already an accomplished blogger. Without all of your support, I would've failed. So thank you all, guys!

2012 is a year that would forever leave mark in my heart. It is the year I followed what my heart truly desired and that is THIS, writing and reading and I've never been any happier since then. It is truly a remarkable one and I wish more success to all of us this coming new year.

Before the year reaches its last page, I would just like to share the best 2012 had offered me.

January:
  • Started blogging about books on Tumblr.
  • Created my Goodreads account.
  • City of Bones: my first ever review!
  • Created my second shelf.
February:
  • Fell in love with Dystopia (Delirium).
  • Got my first tattoo inspired by Healing Rune from The Mortal Instruments.
  • Watched the Sound of Music play at the Resort's World Manila.
  • Vista Team Building in Laguna.
March:
  • Bought my dream Blackberry phone.
  • Watched and reviewed The Hunger Games Movie.
April:
  • First time that I've seen HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE.
  • Promotion interview at work.
  • Second tattoo and the most painful.
May:
June:
  • Just starting my way up to the blogging world. I started posting cover reveals and some reviews. Also started learning tricks on Blogger. Started meeting bloggers.
July:
August:
September:
October:
November:
December:

These are mostly the first times I've done them or probably the most memorable experience of the month. Some people might find these petty or shallow or whatnot, but these are important to me and I would be forever proud of what I've accomplished! I have so many things in my mind for 2013 and am keeping my hopes up that it will be the year for me not only for my blogging "career" (can't think of the right term meheheh) but for my personal growth as well!
THANK YOU, 2012 FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS. AND HELLO 2013, I AM OWNING YOU! ♥

Sunday, December 30, 2012

THE BEST BOOKS OF 2012.

Where I get to recap my fruitful year and compile all the best ones I've read!
The Best Books of 2012 is something I thought of doing to show how much I loved selected special titles I read this year and my most anticipated release of 2012. This is also be a recap of the books I thought were the best! I know there are some memes like this but I like to do this on my own. Let's start!

The Best Books of 2012 - titles I've read within the year. These are the best titles in my opinion and they gave me FEELINGS I never thought I would feel for a premise or a character!

photo source: goodreads

This is the first dystopian novel I read and I immediately fell in love with it. I didn't like Peeta at all because I was rooting for Gale and I adore how brave Katniss is.

I loved the romance Carey brewed here.

The first sci-fi novel I read I think and all of it just blew my mind away!

The premise is really breathtaking. What would you do if love is a disease?

Die For Me (Revenants #1) by Amy Plum - My review.
Vincent and Jules. Kate. Paris. Revenants. Ugh. I have pure and unconditional love for this one, people.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi - My review.
Tahereh Mafi is a wonderful writer. I don't just like the plot or Alex or Warner, but I love Tahereh.

Rapture (Fallen #4)by Lauren Kate - My review.
The best ending to the first best angel-inspired novel I loved.

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand - My review.
The second best angel-inspired novel I adored. It doesn't bore and for a change, the male protagonist is human.

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake - My review.
My favorite horror novel. Feelings, oh goodness. Feelings.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)by Sarah J. Maas - My review.
One of my most anticipated novels this year that every page, every word I loved! There's no justice that I could give on the beauty this one has. I loved it and it is one of my all time favorites now.


Here are the titles I've really anticipated! I was lucky enough to finally have bought some titles and I won't stop saving for the others as well!

photo source: goodreads

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly #1) by Susan Dennard - My review.
Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo - No copy yet.
Rift (Nightshade Prequel #1) by Andrea Cremer - No copy yet.
A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis - No copy yet.
Struck (Struck #1) by Jennifer Bosworth - No copy yet.
The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke - No copy yet.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long - No copy yet.
Black City (Black City #1) by Elizabeth Richards - Owned.
The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen - Owned.
What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles #1) by Kat Zhang - No copy yet.
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas - My review.
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken - No copy yet.
Stormdancer (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff - No copy yet.
Hemlock (Hemlock #1) by Kathleen Peacock - Owned.
Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan - Owned.
Defiance (Defiance #1) by C.J. Redwine - Owned.
Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie - No copy yet. Waiting for the paperback.
Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1)by Bethany Griffin - No copy yet.
Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin - Owned.
Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows - My review.
Mystic City (Mystic City #1) by Theo Lawrence - No copy yet.
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater - Owned.
Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth - Owned.
Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes - No copy yet.

These are just actually the Top Titles on my list but there are few more I didn't include. As 2013 is nearing, I know a lot of good titles will be published and I couldn't be any happier about that! Thank you also to everyone who have been a part of my 2012! You rock! Cheers!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

STACKING THE SHELVES (11): THE POST CHRISTMAS HAUL 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.*

Let me just scream! *aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! I HAVE HOWL'S MOVING CASTLEEEEEEE!!* Okay. There. Whew! I cannot believe I already have a copy of it! Goodness, I've been searching for it since I've seen the movie several months back! Weeeeeh! So so happy!

I hesitantly purchased Blue Bloods because of the mixed reviews but since I got Masquerade and Revelations from the book sale last month, I guess I don't have any other choice. Then without hesitations, I bagged The Demon King. I know I will love this one! And that's about it!

This is the last Stacking the Shelves for 2012 and I would like to wish you all a happy new year!


BOUGHT: (Fully Booked WalterMart)
- Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones
- The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
- Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

So, lemme see your haul please?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

REVIEW: EVERY DAY BY DAVID LEVITHAN.

Title: Every Day
Author: David Levithan
Series: Every Day #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: September 18, 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought from Bookworm's Place
Pages: 304
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis:

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

Every Day is amazingly beautiful.

This is my first David Levithan book and I was so lucky to have stumbled upon an online book shop selling pre-loved ones. As soon as I saw it (in such a perfect condition), I know in my heart its the one for me. The effort of traveling and staying under the scorching sun just to get it was worth it.

A is a sixteen-year-old entity/soul/person that wakes up everyday on a different body. A could be a male or a female. In the novel, A is more of a guy. With all of the rules he's set to avoid damaging someone's life, he is used to being just someone for a day. But a fateful morning changed everything for him. He wakes up on Justin's body, a regular teenager, and when A sees Justin's girlfriend Rhiannon, he knows she's the one. The problem is, how to tell her about his secret and how to make her love him back.

Every Day is a little similar to the movie 50 First Dates. Adam Sandler needs to court and make Drew Barrymore fall in love every morning when she wakes up. And with this novel, A needs not to only prove his intentions but make love work. I don't know how to put my feelings for A in words but sadness is the major feeling I have. He doesn't have his own life, family, body even which is very depressing. He has to be very careful not to ruin anyone of his host's lives and that makes his existence limited and pointless. But despite of his current standing, he manages to convey benevolence and respect to others. With all the hardships he's facing, he doesn't lose bearing of his values. And those are some of his traits that definitely struck my heart hard.

The premise is definitely fresh and my first David Levithan novel didn't disappoint at all. I could say it lived up to the hype. It is engrossing to a point that you wouldn't put it down anymore and just keep on flipping the pages. The beauty of story will embrace your heart with so much compassion and appreciation and the fact that it also depicted so many teen issues with care is truly movable.

Every Day is a book I recommend not only to young adults but to adults as well. There are plenty of good things enclosed in the novel that anyone will love. This will strike home. Its gentleness, warmth and longings will surely melt your hearts that you would ask for more. Because I want more.

"If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: We all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish so much for fantastic or marvelous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough."
"I wake up thinking of yesterday. The joy is in remembering; the pain is in knowing it was yesterday."
"This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (21): CRASH BY LISA MCMANN.

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: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Add to Goodreads
If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of four books from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.

Don't you just love the cover? Crash by Lisa McMann sounds thrilling. I love the fact that we will have another protagonist who sees and I couldn't wait to know how McMann sums this all up! Also, this is the last WoW for the year so as early as now, I wish you all an awesome New Year!

What did you pick this week?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

BOOK EVENT: PBT'S CHRISTMAS BOOKISH PARTY 2012.

Where all other bookish explosions, shenanigans and fun stuff happens!
December 22, 2012 - The bloggers decided to finally meet up and have a little get together at Figaro, Emerald Avenue! Thanks a lot to Kai and Precious for organizing the party! I had so much fun meeting these Twitter friends of mine and mind you, they are really, really pretty!

So guys, meet the bloggers:

Tiff, Chyna, Alyanna, Dianne and Precious.
Kai, Michelle, Dani, Geraldine, Louisse and Maricar.
Me, Leslie, Lyra, Nicole and Michelle.
We had few games and did exchange gifts. We also talked about some book blogging stuff like blogging tips (thanks to Louisse because now I know how to schedule posts), how to approach authors if our reviews are a little negative, how to answer emails from indie authors and how to request ARCs from publishers. We also established what titles to tour. These people are not only pretty in person but they all have lovely personalities and very cute sense of humor!

Gifts/Giveaways! (Source)
A lot of us bagged plenty of books! I actually brought only my gift for my monita and I brought home I think eight titles plus chocolates, a huge and yummy cookie and some swags!

The Pinay Book Bloggers. ♥
Though I wasn't able to talk to some of them that much, I would forever treasure this moment I met such gorgeous people! I wish you all guys success! More books and events to come!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

STACKING THE SHELVES (10): THE ITJUSTHAPPENED 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.*

This might be the last time I would hoard this MUCH because whether I like it or not, book buying ban is currently on going. It would end March of next year. The reason is because I've so many titles on my TBR and I've been spending way too much that I don't want to empty my bank account ever again. I bought these two weeks ago hoping that I would be able to read The Hobbit before watching the movie. I haven't done neither of the two just yet. I bought Evernight and The Luxe to complete the series (I bought from the book sale last month). I also bought Shatter Me with the new cover because it was so cheap. I was also able to score Pendragon Book 2 because its a long series and I would like to complete it first before starting.


BOUGHT: (National Bookstore Greenbelt 1)
- The Hobbit (Middle-earth Universe) by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Lost City of Faar (Pendragon, #2) by D.J. MacHale
- Evernight (Evernight #1) by Claudia Gray
- Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
- The Luxe (Luxe #1) by Anna Godbersen
- Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3) by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
- Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3) by Jackson Pearce
- Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan
- The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

So what did you get this week? Lemme see!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (20): SEPTEMBER GIRLS BY BENNETT MADISON.

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: May 21, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Add to GoodReads
When Sam's dad whisks him and his brother off to a remote beach town for the summer, he's all for it-- at first. Sam soon realizes, though, that this place is anything but ordinary. Time seems to slow down around here, and everywhere he looks, there are beautiful blond girls. Girls who seem inexplicably drawn to him.

Then Sam meets DeeDee, one of the Girls, and she's different from the others. Just as he starts to fall for her, she pulls away, leaving him more confused than ever. He knows that if he's going to get her back, he'll have to uncover the secret of this beach and the girls who live here.

Who wouldn't fall in love and die of excitement when it comes to mermaids? I've just recently acquired Fathomless and dying to get my hands on Wake by Amanda Hocking and this one surely thrills me enough!

What did you pick this week?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

REVIEW: THE DIVINERS BY LIBBA BRAY.

Title: The Diviners
Author: Libba Bray
Series: The Diviners #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: September 18, 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought from Fullybooked
Pages: 592
Genre: Romance, Horror, Paranormal

Synopsis:

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

The Diviners made scream and hide under my blanket!

At first glance, I was really hesitant to buy The Diviners. It's just so thick that I know there's a huge chance that I will get bored. But since I am hearing nothing but great reviews about it, I gave in and bagged a copy. I am happy I did and my first Libba Bray book did not disappoint at all.

The novel takes off when Evie O'Niel, a seventeen-year-old forthright lass, was sent to New York as a punishment for being tacky. Her parents couldn't take the incident she's involved in, that her loudness and tactlessness always get her into trouble. Deep inside, she likes to go to New York for the endless possibilities it could bring her but little did she know, her "gift" will be used to solve a heinous crime and stop the armageddon from happening.

The Diviners is set in 1900s about teenagers with special gifts or powers. Their lives intertwine with each other in ways they haven't expected. Heroes series for some reason came to mind. I could say that Libba Bray have done an awesome job in research and writing. This novel isn't for the faint hearted because aside from the gruesome murders and ghosts, it showcases a very sensitive premise that touches religion and politics. Another lovely point is Bray takes the readers to old school New York which for me, is really fascinating. It is another world building that I fell in love with.

The characters in the novel are very special and they each carry powers different from each other. Most of the time, Evie annoys me. I know she's very straight forward and she knows what she wants, but she just doesn't know where or when to stop. She's stubborn and conceited. Its just a good thing that sometimes she's cute and funny that I forget how annoying she really is. And the same goes to clever Sam. At some point I feel like he could tame Evie. I like his witty antics and his ability to use his charms particularly in good ways. He's the total opposite of Jericho though. Jericho is serious and very focused man. I couldn't blame him for that because his past is so dark and painful. Both Jericho and Isaiah gave me the chills.

The Diviners is very creepy, gruesome and horrifying novel. The demonic level it has on its pages is very strong that there are moments I pause to take a deep breath. And I loved it. I loved the pinch of romance in it. It is so good that I didn't get bored. I feel like am a detective trying to figure out things with Evie. I just thought it is way too long and it took a while for the story to really begin. I also couldn't see why there were plenty of characters that doesn't really have anything to do with the novel. Human robots in 1900s doesn't convince me as well.

I've so many questions about Sam and Will that I couldn't wait for Diviners #2 to come out. So dark and evil yet romantic and funny! I really am eager to know what happens to the sequel of this riveting and intriguing novel that scared me, annoyed me and made me love it to bits!

"Some mornings, she’d wake and vow, Today, I will get it right. I won’t be such an awful mess of a girl. I won’t lose my temper or make unkind remarks. I won’t go too far with a joke and feel the room go quiet with disapproval. I’ll be good and kind and sensible and patient. The sort everyone loves. But by evening, her good intentions would have unraveled. She’d say the wrong thing or talk a little too loudly. She’d take a dare she shouldn’t, just to be noticed. Perhaps Mabel was right, and she was selfish. But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all? “Oh, Evie, you’re too much,” people said, and it wasn’t complimentary. Yes, she was too much. She felt like too much inside all the time. So why wasn’t she ever enough?"
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