Sunday, March 31, 2013

MARCH RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


SUMMER IS HERE! (In Manila anyway.)

Seriously, I am not enjoying summer. Probably because am all stuck up at home where its too hot honestly and I get to work all the time! I wish I could be on vacation later this year so I could compensate whatever I am missing during this fantastic season. Oh well, here are my blog recap for March:

March 1 - Author of the Month: SUSAN DENNARD.

March 1 - #BlackCityPHTour kick off!

March 2 - Team Warner after gushing over Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi.

March 2 - Cover Revealed: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.

March 3 - Reviewed Breathe by Sarah Crossan.

March 6 - Waiting on Wednesday pick is My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi.

March 8 - TAHEREH MAFI IN MANILA + BLOGGER FORUM.

March 8 - RANSOM RIGGS IN MANILA.

March 9 - Stacking the Shelves post! My haul after being book banned for 3 months!

March 11 - Gone insane insane insane with Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi!

March 13 - Waiting on Wednesday pick is Ink by Amanda Sun.

March 15 - Reviewed one of my most anticipated titles for 2013: Unremembered by Jessica Brody.

March 22 - Feature and Follow Friday: Guilty pleasures as far as reading.

March 23 - Stacking the Shelves post! One of my favorite book haul!!

March 24 - Reviewed Article 5 by Kristen Simmons for a blog tour.

March 25 - Reviewed Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik.

March 26 - Swooned and raved over Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines!

March 28 - loved Never too Far by Abbi Glines!

March 31 - March Recap + Book of the Month.



And this month's title that really made me gush and rave over it is none other than
FALLEN TOO FAR by Abbi Glines!

Here is my review: (link)
Unravel Me came in second and I know I have to pick Fallen Too Far not because it was my first New Adult read or something, it just weighed heavier!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

REVIEW: FALLEN TOO FAR BY ABBI GLINES.

Title: Fallen Too Far (Too Far #1)
Author: Abbi Glines
Edition: eBook
Published: December 14, 2012
Pages: 207
Source: Amazon
Category: Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Trailer: Not applicable
Synopsis:

To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter.

She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.
Fallen Too Far is steamingly addictive.

Losing your family doesn't compare to any pain ever existed. When Blaire's mother succumbed to cancer, she is left with no other choice but to seek help from his long lost father. She promised she would only stay with him until she find a job and settle on her own. But meeting her step brother Rush, altered her decisions. He's so hot and gorgeous that she keeps fantasizing about him. But for her situation, the last thing she needs is distraction.

If you've been a follower of the blog since I started, you would have an idea on how I feel about self-published novels. Its not that I hated all of it, it just so happen that I read terrible ones and I started feeling afraid and hesitant to continue reviewing them. I had no idea that Fallen Too Far is self-published and seriously, it redeemed me from completely abandoning that part of publishing. I am actually ashamed of myself to be proven wrong. I am just so pleased that I read it and it being self-published is the least of my concerns.

It didn't take me long to finish this novel because first, it wasn't too long and second, I sacrificed sleep just to read it because it is just way too good. This is the most sensual novel I have ever read in my entire life and I am not ashamed to admit that I loved every bit of it. This is also my first ever attempt in venturing to New Adult genre and I must say it exceeded my expectations. I was pretty much wowed by Glines' way of expressing her thoughts and it is like reading what is the norm these days which is why it wasn't hard to understand it. Glines presented Fallen Too Far in such a way that one wouldn't get intimidated by the profanity or intimacy because everything just fit perfectly together and technically bring more feelings and sense. And what's important for me is the premise. By analyzing it, I saw how typical the plot was but what swayed me off my feet is how Glines intersected such perfect twists and unravel them at the perfect timing. There is no words sufficient enough to express how satisfied I am with this novel.

How will I ever forget to rave how much I adored Rush? He's the typical bad-boy-protagonist-turned-prince-charming but the way I felt how real he was inside my mind is exceptional. I have never felt this close to a character before as if he's my friend. I don't know how Glines did it but it was a fantastic feeling. He isn't just rich or sexy or hot, he has a heart. And that heart is captured by Blaire. Her life and their situation is complicated but I liked how she handled life's adversities. She's definitely tough and strong-willed. I appreciated how she could swallow and show her pride always at the right moments and it doesn't matter what choices she made, she was always ready to take responsibility for her actions and she's such a loving daughter. I was also left yearning for more from Wood. His sense of humor kept me laughing out loud and I believe there's more to his character but I am just glad there are no love triangles in the novel.

Fallen Too Far is a very sensual novel with such unexpected twists. Its fun to read and is written beautifully. It also full of surprises and a little bit of drama that kept it well balanced. There's no words right enough to use on how painful the ending was which would definitely push you to crave for more!
VERDICT:
"He wasn't what sent me running, He was what made me want to stay."

Monday, March 25, 2013

REVIEW: EPIC FAIL BY CLAIRE LAZEBNIK.

Title: Epic Fail
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Edition: eBook
Published: August 2nd 201
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 309
Source: Free from Amazon
Category: Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary
Trailer: Not applicable
Synopsis:

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.
Epic Fail is hilarious.

Elise and her family transferred from Massachusetts to California. She is not sure what to expect with the life they have to face. During her first day at her new high school, she's blown away by her school mate's standard in life. Everyone is almost wearing designer clothes, have expensive cars and they are beautiful. Especially Derek, a popular handsome guy whose parents are both famous Hollywood actors. She knows she likes him but couldn't figure him out.

I was so surprised to learn that Epic Fail is a retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I haven't read the latter but I surely enjoyed this novel. It is such a light read that fits to what I currently need. It is always nice to shift from paranormal or dystopia to chick lit or contemporary from time to time because I honestly find it relaxing. And I am so happy I was able to finish this one in one sitting.

I don't agree much with some of the characters like Derek's indifference, Elise's misjudgements, Layla's annoying behavior or Chelsea's insecurities. But LaZebnik made them work together and secured such delightful spinoff of the novel. And I love Chase to bits.

Epic Fail is a fun novel that one could get easily hooked to. It is light and easy read that surely brought smile to my lips and healed my reading/blogging slump at the moment.

VERDICT:
"No one's family is normal. Normalcy is a lie invented by advertising agencies to make the rest of us feel inferior."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR (7): ARTICLE 5 BY KRISTEN SIMMONS.


I would like to extend my gratitude to Tor Teen and Pinoy Book Tours for hosting this blog tour! It is always awesome to review intriguing books such as Article 5! Here's my review for today's stop and enjoy!

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Series: Article 5 #1
Edition: Hardcover
Publication: January 31, 2013 by Tor Teen
Pages: 362
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Dystopia, Romance

Synopsis:

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

Article 5 is a nice read.

In a world where too many shallow rules are in effect, being a child out of wedlock is considered a crime. Ember Miller is taken to custody and her mother to jail in accordance to Article 5. Ember could not accept that the love of her life, Chase Jennings, did all of this to her. All she wants now is to get out of the Rehabilitation Center where they torture people and so she could find her mother. She has to sneak out and risk getting shot and she has to forget that the Chase that she fell in love with is gone.

Dystopia is one of my favorite genres. As soon as I heard that there will be a blog tour for Article 5, I signed up immediately. The world Simmons created in Article 5 brings so much familiarity to such extent that I feel at home with it. I loved how simple it was presented, jumping right into the heart of the new world but leaving some complications unaddressed. The fact that it is a dystopian world, I was trying to learn a little about how the War started or how long has it been since everything went askew. I am assuming that it wasn't that very far from today.

The characters are brave yet seemed lost. Ember for sure showed bravery but there were moments she appeared indecisive and mostly irresponsible. I couldn't understand why she feels so much hatred for people who tries to extend help and why she couldn't trust her mother to tend for herself. I also don't feel good about the novel focusing merely on one character's feelings and I think it might have been relayed better. As I let myself get carried by the story, I noticed how it all revolved to just Ember and Chase and their mission to actually save Ember's mother. I was waiting for something to cut the rope but unfortunately, nothing happened. I wanted to see more of the dystopian aspect, the Resistance's cause or maybe what the government is really up to but instead, I saw only Ember and Chase, trying to suppress their love for each other.

Article 5 could have been better. I don't think it is boring, I just feel like something is missing. I feel and I know there's more to it than what I experienced with it and I am hoping that Breaking Point would have the answers I am seeking for because this series has potentials.

"You're home. To me."

Please check the rest of the tour's blog stops here!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (17)


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.

March 23, 2013


BOUGHT:
- Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie
- Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
- Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White
- Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush
- Article 5 (Article 5 #1) by Kristen Simmons

Okay. So I overspent again. I really didn't want to buy Article 5 YET but since I need it for a blog tour, I was left without any other choice! I might be on a book buying ban again till July because I also have to catch up on my TBR.

WON:
- Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I was supposed to only receive Hardcover of Nobody and paperback of Every Other Day but I received both in hard covers! Thank you so much Jennifer!

BORROWED:
- Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman

Borrowed this one from Chyna over at Lite-Rate-Ture! Thank you so much, Chyna!

Friday, March 15, 2013

REVIEW: UNREMEMBERED BY JESSICA BRODY.

Title: Unremembered (Unremembered #1)
Author: Jessica Brody
Edition: Paperback
Published: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Pages: 320
Source: Gifted by Louisse from The Soul Sisters
Category: Sci-Fi, Romance, Time Travel
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.
Unremembered is shockingly overwhelming.

Being the only survivor of a plane crash, Seraphina becomes an instant celebrity: everybody wants to talk to her and question her. She can't remember anything. Its as if her memory has been wiped completely out. Only a locket is left and she couldn't even remember it. Until a mysterious guy visits her at the hospital and tells her he knows her, she begins to question people's motives and tries to study if they're telling her the truth. She has to find Zen, the only one who can tell her who she is and the only one who knows about her locket.

Unremembered is one of my most anticipated novels for 2013 and I practically begged for an ARC. I was so stoked when a co-blogger gifted me her copy. The prose is indeed light and the intentions of focusing on the memory loss' whys and hows is very strong. I loved how Brody came up with such intriguing premise and that the uniqueness of it is so striking which I absolutely adored. The only thing I couldn't grasp is the genetic engineering. I don't know much about it but there were parts where I perceived it to be too impossible and felt like research should have made the possibilities, possible. Like tying a solid and tangible matter to someone's DNA sequence. It just doesn't convince me enough. And then there was transession which surprisingly a nice catch that eventually added up confusion at the end. But that probably is my favorite part of the novel where Brody attempted to write 2 different genres but manage to perfectly fit them together with consistency and sense.

The characters are surprising as well. I loved how this whole memory loss affected me from seeing it through Seraphina's eyes. Her burden is just so overwhelming that I feel like I wanted to console her at times. Good thing Zen is there to explain everything and let her remember on her own. Without him for sure, nothing would make sense and I wish Brody elaborated critical aspects like Seraphina's composition as an android (?) and at least why her memory was wiped out. My favorites are Rio and Maxxer, though. Good hearted characters in amidst of crazy circumstances.

I expected more from Unremembered. I could say I felt a little disappointed because I wanted more and I know there's more to it than this. I liked it though. It is a fast-paced, sci-fi novel that squeezes my heart every time I turn each page! I honestly couldn't put it down! Unremembered is a novel that would let you cherish your memories and look forward to the future! A nicely written book with an intriguing plot that would surely get everyone hooked! The twists are so good and the ending? EPIC!

Thank you Louisse Ang over at The Soul Sisters for the ARC!

VERDICT:
"Everybody knows the memories that really matter don't live in the mind."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY.. (27)



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

Expected Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Add to your To Read shelf on Goodreads
I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets. Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

I think I've never seen a novel with such strong Asian influence as this one! Just look at the cover and linger on the synopsis! I've seen this one in person (some friends have ARC) and I can't help but pet the cover! So gorgeous! Can't wait to get lost in Japan with Katie and Amanda!

Monday, March 11, 2013

REVIEW: UNRAVEL ME BY TAHEREH MAFI.

Title: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Edition: Paperback
Published: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 461
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Category: Romance, Dystopia, Paranormal
Trailer: Not Applicable yet
Synopsis:

tick
tick
tick
tick
tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

*Some spoilers here but I guess you've read Shatter Me so just go ahead and continue.*

Unravel Me is insanely perfect.

After Juliette escaped Warner's base, she, Adam and Kenji took refuge to the Omega Point to hone their abilities and plan their war strategies against the Reestablishment. Her stay there did not change the way she feels towards herself but only worsen her self-esteem and self-respect. Her life plummeted so darkly and so painful she no longer wants to interact with other people just to avoid hurting others. Her relationships became complicated but her abilities proved twice as lethal. And finding out the truth about Warner, Kenji and Adam triggered a new sense of future for her but she has to be stronger and braver and wise to survive.

Tahereh Mafi's writing is one of my favorite things in the literary world. How diverse her description of each emotion is just so surreal I can't fathom where she's getting her inspiration. I love her sense of humor, the authenticity of her novel, the lightness of the read and the deeper sense of Juliette's thoughts. There were instances I've felt I was reading my own feelings through her writing and I honestly felt closer to Mafi. Meeting her in person was one of the happiest days of my life and indulging myself with the world she created in her head makes me realize that I am looking at a glimpse of her heart, too.

Juliette's battle with herself is something we see everyday. I can relate to her and its easy to find comfort from her character. I loved how she evolved from being too innocent in Statter Me to being as strong as she is in Unravel Me. Its just that I simply don't agree that she did things to Adam she wasn't supposed to do. Her reasoning at first was something I could totally understand but after Chapter 62, I know I spoke too soon. You don't make out with someone else after a misunderstanding. Kenji is right, if you are not happy in a relationship, just leave. After reading Destroy Me, I turned Team Warner so fast I forgot how I fell for Adam first. Unravel Me reminded me that he is still the gentleman I've known, the loving and protective one. I loved how he doesn't want to give up on Juliette just yet and I wish I wouldn't see him hurting anymore. Kenji is the balance here. His humor and maturity balanced the character's chaotic thoughts and I loved how lightly his character's appeared. And lastly of course, Warner. I've learned his real name. I wanted him to tell me everything he told Juliette and I swear I was so surprised when I read Chapter 62. I was dreading it actually. The surprise Mafi saved on this chapter completely blew my mind. It drove me insane insane insane and caught me off guard. And the ending is epic. I've never encountered an ending as intense as this one. Not all authors would be brave enough to take a huge step out of their comfort zones. Am so glad Mafi did that.

Unravel Me, as far as I could tell, entails more of the character's struggles and emotion more than the dystopian approach which I truly appreciated because I get to know the characters deeper and and learned their ways of how they move and think within a world with limited resources. Though the paranormal aspect is thrilling, I found myself devouring every single thing the romance presented. I don't fancy love triangles but Mafi made sure this one would torture for the readers and her fans so much. I adored the intense development of the love triangle and it makes more sense to me now. True to her word, Mafi ensured that authenticity is implied to such high extent I get to absorb such bone-melting words.

Unravel Me is a chaotic and insane novel that one would see as beauty beyond words. It made me fall in love with the series harder the second time around. Juliette's mind flows like drought and kisses like sunlight. Book 3 might not be out until next year and its too much of a torture, but I think I could settle for Unravel Me at the moment because this book hangover would definitely last a while.

Thank you so much to Christine of Harper Collins for providing an ARC!

VERDICT:
"I want to be the friend you fall helplessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into  your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend, the one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette. I want to know where to touch you, I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me. Yes, I do want to be your friend. I want so many things, I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time. I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine because you want me. Because you never ever want me to stop. I want every second, every inch of you. I want all of it. I'm so desperately in love with you. (Warner)"

Saturday, March 9, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (16)


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.

March 9, 2013

After being punished of a 3-month book buying ban, I was finally free! I actually didn't hoard but just bought books for Tahereh Mafi's signing and 2 titles I rewarded myself for a job well done!


BOUGHT:
- Asunder (Newsoul #2) by Jodi Meadows
- Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
- Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi (Signed)
- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) by Ransom Riggs (Signed)

GIFTED:
- Unremembered (Unremembered #1) by Jessica Brody (Thank you so much Louisse at The Soul Sisters!)

BORROWED:
- Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver (ARC; Thank you, Michelle at Michelle Shouts Random!)
- Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon #1) by Anna Banks (ARC; Thank you, Precious at Fragments of Life!)

FOR REVIEW:
- Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi (ARC; signed)
- Rise (Eve #3) (ARC)

Thank you so so much to Christine of HarperCollins!

Friday, March 8, 2013

MEETING THE AUTHOR: RANSOM RIGGS IN MANILA.

Where I relive the experience and share all the feels before, during and after meeting these fantastic authors WHO ARE BASICALLY LIFE.

After Tahereh Mafi's signing last Saturday, the next day I went to Ransom Riggs' book signing hosted by Fully Booked. Since he was at Tahereh's signing and had my copy signed, I didn't ask for him to sign anything anymore but I just wanted to have my picture taken at the "proper" book signing venue. Unfortunately, Fully Booked's sound system was terrible that recording the Q and A didn't work out. So here are the pictures at the event!


200 plus people actually signed up for the signing! I didn't expect the place to be that crowded but I was so happy I came back! I met up with my gorgeous co-bloggers and stand in line!


If I remember correctly, some people asked him about collaborating with John Green, what does he feel about Tim Burton directing the movie adaptation of the book, if he was married (oh god we squealed ), how does he find The Philippines so far and when would be the second book come out (January 2014, people!). Some also asked about his love for photos and his inspiration for the book. I think there was also a question about his dream cast.


And this group gladly call themselves TEAM HANDSOME PHILIPPINES because we are Team Handsome Philippines! Meet Louisse, Kazhy, Maricar, Leslie and me!


And there you go! She's his special guest! As soon as we reached Ransom's table, I believe he recognized us from yesterday's event and informed us that Tahereh will arrive! He said during the Q and A that Tahereh won't make it to the signing but then he whispered and gave us the good news!



 Yes indeed Ransom, you are peculiarly mine! 


Thank you so so much Fully Booked for hosting such an awesome event and Ransom, for being here, for being so "weird-o" and funny! We love you!

Love,
Kate
Team Handsome Philippines

MEETING THE AUTHOR: TAHEREH MAFI IN MANILA 2013.

Where I relive the experience and share all the feels before, during and after meeting these fantastic authors WHO ARE BASICALLY LIFE.

How and where should I start?

Okay. So please expect that this going to be a long post.

I was so honored and lucky and grateful for being invited by JB from National Book Store to be a part of Tahereh Mafi's Blogger Forum before her book signing last March 2. Imagine how I screamed my lungs out when I saw the email invitation! And the best thing? I know most of the bloggers joining! So I went there an hour before the forum (I woke up terribly late and was panicking the entire time) and met up with my lovely co-bloggers. We were all fan girling and gushing and smiling like crazy when Tahereh arrived!

So what happened during the forum, you ask. We almost like interviewed Tahereh and if you haven't met her in person, be jealous now because she is so darn pretty, awesome, sweet and hilarious! I was able to record the interview on my phone except for the first question. I missed Louisse's question because I was panicking and don't really even know to navigate my phone yet. I transcribed the entire thing which seriously took hours but I am so okay with it. I loved listening to Tahereh's voice and her funny antics!

Note: I tried to transcribe the EXACT recorded conversation and just removed the fillers. I am sorry I couldn't post the exact recording file at the moment. I am figuring out how to convert it and I was really noisy at the back ground so its kind of embarrassing.

Geraldine: I'd like to ask which guy do you like most, is it Adam, Warner or Kenji and will this affect Juliette's decision?

TM: I definitely think my personal opinion's affects what is gonna happen in this book. But I think they'd have too, in some ways because I understand these characters in a way that is slightly uncomfortable to be honest, because they are not real and yet they feel very very real to me. But Kenji is very much inspired by my brothers. His character is the amalgamation of my older brothers, his personality. If you guys read Unravel Me? There's like a line in the beginning of Unravel Me where Kenji is talking to Juliette and Juliette is like "lower your voice" and he's like "no", she's like "why not" and he says "because if I lower my voice I wont be able to hear myself speak and that's my favorite part". And that is a conversation I had with my brother where he finished saying that and I was like "hold on" and I pulled out my phone and I just wrote it down and I was like "I'm sorry that is going in a book". So its really really fun to write Kenji. Its like I'm talking to my brother and I think for that reason, it would be really uncomfortable for me to feel something romantic for Kenji. But other than that, as far like the Team Adam or Warner, I asked my Mom. I was like "Are you Team Adam or are you Team Warner?" and she said "I'm Team Handsome!". So I'm going to stay with that answer.

Dea: How do the fan's opinions affect the course of the series?

TM: Its been really enlightening actually because I finished writing the second book before the first book was even out. Actually, I finished like finalized edits, you know the big final edits on the second book just as the first book was being published. Its like the same day actually, I was so stressed out. I knew what was gonna happen in Unravel Me but no one else did and to hear people and readers be really excited about Warner just from reading Shatter Me was really kind of strange because he's an extremely disturbing character in the first book and he does like these really horrible, horrifying things and people are like "ohh warner" and I was like "haaaaa whyyyy". You know its a little weird but I was like but its okay coz I kind of.. you know there so much more to him and I like that, I like that readers were able to see that there are multiple layers to Warner so that was really exciting. But I think that did push me to wanting to write a novella from his point of view. My publishers wanted me to write, for those of you who dont know, there's Destroy Me that comes out between Shatter me and Unravel Me and that's all from Warner's point of view. So my publishers wanted me to write an e-novella that would be released between the first and the second book but they'd originally suggested a prequel which is something that I thought would be really boring and irrelevant to the story. And hearing from people so much about Warner made me want to write something from his point of view. I thought it would help to have something from his perspective. So it definite has an impact on me.

Clarissa: Will you write another dystopian series like Shatter Me or are you planning on diverting to other genres say, contemporary YA?

TM: I love contemporary but I dont think I could ever write it. It's extremely difficult I think. I wouldn't really know how to write a relatable contemporary novel because I feel like my teenage years were not very.. contemporary relatable.. Wait! I dont know to explain it, like Anna and the French Kiss, I dont know if you guys are familiar with it? I love it, its one of my favorite contemporary novels. It's so sweet and so like your heart is like a gooey chocolate cookie after you finish reading it. Its really great and I just dont think I could ever write a contemporary novel like that so I just read them mostly. But I think I will awalys write something that has paranormal fantastical element to it and thats what I'm looking forward to writing after Shatter Me. Something like that.

Maryann: First of all you're so beautiful. You look like a model. Question is, does Juliette attributes or characteristics reflect you in the book?

TM: Thank you. Is that a statement? because she's kind of crazy. Juliette, first of all you're very sweet. That's a very sweet thing to say. But I think Juliette is like the kind of teenager I wish could have been. I really wanted to write about someone who had undergone extreme difficulty and came out of it with compassion and great sense of dignity and empathy for others and because that's I think is real strength, I wanted to write something about great inner strength, someone who is more than just like physically strong and could like shoot people and kill them and be like "yey, im tough" because I just feel like that's not enough, that's not gonna sustain you as a human being and this series is so much about her growth as an individual over the course of the 3 books. By the third book, she's almost unrecognizable, she's so different from skinnish animal, crazy, character than she is in the first book and she really comes into her own and finds her voice and I just really admire her, I wanted to write about someone I admire so its very flattering to me that you would think I share any attributes with her. But I think as a seventeen year-old I wasnt.. I was a very angry teenager, you know it was very like emo-angsty and I think I would have liked to be more like juliette.

Chyna: Hi Tahereh. If you weren't an author right now, what would you have become?

TM: That's a good question. A lot of things, I wanted to be a lot of things. When I was like 5, I wanted to be a chemist. And then I just can't take like how much Math is in Chemistry and I was like "forget that". But I was really a precautious child. But I think I would have loved to be a fashion designer.

Host (Chad): Well, you look very fashionable today.

TM: Thank you! You guys are nice! I think I'm gonna stay here.

Alyana: So why did you pick a villain to be one of Juliette's love interest and who among the two would you prefer if you were her?

TM: I can't answer that question! I don't actually believe he's a villain. I think the villain is a.. yeah, spoiler alert.. I think the villain is really somebody else that you'd meet in the second book. And so for me, I think I've always been extremely fascinated by human being's capacity for immense goodness and to just like abject terror and terribleness, like I mean we can be so good and we can be so bad, we have the capacity for such extremes. And that's always fascinated me because its like in one person, all human beings and they have the ability to be that way and I wanted to study someone whose sort of squirting the line between both, flirting with the line between good and evil. I don't think anything is ever black and white. I think people are so many shade of gray, am really gonna regret saying that! shades of pink! shades of warner! aaah, This is going downhill. But I think people are just so much more multi-faceted than they appear. They're so much more than what meets the eye. So anyway, yeah, I don't think he's a villain and I can't answer the question about who she or who I think.. read the third book!

Tiff: If you really had to choose a scene in your book to relive, because I remember you answered that in your video but I think it was a jokey type of answer, so which one would you choose? Either as an invisible Watcher, or an Outsider or as a character yourself?

TM: In all, in both Shatter Me and Destroy Me and Unravel Me, like any.. yeah I did answer this question in an interview but I was like "Its a dystopian novel, everything is horrible, I don't wanna relive any of those moments". But I would not mind, probably wouldn't wanna be a fly on the wall in the middle of Chapter 62, that would be really uncomfortable and kind of gross. I dont know! I feel like the good parts are like really like fun but I also feel weird because.. that just makes me feel kind of inappropriate. I dont know, this is a tough question! I.. what about you? What would you like to... (Tiff: I dont think my answer is...) That's okay, what happens at the blogger meeting stay at blogger meeting I guess.. Wait, what? (Tiff: I don't think you would want to hear my answer).. I do! now I really wanna hear the answer.. Just say it, out loud.. say it.. Vampire...Would you wanna be Juliette or Warner? (Tiff: definitely not warner).. Ahhh that's a good answer!


Me: Hi.. I would wanna ask about the covers.. Why the sudden change and whats the relevance of the eye to the story?

TM: The cover changes are all my publisher. The original cover of Shatter Me was a girl in a white dress, shouldered like a Kardashian. I'd like to tell a story, I got an email once from a reader who is like "I wasnt gonna read your book because I thought it was about, like a fashion model and then I read it, and I was so glad I did because I had nothing to do with being a fashion model or something", I was like, "that didnt work". That actually added itself as a reason why we changed the cover. My publisher was so excited about the original cover, they thought it was really pretty, like bam blam or something which doesn't really suited dystopian novel which they thought would be an engaging cover and I think they realized it didn't really suit the story. This eye..is.. iconic.. yeah, sorry about that.. It's really metaphorical, it's highly metaphorical in the way that the book is extremely metaphorical, Juliette's head is like kinda crazy, she thinks in really extreme ways and (this is Ransom Riggs by the way) and so you know, like on the Shatter Me cover, like the branches are sort of bare and there's like a little water fall, her tears.. and then Unravel Me everything sort of freezes over and the water fall becomes like an icicle, like the branches sort of freeze, it's like its progression of what's happening, the story, wha'ts happening in her head, how she's sort of evolving as a person and things are dying, regrowing, so it's highly, highly metahorical, and its really creepy in a way that I kind of like so..

Host (Chad): So how will the current eye look like? for the third book?

TM: I can't tell you! I've seen it though. Its pretty!

Me: You're so gorgeous, oh my god. Are you wearing the Shatter Me shoes?

TM: I am not wearing the Shatter Me shoes!

Me: Thank you!

TM: Thank you, you're so sweet. I know you from Twitter! Nice to meet you!

I've limited the Blogger Forum questions because if I didn't, this would be longer than I wanted it to. As I've mentioned earlier, Tahereh Mafi is so sweet, cool, awesome and hilarious. I laughed all throughout the forum and I feel so privileged being a part of this event. Here are some pictures at the forum and you're right, Ransom Riggs was there, too!

Lyra's question was about her writing style which Tahereh explained that the way she writes has never changed and it is something she points out to make sure the book keeps its authenticity. Precious asked her about how did see sort of come up with the photographic writing and Tahereh said it wasn't something she intended to do but she just let herself write exactly the way her characters talk in her head. Kai told her to tell more about the world building and she answered it actually started when she saw the news about fishes having 2 reproductive organs in one body and she kind of thought that whatever we put in the water, air or the environment really endangers every living thing and what if because of this, people get genetically mutated. Dianne also asked about her dream cast and Tahereh told us that she doesn't want to say something about it to prevent sticking images onto one's mind.

She also recognized us from Twitter, highlighting Louise, Kai and me! Again, here are some pics from the Forum! Aside from Louisse and Maricar who actually stayed for the signing, most of us still went at the signing venue but just stayed for a few minutes because most of the interview questions were asked during the forum and man, the place was jammed! And we had our lovely time with Tahereh and Ransom! She even had our Unravel Me copies defaced!


Just a glimpse at the signing event after the Blogger Forum!
Dani, Leslie, Dianne, Kai, Alyana, Tiff, Chyna, Kai and Lyra and other bloggers at the Forum.

My defaced Unravel Me and Signed Shatter Me. I also had my ARC of Unravel Me signed!
Me and Tahereh like close friends! :))



How many time can I say that I feel so honored and privileged being invited in this event! It was indeed my first blogger conference and I guess, aside from getting ARCs, this is one of the so many perks of being a book blogger! I have never fangirled in my life as I did when I met Tahereh and Ransom and trust me, I will treasure it in my heart for the rest of my life.

Am just leaving links here for the pictures taken during the event: