Thursday, February 28, 2013

FEBRUARY RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


Wow. It's end of the month already? Well, February has been a blast! I am looking forward to making March one of the best blogging months ever! Plus, summer's almost here so I hope I could visit some breath-taking beaches and what is more important than lifting a 3-month long book buying ban? It is time to hoard!

February 1 - Author of the Month: Lauren Oliver.

February 1 - Feature and Follow Friday: What is the first thing you do if you woke up to find yourself in your favorite book?

February 3 - Reviewed, raved and gushed about The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

February 6Waiting on Wednesday: Rise by Anna Carey.

February 7 - Reviewed Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

February 8 - Had my heart broken by If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

February 9 - Flailed and went crazy over Thornhill's cover reveal.

February 10 - Swooned over Victor from Darkness Before Dawn by JA London.

February 10 - Expressed my thoughts on Huddle Post: Conference Etiquette and the likes.

February 12 - Flailed and went crazy once more over The Dream Thieves' cover reveal.

February 13 - Waiting on Wednesday: Teardrop by Lauren Kate.

February 13 - Got hired by a new IT Company!

February 14 - Valentines Feature post: My Fictional Boyfriendssss.

February 15 - Transported to such rich world by The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson.

February 16 - Stacking the Shelves post.

February 17 - Book Signing: Taherah Mafi in Manila. (intro)

February 17 - Reached 16k pageviews mark on Google.

February 20 - Waiting on Wednesday: Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock.

February 21 - Heart Waves and Breaking Waves Guest Post.

February 21 - Ransom Riggs in Manila! (intro)

February 22 - Fangirled over Time after Time's cover reveal!

February 23 - Black City PH Tour. (intro)

February 24 - Reviewed Heart Waves by Danielle Sibarium.

February 25 - Reviewed Breaking Waves by Danielle Sibarium.

February 26 - Reviewed Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

February 27 - Waiting on Wednesday: Resist by Sarah Crossan.

February 28 - February Recap + Book of the Month.



And this month's title that really made me gush and rave over it is none other than
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday.. (25)


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

Expected Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Add to you To-Read shelf on Goodreads.
No synopsis yet.
I am currently wrapping up reading Breathe and I could say that it is really a scary dystopian novel. Come to think of this, this could happen, having to purchase oxygen. This is the closest dystopian novel I've read to reality. The trees and oceans are dead because humans became irresponsible and greedy. I wanted to immediately know what comes next and what types of challenges the protagonists would face come Resist and how will Crossan present her sequel to a very promising book 1.

What about you, guys? What are the titles you're waiting for? I wanna know, too! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

REVIEW: THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER BY MICHELLE HODKIN.

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Edition: Paperback
Published: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Book for Young Readers
Pages: 452
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Category: Paranormal, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

After Mara survives the traumatizing accident at the old asylum, it makes sense that she has issues. She lost her best friend, her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s sister, and as if that weren’t enough to cope with, her family moves to a new state in order to give her a fresh start. But that fresh start is quickly filled with hallucinations—or are they premonitions?—and then corpses, and the boundary between reality and nightmare is wavering. At school, there’s Noah, a devastatingly handsome charmer who seems determined to help Mara piece together what’s real, what’s imagined—and what’s very, very dangerous.

This fast-paced psychological—or is it paranormal?—thriller will leave you breathless for its sequel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is absolutely engrossing.

Waking up from a terrible accident not remembering anything is a heavy burden for Mara Dyer. Her friends didn't survive the accident and she has been broken ever since. She simply cannot accept that her best friend Rachel died along with Claire and Jude but she couldn't remember anything at all. Her family agrees to move to a different town for her sake but the nightmares haunt her. She sees her dead friends and coincidentally, whenever she gets furious at someone and wishes for them to die, it happens, exactly how she thought it. And she couldn't fathom why Noah Shaw feels like he knows her even before meeting her.

I have heard nothing but fantastic reviews about the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and I just couldn't wait for its reading schedule to arrive. I am so grateful that when I started reading it, it immediately took me in so deep I finished it without noticing how fast I read it. It is really that engrossing. One thing I liked about it is the fact that the accident slash post trauma happens in real life and being Mara seems to be hard core of an emotional baggage. I understood when and why parents let their children see a shrink and I understood why kids keep on denying what they truly feel. Hodkin's novel made it crystal clear. I loved how light reading it has been plus the character's humor, I can't help but laugh with every striking punch line. The premise itself is founded with such intense paranormal texture that obviously lured positive compliments. However, I find the sequence of events a bit inconsistent. From being a paranormal novel, it jumped to being a true-crime one. The attempt of making it a champion novel is there because it is really a good one, but as I go along, I saw these inconsistencies that I couldn't properly say for it will incur terrible spoilers. It slowly stops focusing on the paranormal part which made me notice I haven't any explanation for it. It just stops.

When it comes to characters, Unbecoming of Mara Dyer nailed it. Mara is a very strong protagonist for handling such catastrophic event in her life and for trying harder to overcome her emotional issues. Though most of the time as it gets its toll on her, she loses it and that's when I don't like her at all. She 's coherently blunt yet sometimes, it isn't even necessary to be rude. Good thing that her sarcasm is appreciated by Jamie and Noah. Just when I was about to like Jamie, he disappeared so fast as if Hodkin didn't know what to do with him anymore and I am wishing I would see him back in the sequel. And of course, Noah Shaw took over the scene. He's so dreamy I couldn't even help myself to giggle and be mesmerized. His accent, his height, perfectly sculpted body and money made him "the man to die for" but in fact, his charm does the magic. He's persistent and intelligent and maybe even without his two front teeth, he would still be adorable. On top of that, I loved his wit! Its like cherries on top of the cake! He's perfectly made and he's absolutely one of the major aspects to look forward to in this novel.

Clearly, the romance inputs of the novel have a fifty-fifty effect on me. I wasn't really convinced that Mara and Noah would work.

Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a combination of horror and romance. It is a hair-raising and heart-stopping novel that a reader wouldn't be able to put down. It is seriously riveting to the extent of having to finish it in one sitting and asking for the sequel is an understatement. I almost wanted to plead for the sequel. It is that good! I mean, seriously good.
 
VERDICT:
"Sometimes, the mind has a way of protecting us from the things until we're ready to deal with them."

Monday, February 25, 2013

REVIEW: BREAKING WAVES BY DANIELLE SIBARIUM.

Title: Breaking Waves (Heart Waves #2)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Edition: Paperback
Published: January 10, 2013
Publisher: KFR Communications
Pages: 197
Source: Copy provided by the Author
Category: Romance
Trailer: Not Applicable
Synopsis:

From the moment they met, Jenna knew Reece would break her heart, but she never dreamed it would happen like this. Jenna is left shattered and broken. When life becomes too painful to deal with and she feels completely alone, there’s only one person to help her pick up the pieces and move on. The one person she doesn’t want to turn to. The one person she promised to stay away from. Tyler.

Can Jenna put aside everything she knows about him and let Tyler help heal her broken heart?
*SOME SPOILERY*

Jenna's premonition came true: Reece definitely broke her heart. He died. Jenna is so devastated and pain engulfs her existence that living doesn't make sense to her anymore. But Tyler is right behind her at the toughest parts of her life and tells her what she has to realize in the harshest way possible. He irritates her and eventually feels something for him. But her guts tell her Reece is alive.

Breaking Waves is surprising. The paranormal aspect I have initially seen in Heart Waves drifted off of this novel. It focused more on romance and it somehow transformed from paranormal-wanna-be to a realistic-rebound-love-affair. The paranormal mentioned turned into more of an instinct-related realizations as opposed to visions which wasn't clearly explained in the first book. There wasn't really an origin to Jenna's ability and the story only made use of it at the beginning. Nothing backed it up. It surprised me because I was expecting it to drag on but at least, there has been minimal progress. After Reece died, the making-out session lessened and a plot seemed to arise. I just couldn't fathom what Reece and Tyler are hiding that it takes two novels to keep it a secret.

The Shakespeare sub-plotting is one major thing I also don't get. It is either one of two things: there's a plot or there isn't because obviously, it is all over the place. The mystery of Reece's death is just the reason why I let myself finish this thing hoping I'd get the best of it. Too bad, I was disappointed again.

Jenna is nothing but an irritating character. Aside from she falls in love as fast as a snap of a finger, she's easily drawn to lust. Though she still fights to preserve herself, I think it just wasn't ideal for a teen to feel aroused by shirtless good looking guy. Jenna also wasn't entirely sure of what she wants. She's claiming she's head over heels in love with Reece, but as soon as Tyler shows half-naked, she's suddenly moved on. I also felt uncomfortable with the way she talks back to her parents and the way she treats her friends. All in all, I hate Jenna.

On a lighter side, I miss Reece's character. His importance showed when Tyler took over the story. Tyler is straight to the point, an assertive type and definitely the bad boy one. He spices things up a notch. He's annoying attitude compensates Jenna's indecisiveness and balances Reece's romantic side. He is so far my favorite character in the sequel.

Breaking Waves is definitely better than the first book. I sensed an attempt to make the novel interesting and to let it still be sexy. I am hoping that the third book would answer all of my questions and would do justice to whatever emotional issues I experienced all throughout.

VERDICT:
"If you don't call back and find for yourself, you'll always wonder. Just a little bit of hope, that small window of uncertainty, it'll grow. It'll haunt you."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

REVIEW: HEART WAVES BY DANIELLE SIBARIUM.

Title: Heart Waves (Heart Waves #1)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Edition: Paperback
Published: June 1, 2012
Publisher: KFR Communications
Pages: 251
Source: Copy provided by the author
Category: Romance, Paranormal
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

Jenna Kingsley has a gift. She knows things. With a simple touch she can pick up personal information from jewelry or objects. While at a neighbor’s party, a voice mesmerizes her. Jenna is momentarily frozen as a ring is placed in her hand. White electricity surges through her and a dire prediction is made. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to break my heart.”

From the moment they meet Jenna is enchanted and entranced with Reece Walton. She’s thrilled to learn he’s spending the summer two houses away from hers. Every moment they spend together is magical. But she can’t get the prediction out of her mind. As the summer draws to a close and secrets are revealed, can Jenna get past the fear of being left with a broken heart to live in the moment with Reece or will her fear of being hurt fulfill the prophecy?
Heart Waves is nostalgic.

True love doesn't choose when or where it will touch ones life. Jenna is so surprised to feel deeply in love with Reece the first time she laid her eyes on her after a party. She never felt this strongly attached to someone before. Just like what her gift showed her as soon as she touched Reece's ring, he would break her heart. But she trusts her feelings, enjoys Reece's company anyway and tries to atleast change the future so she could make them work.

What can I say? I was on a roller-coaster ride reading Heart Waves. There were moments I felt like I was reliving my high school life because the story is something I've seen and experienced first hand in high school. It is very relatable and I can't help but smile and feel silly. But then mostly of the time, I feel lost. Sibarium's paranormal influence on the plot didn't really work for me because as far as I could see it, Heart Waves is ninety seven percent romance. I barely even felt the importance of Jenna's gift because the novel did not really focus on it but on making out. They make out every chapter. And what saddens me most is the part that I didn't see the plot at all. Jenna and Reece fall in love, they would fight and get jealous and then would make out. Up until the very end, I waited for the plot to happen but unfortunately, nothing came.

Jenna is very immature. She easily gets jealous, she trusts the wrong people and hates the right ones. She did nothing but to day dream of Reece. Reece on the other hand is okay for a male character. But the he shuts people off once they get too close, he's very secretive and from the way I see it, egocentric. By the time I finished the novel, I still don't know what to make of him. He might probably be a murderer or thief.

Heart Waves has its potentials. The first few chapters kept me locked in but then it just lagged off. I wish there's more paranormal to it or it could have focused just on the romance aspect. Additional twists might have supported the character's progress as well as might have given the synopsis for a little kick. I am just terribly embarrassed that I didn't like it at all.

I would like to thank Danielle for sending over the copies!

VERDICT:
"There is no such thing as love as first sight."

Friday, February 22, 2013

BLACK CITY PH BLOG TOUR.

Today I will be posting the schedule for our upcoming Black City Philippine Blog Tour! Elizabeth, the lovely author, provided a copy of the book (thank you so much!) and the tour will kick off March 1 up to March 9!

 
Here are the schedules and participating blogs:


And here's where you could link up your reviews and posts:


There will be an international giveaway so stay tuned! Happy reading, bookaholics!

Edit: You can click any of the reviews up there for the Rafflecopter giveaway form! Did I say its open internationally? Don't forget to join!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blog Tour (5): Heart Waves and Breaking Waves by Danielle Sibarium.

Title: Heart Waves (Heart Waves #1)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Edition: Paperback
Published: June 1, 2012
Publisher: KFR Communications
Pages: 251
Source: Copy provided by the author
Category: Romance, Paranormal
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

Jenna Kingsley has a gift. She knows things. With a simple touch she can pick up personal information from jewelry or objects. While at a neighbor’s party, a voice mesmerizes her. Jenna is momentarily frozen as a ring is placed in her hand. White electricity surges through her and a dire prediction is made. “It’s like Romeo and Juliet. You’re going to break my heart.”

From the moment they meet Jenna is enchanted and entranced with Reece Walton. She’s thrilled to learn he’s spending the summer two houses away from hers. Every moment they spend together is magical. But she can’t get the prediction out of her mind. As the summer draws to a close and secrets are revealed, can Jenna get past the fear of being left with a broken heart to live in the prophecy?

Title: Breaking Waves (Heart Waves #2)
Author: Danielle Sibarium
Edition: Paperback
Published: January 10, 2013
Publisher: KFR Communications
Pages: 197
Source: Copy provided by the Author
Category: Romance
Trailer: Not Applicable
Synopsis: From the moment they met, Jenna knew Reece would break her heart, but she never dreamed it would happen like this. Jenna is left shattered and broken. When life becomes too painful to deal with and she feels completely alone, there’s only one person to help her pick up the pieces and move on. The one person she doesn’t want to turn to. The one person she promised to stay away from. Tyler.
Can Jenna put aside everything she knows about him and let Tyler help heal her broken heart?

About the Author:

Danielle Sibarium grew up as an only child of divorced parents in Brooklyn, New York. Her imagination was developed at an early age. Surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends, she transported herself into a fantasy world full of magic and wonder. Books were the gateway between her play world and reality. On any given summer afternoon she became Snow White sweeping and cooking for the dwarfs, or Cinderella waiting for the prince.

Danielle always loved dialogue and in elementary school began writing plays and short stories. This is when she began to understand she could not only bring her fantastical world to life for herself, but she could enchant others as well. And so she wrote. She wrote and wrote and wrote.

Sadly the first piece she ever sent out for publication of any sort was a letter to the editor of The Home News Tribune. It was a piece thanking the first responders for their bravery and selflessness on Sept 11th. It was chosen as letter of the week.
Author's Thoughts:

The Heart Waves series revolves around a premonition made the night Jenna and Reece meet. An instant connection sparks between them, and Jenna predicts, like Romeo and Juliet he’s going to break her heart. I played with her having this idea in her head, and him doing everything he can to convince her he’ll never hurt her, because their love is real, it’s once in a lifetime. Heart Waves is basically a sweet summer romance between Reece and Jenna. We get to meet the players, Reece, Jenna, and Tyler. Tyler and Reece are at odds. A showdown is in the works.

Breaking Waves is what happens next. What happens when Jenna’s prediction comes true and Reece is gone? Jenna falls apart. A lot of that comes from the fact she knew it would happen all along and no one would listen. And now that it has, everyone wants her to just move on. Everyone except Tyler. Tyler helps a hurt and broken Jenna pick up the pieces and move on. As she finally does, she realizes there was more to her prediction, more to what happened with Reece than she originally thought.

The idea for the Heart Waves series came as I wrote For Always. I thought I set out to write what Heart Waves became, but it didn’t take me long to realize they were two very different stories. The first meeting of Reece and Jenna was sparked by the memory of the instant connection between my husband and I when we first met. I do believe if you are lucky enough, KAPOW, you know it’s the right one.

I love writing because it’s who I am at my core. I write because if I didn’t my soul would shrivel up and die. Aside from standing back and holding one of my books in my hands, my favorite part of all this is connecting with the readers. I love to hear from people who have been affected by my work. It’s when others feel the need to reach out and share their experience with me, to tell me that my words made them laugh, or cry that I know I have touched their lives in some small way. There’s no greater feeling than that!
And Danielle is giving away copies of her book!
THANK YOU SO MUCH DANIELLE FOR THE BOOK COPIES!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY.. (24)


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

February 20, 2013

Expected Publication Date: September 9, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Add to your To-Read shelf on Goodreads
Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.
As you probably all know by now, I am such a huge fan of Hemlock (review HERE, Book of the Month post HERE and Cover reveal post HERE). I can gush and rave about it the whole day without stopping and I am just so glad that out of thousands of books out there, I was lucky enough to stumble upon this lovely baby! So for my pick this week, Thornhill landed the spot! I wanted to know more about what would happen to Kyle now and how Mac would handle everything. I wanted to continue loving this novel!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (15)


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.

February 16, 2013

Finally, after few weeks of STS absence, here I am again! I receive few books and I am still waiting for several ones to arrive! I am still on book buying ban and well, am kind of used to it now! But I am definitely saving up of our yearly book fair and its on September then come March, the ban will be lifted! I might buy few newly released titles for DAC, Belated Happy Heart's Day, loves!


FOR REVIEW:
- Heart Waves (Heart Waves #1) by Danielle Sibarium
- Breaking Waves (Heart Waves #2) by Danielle Sibarium

These are sent to me by Danielle herself for a blog tour and she actually sent another Heart Waves copy thinking the first package was lost in the mail! She's so so kind and approachable!

THANK YOU SO MUCH DANIELLE FOR THE COPIES!

WON:
- One Good Hustle by Billie Livingston
- Swag (not pictured)


Friday, February 15, 2013

REVIEW: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS BY RAE CARSON.

Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1)
Author: Rae Carson
Edition: Paperback
Published: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow
Pages: 423
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Romance, Fantasy
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns justified its title.

I've always been a fan of high fantasy and and anything that would fall into the bucket of kings and queens will definitely win my heart. So does this one.

Elisa is a fat princess who bears the Godstone. She's sixteen and married to King Alejandro in exchange for her father's troops. She is no warrior but she's smart. One fine day, her maid kidnaps her and brings her to a dessert where she meets new friends and where she sees what is the really situation of her people. Everyone believes she's the one to save them but she knows nothing about the power of the Godstone, she has to defeat several animagis that perform sorcery and she has to find a way to save Humberto and friends from getting killed.

I loved the fact that Carson wrote a novel that shows its foundations: women empowerment. It is not everyday that one can come across with a novel like this. Aside from the rich world-building she molded for the story to happen onto, the plot itself is phenomenal. The vividness of the desert, the mountains and the castles is just breath taking and each character is full of life that it leaps from pages straight to the heart.

The characters are so real that I almost feel like they are clutching my insides every turn I make on the novel. Elisa is my favorite, not because she is the protagonist but the why Carson presented her made me love the character. Elisa is fat and she most of the time feel useless. But she gradually changed as the novel progressed and it really took time and magnitude of physical effort before she noticed her overhaul. Elisa carried women in such a way that passion, wit, determination and resiliency became high lights of strength. Not only that, Aneaxi, Ximena, Mara and Cosme are women that showcased strength emotionally and physically and that no matter how hard life is, we are all capable of love and respect. And the men in the novel showed different levels of emotion, it rings and vibrates as loud as their heartbeats. It gained respect. Alejandro, Hector and Humberto may be different characters altogether but they are all strong, true and capable of expressing love.

Carson surely knows how to entice a reader. I almost heard the rip in my chest because of so much pain. She had eliminated a few lovely characters that seriously made me recoil, but ended up loving it still. I may also have a few things I didn't agree on like how in the world Elisa had been kidnapped in a well-guarded palace with a petite maid, but the pain of the deaths compensated it. Sad reality but it made the novel stand out.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is steadfast. It exudes strength and heart that I've never seen before. It is a book that would make you glide page to page to be buried in its rich and wonderful world. I am so pleased with it that I am really looking forward to reading Crown of Embers!

Cheers, Rae!
VERDICT:
“From the mouth of the innocent flows truth.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY.. (23)


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

February 13, 2013

Expected Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Add to your To-Read shelf on Goodreads
Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined. From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.
Daniel and Luce's love story captured me and helped me find my way back to reading. I loved the Fallen series and the fact that Lauren Kate will be releasing a new series soon is exhilarating. She shared the cover of her new series, Teardrom, on her facebook page the other day! I cannot simply wait for this one!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

HUDDLE POST (3): CONFERENCE ETIQUETTE AND THE LIKES.


One of my favorite bloggers Kelly from Radiant Shadows shared a discussion post about ARCs, Blog Hauls and Jealousy on her blog. I suggest that before you go read this entire entry, check out first what she wrote and pointed out because I love and support it.

This post is just basically my reaction to what bloggers (not all) are fusing about and my answer to Kelly's question:
Am I the only one who feels like we’re being a little too sensitive on this “issue” or do you think people are right to get upset with bloggers who “show off” their big hauls?
Okay. Honestly? It makes me raise an eyebrow. Not to Kelly. But the "issue" itself. First of all, you guys know how much dedication book blogging requires. We have to invest so much time (reading and writing) and money (buying books or even having our own themes tweaked by pros) to make our blogs pretty, updated and of course, attract followers. Now, making a blog as successful as those well-established ones need hard work. And I think, their stats show it, don't you think?

Why would some people get upset when a hard working blogger gets ARCs or post big book haul?

Probably because they're way too insecure. That their insecurity eats them alive that it makes them think irrationally.

Probably because they're too far from a conference's location or busy to attend. I live miles and miles and miles away from US but I don't know, I feel happy for those people who always get to attended signings or conferences and I use it as a motivation to be a better blogger. I know some people feel that way too. I seriously ENVY those who get to attend BEA, SDCC, ALA, NYCC etc yet I appreciate their efforts in sharing what they've gotten and what they've experienced/seen.

Probably because there's no affirmation from publishers. I think we really don't need it. We book blog because we love books and reading. Being recognized by the publisher should always come as a bonus for us. If they don't send ARCs, we shouldn't get upset and instead keep working hard.

Probably because those people who post big hauls are just proud of their accomplishments as bloggers. Actually, this is possible. Only some people's judgements are.. wrong.

There is no instant success in this world, literally. Everything requires HARD WORK and DEDICATION. Plus, why think of those bloggers who share their BIG HAUL as show offs? These are just people like you and me who wanted to share what they have. They wanted to share how happy they are for the new titles that would pile their TBRs up and then would complain later. Just like you and me. Why can't we just all be supportive of each other or be happy for each other? No etiquettes should be made for posting hauls because aren't we all mature for this? If you know you're not supposed to post something or if you are unsure if you could (only if there are instructions not to post), then just don't. Kelly is right that we are just being a little to sensitive about this issue and we should all be friends in this community. And Katie is right too, she learned her lesson from the past that she just wanted to share it to prevent people from making the same thing but shoving and running? Come on, guys. We are better than this.

Isn't blogging a form of self-expression? Nothing should stop us from posting/sharing our thoughts or even our hauls. Nothing. Unless we're filming our vlogs naked.

*hugs*

REVIEW: DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN BY JA LONDON.

Title: Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness Before Dawn #1)
Author: J.A. London
Edition: Paperback
Published: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 342
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Paranormal, Romance
Trailer: Not Applicable.
Synopsis:

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what's left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it's up to me--as the newest delegate for humanity--to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine... or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it's safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.
Darkness Before Dawn is shocking.

Honestly, who wouldn't be captivated with its intriguing plot and mysterious yet gorgeous cover? I've been wanting to read this for so long and as soon as I saw an available paperback copy locally, you just couldn't imagine how I flailed.

Dawn is chosen as Denver's delegate after her parent's death. She knows she's young and might not be able to deliver tasks she's supposed to do but nobody can say no to Lord Valentine. He's the oldest, strongest and most powerful vampire she've known. But she cannot deny the fear and anger in her chest towards their kind. Vampires killed her family and there is no way she would bow to Lord Valentine. She has to play her cards well. When everything seems to be alright, she and her best friend Tegan goes to a party, a vampire attack happens next. They are then saved by this mysterious man. She has to know who he really is.

It may just be me, but I see a little dystopian setting in there. I loved the combination of modern tech and a little Victorian era. The darkness of the world and the eeriness of the Victorian setting are very much suitable for any vampire plots and it gave the novel a quirky twist. And I wanted more of it. I wanted more of Denver, Los Angeles and Night Train.

The vampire approach London tried didn't disappoint. Just like angel-demon inspired novels known all over YA community, vampire-plotted ones are common. London's attempt in making vampire's existence known to humans is very fresh and something I've never read before. It makes it endearing and one would actually try to figure out how humans and vampires work together. However though, there are some instances that sound familiar to me and made feel uncertain. There were scenes that gave me blasts of emotions and all of a sudden would make me feel bland. As I go deeper, my grasp on to the novel loosens because of predictable twists and some similarities of the character's motives to my previous reads.

Dawn being the female protagonist annoyed me a little. I didn't like the way she handled her relationships and how easily she's swayed by flowery words. But I loved Victor. He's intentions he could definitely prove clean and he's honestly one of the gorgeous male characters I've read.

Darkness Before Dawn is another easy read. The darkness it exudes matches not only the characters but the world it revolves to. I want to see what happens next to Victor and Dawn and I am hoping that the sequel would be better, if I may say.

VERDICT:
 "If you want something, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get it."

Friday, February 8, 2013

REVIEW: IF I STAY BY GAYLE FORMAN.

Title: If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Edition: Paperback
Published: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Speak
Pages: 262
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Contemporary, Paranormal
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

If I Stay is irrevocably painful.

Being a fan of dystopia, sci-fi and paranomal genres could be quite tiring at times. I haven't had much of contemporary reads and when I saw Gayle Forman's promising If I Stay, I just grabbed a copy without having any second thoughts at all.

Mia is a regular teenager living an ideal life with her ideal family. What makes her special is that she is passionate being Cellist. One snowy morning however, when classes are suspended, she and her family agreed to go out and visit her grand parents. On their way, she wakes up seeing her family dead on a horrible car crash. And she sees herself in a coma.

This novel is not for the faint of hearts. It sure did leave me panting and catching my breathe. I honestly don't know whether to cry or sit for a moment to let the plot sync in. It tore my heart into pieces. And all of my fears for my family resurfaced with such strong emotions that I don't want to ever feel again no matter how inevitable it is.

Forman presented the novel in such a light way being an easy read. If I Stay is one of the novels I finished in one sitting. There were no sugar coating or any unnecessary elaborations of some sort. It is direct to the point, direct to the heart. I loved how she managed to collaborate paranormal and true to life story without compromising the plot. The way she uses different analogies for different facial reactions made it even more easy to picture. And what's interesting is how she incorporated different genres of music in a paranormal slash contemporary novel that didn't jeopardize the essence as a whole.

Whenever I think back on what happened to Mia's family, I deeply engrossed the fact that this is what happens in real life. Life is too short to waste and we will never know when our numbers be up. Forman's way of expressing what could possibly be going on in a patient's mind gave me reasons to be more thankful towards family and friends. I can bravely say that I encountered another eye-opener book. And I am so glad I did read it.

If I Stay digs deeper in one's heart. If you didn't cry or feel shaken my this novel, I don't know what would. It leaves something in one's heart that no one could simply erase and it will leave you in awe. Thank you Gayle for writing such novel. It truly warmed my almost cold heart.

VERDICT:
“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

Thursday, February 7, 2013

REVIEW: BEAUTIFUL CHAOS BY STOHL AND GARCIA.

Title: Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3)
Authors: Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
Edition: Paperback
Published: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 516
Source: Bought from Powerbooks
Category: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Trailer: not applicable
Synopsis:

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.
*CONTAINS SPOILERS.*

Beautiful Chaos is really chaotic.

After swooning over Beautiful Darkness, the itch in my hands wouldn't go away no matter how much I scratch them. My hands wanted to get Beautiful Chaos out from the shelf so I could start reading it, but I just have to wait for its reading schedule to arrive. So while waiting, I just kept washing my hands.

Beautiful Chaos took off after Lena's seventeenth moon. Gaitlin has been plagued with drought and pestilence that most people think of it as the sign of End Days. Little did they know, the Order of Things has been ripped after Lena Claimed herself. Even the Casters are having problems controlling their powers and in order to restore the Order, a Crubicle or The One Who is Two must sacrifice a life. The only problem is, no one knows who is it or where to find it and they are running out of time.

I was so happy that I loved Beautiful Darkness. Its ending seriously gave me enough answers I once was trying to find after reading Beautiful Creatures. The first half of it completely bored me but the second half killed it altogether. I was surprised how much I loved it and it gave me a new sense of hope for Beautiful Chaos, only to be disappointed once more.

As I always say, this series has its potential. But once again, coming from a guy's point of view, there were just way too many unnecessary things that have been explained. I believe the novel might have been a little shorter if not for those unimportant sub-plots. I have never met a guy who talks so much like Ethan. I love Ethan, don't get me wrong. But I feel like there's a thin line between being observant and talkative, or probably sensible.

I didn't get much from Beautiful Chaos' plot. Up until the very last page, I was wondering what was the gist of it. It says there that Ethan's soul has been torn into two after Lena's claiming but why wasn't it mentioned in Beautiful Darkness? Why did he become forgetful? Why does he feel drained and hurt when he's touching Lena? Who is John Breed, really? How many moons do we have to wait for just for something to actually happen? Those are some of the questions never answered in this novel and mind you, it is five hundred and sixteen pages! I also couldn't actually fathom how one can still attend a high school party when the world you live in is at the brink of rapture. The entirety of the novel seemed to showcase only the character's progress or current standing. It made me feel that it was mainly for the characters and the plotting came in second.

I am giving it two stars because I still appreciate the originality of the novel and the potential in it. I just wish that Ethan would be more mature and stop explaining how a cabinet looks like or what is the design of a curtain when those aren't connected to the story at all.

VERDICT:
"Maybe it needed to be broken. Sometimes things have to break before you can fix them."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday.. (22)



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

February 6, 2013


Expected Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins
Add to your To-Read shelf on Goodreads

How far will you go when you have nothing left to lose?

When she lost her soul mate, Caleb, Eve felt like her world had ended. Trapped in the palace, forced to play the part of the happy, patriotic princess of The New America—and the blushing bride of her father's top adviser—Eve's whole life is a lie. The only thing that keeps her going is Caleb's memory, and the revolution he started.

Now, Eve is taking over where Caleb left off. With the help of Moss, an undercover subversive in the King's court, she plots to take down The New America, beginning with the capital, the City of Sand. Will Eve be able to bring about a new, free world when she's called upon to perform the ultimate act of rebellion—killing her father?
Eve is one of my all time favorite YA (dystopian) novels and I simply cannot wait for Rise! Aside from knowing how Carey will put an end to the trilogy, I wanted more of Caleb!

How about you? What are you waiting for this week?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

Title: The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Edition: Hardcover
Published: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 409
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Urban fantasy, Paranormal
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

The Raven Boys is astonishing.

When this was released last year, I thought I would just go ahead and wait up for the paper back to be released even though it will take up an entire year. But it didn't work at all because I wanted to have and read it so bad.

Gansey, Ronan and Adam are the Raven Boys. They have different stories and different personalities but are very good friends. They go to an exclusive and only-for-rich-people academy which is Aglionby. Gansey is so obsessed in finding Glendowel and the Ley Line and his friends are helping him. While on search of the ley line, Gansey heard his own voice on his recorder as if talking to someone so they agree to see a psychic which all then leads them to Blue, the one who talked to Gansey in the recording.

I just simply cannot put to words how I loved The Raven Boys. It is my first Stiefvater novel and it completely blew my mind away. I've seen mixed reviews about it and I even got scared by the emphasis of how slow its pace is that loving it after is unexpected. I was honestly unsure of pursuing the novel and again, I was proven completely wrong.

The premise of it is new to me. I loved how the historical influence of it is strong enough to pull me in. The way it was written isn't slow at all. Stiefvater wrote it in a way that a reader would be able to absorb each and every important revelation or moment in the novel. Her intentions can be felt by how vivid her descriptions are. Following the search of Glendowel is so much full of mysteries and secrets that unveiling them give me shivers all the time. It is the first novel I've read that made me nervous flipping each page the whole time. It just gets better and better as one go deeper.

The characters are even more brilliant. Gansey's influence to his friends is conventionally innocent. His intentions are noble yet its always misunderstood as bribing. I loved how he handles rude remarks and how he values friendship. He's an achiever and makes sure that he gets what his heart really wants. Ronan on the other hand, though blunt and arrogant at times, shows in his own little ways how he treasures his friends by sticking with them and defending them. His striking aloofness could make one uncomfortable yet will keep you interested. His history may be too painful and mysterious, I can see that deep inside him, he is hurting and just couldn't express it well. Adam is the opposite of Ronan. He's calmer, gentler and rational. Though his pride can be sometimes irrelevant and pointless, it makes him the character that balances the trio. Being the poorest of the three, it makes him pursue his dreams and even work harder. And lastly, Blue, the female protagonist in the novel, seemed to be like an accessory to the story which made me love it even more. She provided just the necessary help she's supposed to give and she's not irritating at all.

Another point that made me totally dive into The Raver Boys is the romance. It isn't overly done nor the opposite. The story basically focused on the mystery of Glendowel and left the romance department slightly untouched leaving me asking for more. Stiefvater might probably prepared more of it in book two.

The Raven Boys is the novel everyone should read right now. It is enthralling, hair-raising and phenomenal paranormal plotted story perfectly crafted to entice every hearts brave enough to be swept away with it! A must read!

VERDICT:
"She recognized the strange happiness that came from loving something without knowing why you did, that strange happiness that was sometimes so big that it felt like sadness."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Feature: Author of the Month.. (2)



Hello guys!

I am happy to share with you my second post my monthly blog feature. This month, I am featuring one of my all time favorite authors who have written such fantastic dystopian novels that made me deeply fall in love with YA and reading! Let me share with you my interview with

Lauren Oliver.
Delirium's premise is very much intriguing. What inspired you to write about Amor Deliria Nervosa or Love as a disease?
I was watching a TV News piece about Swine Flu, and I started to think about how people would react if the government announced that love was a contagious disease.
How long did it take you to finish the first book? How challenging was it?
It took about six months to a year to write the first book. It was very challenging! All books have their own joys and challenges.
The friendship between Lena and Hana is very strong. Is it something inspired with your real-life friendship?
Absolutely, my friendships have been an incredibly important in my life. I definitely tried to get that feeling with Lena and Hana.

LOVE that Obama & his daughters bought my books (DELIRIUM & PANDEMONIUM) ! I am so proud! (source)
Recently, President Obama's kids purchased your books. How does it feel?
AMAZING! I can't stop squealing about it. :)
You're now an award-winning author and have been listed as Best Selling author globally. How does that affect you personally and professionally?
I still don't quite believe it. It's been an amazing journey, I've gotten to see so many places and meet so many wonderful people.
 Splinders is topping the charts as well. Should we expect another novel/trilogy anytime soon?
Well, the third book in the Delirium Trilogy is coming out soon! After that I have another standalone YA book called PANIC, it's very different from anything else I've written so I'm very excited for it.

From 0 to 2 cats in 1.5 weeks! This is HUGO. (source)
Aside from writing, what do you usually do with your free time?
I love cooking, and running, and playing with my silly cats!
Do you read reviews? How do you handle negative ones?
I read reviews sometimes, but not always. I try to take the negative ones as constructive criticism, I'm always trying to be a better writer.
Will you be signing again here in the Philippines?
I hope so!
Your message to your Filipino fans.
 A HUGE thank you!

I want to come to Harper on my bday every year! (source)
~~o0o~~

I hope you guys enjoyed this interview as much as I did! The moment Lauren said yes to the interview, I almost dropped my phone! I was so surprised and shocked and elated all at the same time. Thank you so much Lauren for this wonderful opportunity! You can catch her on:

Don't forget to watch out for Requiem, Delirium series' final book out on March 5, 2013!