Tuesday, April 30, 2013

APRIL RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


What do you know? We're done with the fourth month of 2013! It's still summer here in Manila and I can guarantee you guys would get tan lines once you go out of the house in exactly three minutes! It is insane! So I am really wanting this summer to be over! Ironic huh? But I just can't seem to live with this too much heat! Okay. Enough with the weather! Here's my recap for the month! Haven't reviewed much though! Enjoy!

April 01 - Author of the Month + PH Giveaway.

April 02 - Reviewed  the finale of the Delirium Series, Requiem by Lauren Oliver.

April 07 - Loved the finale of the Eve Trilogy, Rise by Anna Carey.

April 09 - Reviewed Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons.

April 10 - Turned Grisha after reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

April 11 - Blog Tour review of Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil.

April 13 - Cover Revealed: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas.

April 13 - Blog Tour Guest post for Stung by Bethany Wiggins.

April 13 - Stacking the Shelves (18): Got books for review!

April 14 - Lost for words for The Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes!

April 17 - Waiting on Wednesday: Me Since You by Laura Wiess.

April 19 - Got my fourth tattoo!

April 19 - Reviewed The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle.

April 20 - Stacking The Shelves (19): Got Etiquette and Espionage and Mila 2.0!

April 22 - Finally reviewed The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry.

April 25 - Loved Just One Day by Gayle Forman.

April 28 - Blog Tour ARC review of The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise + PH giveaway.

April 30 - April Recap + Book of the Month.



And this month's pick is very hard because I have three different titles that seriously tied up with this one: Rise by Anna Carey, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Just One Day by Gayle Forman. It was really difficult for me to choose this one because I loved those other books as well. But without further ado, my pick for the month is none other than..

FALLING KINGDOMS BY MORGAN RHODES!


It was super good and full of mind blowing action! As I've said, this book left me damaged beyond repair! good job, Morgan! My review HERE!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

BLOG TOUR (10): THE BOYFRIEND APP BY KATIE SISE.

Today is my blog tour stop for The Boyfriend App Philippines Tour hosted by Chyna at Lite-Rate-Ture! I am so stoked to finally be able to share what I thought of this geeky and funny novel! Enjoy!

Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Edition: Paperback
Published: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 320
Source: ARC provided by Chyna at Lite-Rate-Ture
Category: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Trailer: not applicable.
Synopsis:

In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?
*SOME SPOILERS*

The Boyfriend App is absolutely geeky!

Audrey McCarthy is a programming genius. Her father thought her everything she knows and it pains her everytime she remembers that he's gone. She badly wanted to go out of her hellish high school life because of her evil ex-best friend and start a new at college but she's short of funds. When there's an open competition where they have to come up with a mobile app, she enters hoping she could bag the winning prize of whopping two hundred thousand dollars. But little did she know, another hellish life awaits her.

When I ventured in the IT Industry and the blogging world, my heart longed to be a programmer. I wanted to be able to make be good at whatever job I am doing and I basically just wanted to be able to make layouts for my blog. When I read The Boyfriend App, I can't help but feel a little jealous of the character and how technically savvy she is. I loved how it all goes well together in the novel - school, love life and work and how well balanced it was written.

Audrey is very techy. At a very young age, her dad thought her stuff adults are expected to be good at. And she's good at it. She could hack a website, knows how to hide her IP address, can create an application and so on and so fort. I've never encountered a character like her and I enjoyed how smart she is. And I just simply love Aiden!

The only thing I can't really agree on is the part where a sound can manipulate a person's feelings. I am not sure if there are studies about it but I just can't picture it out. Everything about The Boyfriend App is thoroughly likable except for that part. Well, at least for me. No matter what stimuli or hormones a particular sound can activate or deactivate, I just don't believe that a phone app can make someone as crazily in love as what the book tells.

The Boyfriend App is quirky, funny and light contemporary read I can recommend to everyone. It shows how being humiliated everyday by your evil ex-best friend can make you work you arse off to get out and have a peaceful life. It shows courage, talent and patience and sometimes, you just really have to be witty and manipulative to get what you want or deserve. Oh and justice prevails.

VERDICT:
Quote to follow.
About the Author:

Katharine “Katie” Sise is a New York City based author, jewelry designer and television host. Years ago, at age twenty-four— after dropping a rare and very expensive bottle of champagne on her way to deliver it to Robert De Niro’s table—she realized she needed a way to fund her acting and writing career that didn’t involve balancing a tray full of cocktails. That fall, she taught herself to make jewelry and launched Katharine Sise Jewelry. Within a few months, Lucky Magazine called her a “Designer to Watch” and her company appeared in every major fashion magazine—including Vogue, W, Elle, Self, Lucky, InStyle, Bazaar, Allure, Us Weekly, People, In Touch, Page Six Magazine, Real Simple, FN, Life and Style, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Women’s Wear Daily, Marie Claire and Glamour. Before she knew it, her celebrity clientele included Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Kelly Ripa, Ellen Pompeo, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Beyonce Knowles, Anne Hathaway and Drew Barrymore.
Katharine has been profiled on dozens of online fashion and lifestyle outlets including Forbes.com, Elle.com, InStyle.com, People.com, Sweet, The Huffington Post and The New York Post. Her jewelry has appeared on television shows such as The View, Live with Regis and Kelly, E! News, Good Day New York, Full Frontal Fashion, Movie and a Makeover, The O.C., Brothers and Sisters and Gossip Girl. While Katharine was chatting with the ladies from The View, one of her necklaces broke on air and fell from her neck to her lap because she didn’t spend enough time getting the clasp right. That moment is preserved, forever, on a DVD at her parents’ house.
Katharine has designed jewelry for national campaigns like Vera Wang, Gap and Keds. In 2009, Target launched Katharine Sise for Target.

Katharine has worked as a fashion and lifestyle consultant, appearing on-air for networks like HSN, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, CNBC and ABC’s Good Morning America. For eighteen months, Katharine co-hosted a live monthly television show for The Home Shopping Network. She also appeared as The Daily Special’s resident style expert.
Katharine’s first book, Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career (Perseus/Running Press) hit shelves in September of 2010. Creative Girl is written for every woman who wants to make her living in the creative world, whether in an office job or at the helm of her own business. The book is an encouraging and practical take on how to make a living doing what you love.
Katharine’s first novel, The Boyfriend App, will be published by HarperCollins Balzer + Bray on April 30, 2013. The Boyfriend App tells the story of a girl who, in order to win a scholarship offered by a secretly-evil global computing corporation, invents an app that makes any boy fall madly in love with her, with chaotic results.
Katharine has a BA in Film, Television and Theater from The University of Notre Dame. She lives in New York City with her family.
We are also giving away copies of The Boyfriend App ARCs! (PH Only though!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

BLOG TOUR (10): THE BOYFRIEND APP BY KATIE SISE.

Today is my blog tour stop for The Boyfriend App Philippines Tour hosted by Chyna at Lite-Rate-Ture! I am so stoked to finally be able to share what I thought of this geeky and funny novel! Enjoy!

Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
Edition: Paperback
Published: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 320
Source: ARC provided by Chyna at Lite-Rate-Ture
Category: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Trailer: not applicable.
Synopsis:

In The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise, super-smart, somewhat geeky Audrey McCarthy can’t wait to get out of high school. Her father’s death and the transformation of her one-time BFF, Blake Dawkins, into her worst nightmare have her longing for the new start college will bring.

But college takes money. So Audrey decides she has to win the competition for the best app designed by a high schooler—and the $200,000 that comes with it. She develops something she calls the Boyfriend App, and suddenly she’s the talk of the school and getting kissed by the hottest boys around. But can the Boyfriend App bring Audrey true love?
*SOME SPOILERS*

The Boyfriend App is absolutely geeky!

Audrey McCarthy is a programming genius. Her father thought her everything she knows and it pains her everytime she remembers that he's gone. She badly wanted to go out of her hellish high school life because of her evil ex-best friend and start a new at college but she's short of funds. When there's an open competition where they have to come up with a mobile app, she enters hoping she could bag the winning prize of whopping two hundred thousand dollars. But little did she know, another hellish life awaits her.

When I ventured in the IT Industry and the blogging world, my heart longed to be a programmer. I wanted to be able to make be good at whatever job I am doing and I basically just wanted to be able to make layouts for my blog. When I read The Boyfriend App, I can't help but feel a little jealous of the character and how technically savvy she is. I loved how it all goes well together in the novel - school, love life and work and how well balanced it was written.

Audrey is very techy. At a very young age, her dad thought her stuff adults are expected to be good at. And she's good at it. She could hack a website, knows how to hide her IP address, can create an application and so on and so fort. I've never encountered a character like her and I enjoyed how smart she is. And I just simply love Aiden!

The only thing I can't really agree on is the part where a sound can manipulate a person's feelings. I am not sure if there are studies about it but I just can't picture it out. Everything about The Boyfriend App is thoroughly likable except for that part. Well, at least for me. No matter what stimuli or hormones a particular sound can activate or deactivate, I just don't believe that a phone app can make someone as crazily in love as what the book tells.

The Boyfriend App is quirky, funny and light contemporary read I can recommend to everyone. It shows how being humiliated everyday by your evil ex-best friend can make you work you arse off to get out and have a peaceful life. It shows courage, talent and patience and sometimes, you just really have to be witty and manipulative to get what you want or deserve. Oh and justice prevails.

VERDICT:
Quote to follow.
About the Author:

Katharine “Katie” Sise is a New York City based author, jewelry designer and television host. Years ago, at age twenty-four— after dropping a rare and very expensive bottle of champagne on her way to deliver it to Robert De Niro’s table—she realized she needed a way to fund her acting and writing career that didn’t involve balancing a tray full of cocktails. That fall, she taught herself to make jewelry and launched Katharine Sise Jewelry. Within a few months, Lucky Magazine called her a “Designer to Watch” and her company appeared in every major fashion magazine—including Vogue, W, Elle, Self, Lucky, InStyle, Bazaar, Allure, Us Weekly, People, In Touch, Page Six Magazine, Real Simple, FN, Life and Style, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Women’s Wear Daily, Marie Claire and Glamour. Before she knew it, her celebrity clientele included Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Kelly Ripa, Ellen Pompeo, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Beyonce Knowles, Anne Hathaway and Drew Barrymore.
Katharine has been profiled on dozens of online fashion and lifestyle outlets including Forbes.com, Elle.com, InStyle.com, People.com, Sweet, The Huffington Post and The New York Post. Her jewelry has appeared on television shows such as The View, Live with Regis and Kelly, E! News, Good Day New York, Full Frontal Fashion, Movie and a Makeover, The O.C., Brothers and Sisters and Gossip Girl. While Katharine was chatting with the ladies from The View, one of her necklaces broke on air and fell from her neck to her lap because she didn’t spend enough time getting the clasp right. That moment is preserved, forever, on a DVD at her parents’ house.
Katharine has designed jewelry for national campaigns like Vera Wang, Gap and Keds. In 2009, Target launched Katharine Sise for Target.

Katharine has worked as a fashion and lifestyle consultant, appearing on-air for networks like HSN, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, CNBC and ABC’s Good Morning America. For eighteen months, Katharine co-hosted a live monthly television show for The Home Shopping Network. She also appeared as The Daily Special’s resident style expert.
Katharine’s first book, Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career (Perseus/Running Press) hit shelves in September of 2010. Creative Girl is written for every woman who wants to make her living in the creative world, whether in an office job or at the helm of her own business. The book is an encouraging and practical take on how to make a living doing what you love.
Katharine’s first novel, The Boyfriend App, will be published by HarperCollins Balzer + Bray on April 30, 2013. The Boyfriend App tells the story of a girl who, in order to win a scholarship offered by a secretly-evil global computing corporation, invents an app that makes any boy fall madly in love with her, with chaotic results.
Katharine has a BA in Film, Television and Theater from The University of Notre Dame. She lives in New York City with her family.
We are also giving away copies of The Boyfriend App ARCs! (PH Only though!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

REVIEW: JUST ONE DAY BY GAYLE FORMAN.

Title: Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Edition: Paperback
Published: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 368
Source: Borrowed from Chyna at Lite-Rate-Ture
Category: Contemporary, Romance
Trailer: not applicable.
Synopsis:

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
Just One Day is certainly a bomb.

This is my second Forman novel and I could say that she didn't disappoint me with Just One Day. I was lucky Chyna from Lite-Rate-Ture lent me her copy and from her review, I was kind of hesitant to read it. If I Stay was so heart-breaking that I wasn't really sure if I could handle another one after I've followed it up with the very depressing The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle. I've also seen mixed reviews about it but surprisingly, I LOVED IT TO THE BONES and I would go get my hard back copy this weekend.

Having a mother who looks after everything in her life, Allyson and her best friend Melanie doesn't really have a choice but join a tour in Europe before going to college. They went to different European countries but Allyson wouldn't be able to visit Paris. On the day their tour group is supposed to watch Hamlet, Allyson and Melanie went to see an underground performance instead and Allyson met Willem, who played Sebastian in another Shakespeare novel, Twelfth Night. She cannot deny the spark she has for him and eventually ventured to Paris with Willem for just one day.

Where should I start? Okay. So I terribly loved all the places Allyson went to. After reading the novel, I felt like I have just been to Europe and that I suddenly knew French! The richness of the places and their beauty or ugliness were described so detailed that it wasn't difficult at all to picture everything. I salivated over Macarons and you know, I've always wanted to go to Paris so reading the novel made my dream more real. The fact that strangers could basically be friendly and accommodating makes traveling a little bit more exciting and thrilling.

The plot is very unusual for me which I find always better. What are the chances this would happen in real life, right? I loved how much tourism there is in this novel plus how love can be as romantic as  Shakespeare in Europe. It is just magnificently manipulated to make turning points as fun as this one. There are just a few points that didn't really convince me such the slowness of the pace at the beginning and how some characters doesn't immediately realize that love can be short-lived and wouldn't work given Allyson's situation. But I guess I am glad it all happened because I tremendously loved every bits of it.

Speaking of Allyson, she just doesn't know when to give up. She's very strong willed that is why she ended up looking for not only Willem, but the rightness she felt meeting him. Its as if she's soul searching in the background. I liked how she stood up for what she really wanted even though she knows she would hurt her parents but still showed them respect. How she keeps her promises is also something to like about her. Willem though is a little mysterious and I guess I have to wait for the sequel to understand his character better. And I love Dee! I wanted to have a friend like him. He's hard working, kind, straight to the point and fun!

Just One Day just made it to my Top Ten All Time Favorite novels. It is beautifully wirtten with such contrasting twists and one of a kind premise. Who wouldn't love macarons, french and Paris? I definitely do! Just One Day just toured me all over Europe and showed me that there's something good to look for in certain ACCIDENTS.

VERDICT:
"Sometimes the best way to find out what you're supposed to do is to is by doing the thing you're not supposed to do."

Monday, April 22, 2013

REVIEW: THE PECULIARS BY MAUREEN MCQUERRY.

Title: The Peculiars
Author: Maureen Doyle McQuerry
Edition: Hardbound
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Pages: 354
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Category: Steampunk, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

This dark and thrilling adventure, with an unforgettable heroine, will captivate fans of steampunk, fantasy, and romance.
On her 18th birthday, Lena Mattacascar decides to search for her father, who disappeared into the northern wilderness of Scree when Lena was young. Scree is inhabited by Peculiars, people whose unusual characteristics make them unacceptable to modern society. Lena wonders if her father is the source of her own extraordinary characteristics and if she, too, is Peculiar. On the train she meets a young librarian, Jimson Quiggley, who is traveling to a town on the edge of Scree to work in the home and library of the inventor Mr. Beasley. The train is stopped by men being chased by the handsome young marshal Thomas Saltre. When Saltre learns who Lena’s father is, he convinces her to spy on Mr. Beasley and the strange folk who disappear into his home, Zephyr House. A daring escape in an aerocopter leads Lena into the wilds of Scree to confront her deepest fears.
The Peculiars is peculiarly interesting.

Hiding herself from people who would criticize her because of her unusual hands and feet, Lena tried to cope and forget the pain. His father left her when she was a child and she grew up being labeled as goblin. In a world where Peculiar people are sent to Scree to mine all their life, on her eighteenth birthday, she decides she has to go and find her father and figure out what she really is.

The Peculiars is a very interesting novel. The steampunk slash paranormal combination never fails to fascinate me no matter how many times I've stumbled upon it. The world this story belongs to is very rich in history and the people are all amazingly different that gave me enough reason to continue devouring this one. I loved the eerie type of world it presented and the plot of it is seriously amusing. However, I found one thing about it unagreeable. The pacing at it becomes too slow that I felt bored at some point. This is a reason I mark a novel less of a star. I don't actually feel good when I read something that when I wait up until two hundred pages and nothing happens, it immediately disappoints me. And some of it are easily predictable.

I liked how Lena and the other Peculiars were described. They are as if magical creatures. But again, nothing was really explained here. Not their origin, how they become almost extinct and why are they being treated that way. Not even a brief history. Lena is very immature too. That might be probably because she wasn't sure how to mingle with people because she grew up almost isolated. She's very easily lured and most of the time, a little hindrance. I loved Mr. Beasley's library and personality. His hospitality and warm hearts towards those in need are very positive traits to lighten everyone's faces. And his unyielding confidence towards his friends is pleasing. I also liked Jimson. His love for science and knowledge is truly passionate and I like how he manage to tell Lena straight to her face that she's being foolish.

I was actually looking forward to reading The Peculiars and thankfully, I liked it. I still enjoyed reading this dark, mysterious and intriguing steampunk novel and I am hoping that if there's a sequel to it, I would find answers by then.
VERDICT:
"But do you know who you are? Does anyone really? What makes a decent person? Does being the same as everyone else mean being better than other people or does it just make it easier to look down your nose at them?"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (19)


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.


BOUGHT:
- Mila 2.0 (MILA 2.0 #1) by Debra Driza

Okay. So I went to National Book Store Glorietta and I was so surprised to see that they carry tons of new titles I have never thought they would sell. As soon as I saw Mila, I grabbed it because there were only 2 copies available. Then I roamed around and grabbed several titles but then I started feeling bad about overspending on books. I dropped the rest but I then felt like one title wouldn't suffice. And then and then!!! I saw Etiquette and OMG I squealed! So I headed directly to the counter, went home and hugged these babies! Best buy ever! HAHA

HAPPY WEEKEND, LOVELY PEOPLE!

Friday, April 19, 2013

REVIEW: THE BEGINNING OF AFTER BY JENNIFER CASTLE.

Title: The Beginning of After
Author: Jennifer Castle
Series: Standalone
Edition: Hardbound
Publication: September 6, 2011 by HarperTeen
Source: Bought from Fullybooked
Pages: 432
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Family

Synopsis:

Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.

Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

Jennifer Castle’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment.
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

The Beginning of After is heart-shattering.

After losing her family in a horrible car accident, Laurel needs to find ways to cope with the pain and loss. She has to continue life on her own and practically accept that there's a huge void in her life that her family used to fill in. She just have to find the strength to carry on.

This is the second "tragic" book I've read. Seriously, there's like a hole in my heart that aches for such unimaginable sudden loss of loved ones. I couldn't picture how painful this would be and I am praying that it will never happen to me or anyone because dang! I would go crazy beyond relief. And yes, I liked how the synopsis was presented and how much of our reality is showcased here. But I was still disappointed. Maybe the novel isn't really meant for audience like me. I had issues with its slow pacing, the lack of twists, the stubbornness of Laurel, her indecisiveness and the way she chose David is something so vague and ridiculous in my opinion. I was on the brink of losing it, I wanted to mark it as DNF because I was terribly bored but I held on and continued. I reached the end but I got nothing.

Laurel, as I've said is a ridiculous decision-maker. I don't know but I would have done things in a different way if it were me. I would have gone to Yale, would have chosen Joe and would have faced my therapist in a polite manner and would have given up the vet hospital. Probably, I would choose things normal people would do and I definitely will give myself time to mourn. But she just kept on dragging things with her. David is another ridiculous character! I hated his judgments and I think just because he shares the same sentiments with Laurel doesn't mean they should be together. Good thing though, Joe knew his place and didn't force it with Laurel. And I love how Meg stayed strong for her best friend and though she's mostly pissed at her, she fulfilled her best friend duty.

The Beginning of After surely did wreck my heart. It implies heart-breaking and bone-shattering pain but shows the power of healing. Aside from the gorgeous cover, I believe this contemporary novel has the potential to be loved by people who adore slow-paced yet emotionally invested premise. I wish it did that for me though.

"That's the whole thing about grieving. It's part of the deal: You get to be alive and to love, but in exchange you also have to put in some serious hurt time."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY.. (28)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
Expected Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: MTV Books
Add to your To Read shelf on Goodreads
Sixteen-year-old Rowan is still reeling from her father’s suicide four months ago, after he failed to stop a man from leaping off an overpass to his death. The only witness is Eli, a teenaged boy wrapped deep in mourning for his own father, killed in action in Afghanistan. When Rowan and Eli meet, they recognize kindred spirits, and begin to navigate grief and its aftermath together.

Rowan can’t understand how her father could choose to leave her, and acts out, pushing away friends and taking risks with her safety. Rowan’s mother, wracked with her own guilt and sorrow over failing to save her husband, stops going to work and collects stray cats for comfort. Grief, fractured and unpredictable, rules their lives now. Rowan is lost—and sinking. But Eli represents a lifeline for Rowan, and as they struggle to make sense of what’s gone and what is left behind, they begin to fall in love. Me Since You is Laura Wiess at her finest—a beautiful, gripping and painfully honest examination of adolescence.
WHY I AM WAITING FOR IT:

Okay. I suck at these kinds of cover. You know, the bokeh type of shot with sunlight and all that. And I suck at contemporary novels lately. When I saw this and read the synopsis, I knew it was went for me to see! I am so stoked to pet this one in person! I couldn't wait!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

REVIEW: FALLING KINGDOMS BY MORGAN RHODES.

Title: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Edition: Hard bound
Published: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 412
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: High fantasy, Magic, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?
Falling Kingdoms is absolutely terrific!

This one is another title that made it to my 2012's most anticipated novels. I've had it for quite a while and just like my other books, it has to unfortunately go through the long queue of to-be-read books. I've heard nothing but whimsical things about it and my hopes for it soared high above the sky! The time for it has come and I am seriously lost for words.

Mystica comprises of three lands: Limeros (ruled by King Gauis Damora), Paelsia (headed by Hugo Basilius) and Auranos (ruled by King Corvin Bellos). Thousands of years ago, these lands are all being guarded by the Watchers and sorceress lived among the people. Greed for power of the Elementia and seduced by mortal love, the chaos started. Sorceress kept the Kindred hidden and killed one another. Now a child has been prophesied to be born with the elementia powers and witches drew blood and stole the child. Sixteen years after, a war is about to happen. Triggered by a wine seller's son's murder by a boastful Auranos, Paelsia and Limeros joined forces to conquer Limeros with their secret weapon.

Falling Kingdoms deserves all the praises I could bestow to it. The magical world it resolves to not only took my breath away but also mesmerized my imagination to the fullest. The dying lands and the bountiful one believed to be under magic were just beautiful to imagine. The people and kingdoms overwhelm my love for high-fantasy. Mystica is such a rare world breathing magic from its heart. I loved how Rhodes came up with such truly wonderful universe to play my mind on.

The plot felt familiar yet still strategically written to tickle reader's minds. The war between the kingdoms, blood, death, treachery and vengeance are all expected to push rage to one's chest while reading. I loved how Rhodes made me pull my hair, curse and scream during all those heart-wrenching scenes I never thought she would be brave enough to do! The fact that tons of losses could sometimes break a novel didn't hinder Rhodes to do what she's expected to do and though I honestly felt pain and shame losing characters I thought would stand till the end, I salute Rhodes for taking risks because it truly made the novel beautiful! Some of the twists were predictable at first (and some still are) but as I go deeper, I completely lost my sense of prediction. It felt as if I was at the end of a maze only to find out I was still in the middle. Such mind boggling sub-plots and life-ruining romance made my heart seriously skipped a bit every time I come across my favorites!

The characters are very much indistinguishable. This is only the novel I couldn't select which team I would be on! I strongly feel that the princesses would face each other soon but Princess Cleo is just simply someone who says whatever she has on her mind and acts to whatever she thinks she has to do. Princess Lucia on the other hand, I find very gullible. As if she doesn't have the capability to choose thus do whatever she's told. Prince Magnus is a little astray and blinded by the love he feels and I don't know about Jonas, I am still confused about whether to like him or to hate him completely. These characters acted the way they should've and it doesn't matter what I feel about them, without one, the story wouldn't be as intriguing as it is.

My review wouldn't make justice to how wonderful Falling Kingdoms is. It's full of mystery, action and blood. Its heart-shattering romance, knee-buckling loses and mind-blowing magical tyrannies would keep one holding on from page one till the very end! Asking for more wouldn't suffice how much I itch to read the sequel! At this point, I am damaged beyond repair!

VERDICT:
"Even in the darkest and most cruel person, there is still a kernel of good. And within the most perfect champion, there is darkness. The question is, will one give in to the dark or the light? It's something we decide with every choice we make, every day that we exist. What might not be evil to you could be evil to someone else. Knowing this makes us powerful even without magic."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (18)


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.

After a few weeks of not posting/buying anything, thank goodness am finally back! I received several books this past week and that's what I'll be posting about today! I might probably go crazy book shopping hopefully next weekend! I really want to get Pivot Point!

HAPPY WEEKEND, LOVELY PEOPLE! 


BOUGHT:
- A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

FOR REVIEW: (Blog Tour)
- Phoenix (Black City #2) by Elizabeth Richards
- Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil (not pictured; my review)
- The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise

BORROWED:
- Hooked (Hooked #1) by Liz Fichera

Thank you so much Bookworm's Place on Facebook, Elizabeth Richards, Dianne from Oops, I Read a Book Again, Chyna from Lite-Rate-Ture and Eunice from Compelled by Books!

BLOG TOUR (9): STUNG BY BETHANY WIGGINS.

Today is my blog tour stop for Bethany Griffin's Stung! I would like to thank Hannah and Lisseth from The Book Paparazzi for having me! Enjoy my guest post!

Title: Stung
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Edition: PDF copy
Published: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Pages: 304
Source: Copy provided by the blog tour hosts
Category: Dystopia, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.
Bethany Wiggins on her inspiration behind Stung:

Inspiration is a funny thing! It comes at odd times, in strange places, and sometimes crazy ways. I remember walking out my front door one winter day and looking across the street at this empty field where two tress had naturally grown to make a perfect arch between them. I stood on my porch--a porch I'd walked out onto every day for three years--and thought, "Whoa, I never noticed that before. It looks just like a gateway! I wonder who . . . or what . . . is coming in through that arch!?" And there, viola, spine-tingling inspiration was born (though I have yet to write that into a book!).


As for my latest book, a few things inspired STUNG. The first was an early morning nightmare that woke me from a dead sleep (I usually don't wake up from nightmares, let alone remember them!). This nightmare was so vivid and riveting, I wrote it down and it became chapter one of STUNG.

Also, I started writing this book at the time the swine flu scare was running rampant through the USA. I watched these crazy people on the news who were swarming the health departments, frantic to the point of violent to get the swine flu vaccine for their kids, and it made me wonder, "What if the government told us there is this huge flu to scare us into taking a vaccine that is really going to harm us?"

Lastly, I remember getting a Discovery Magazine that talked about the decline of bees. And all of sudden, it was like a puzzle clicking into place. I had everything I needed to write a book. And that is the recipe for STUNG!

That being said, whether you're looking for inspiration, or being overwhelmed by it, the most important thing I can tell anyone regarding inspiration is: Once you have found it, you have to discipline yourself to put it down on paper (if you're writing a book). Otherwise, it will be lost.

About Bethany:

Website * Twitter * Goodreads
Bethany Wiggins has always been an avid reader, but not an avid writer.  She failed ninth grade English because she read novels instead of doing her homework. In high school, she sat alone at lunch and read massive hardback fantasy novels (Tad Williams and Robert Jordan anyone?). It wasn't until the end of her senior year that the other students realized she was reading fiction--not the Bible.

Once upon a time, Bethany's sister dared her to start writing an hour a day until she completed a novel. Bethany wrote a seven-hundred page fantasy novel that she wisely let no one read--but it taught her how to write.  She is the author of SHIFTING, STUNG (April 2013), and CURED (2014).
GET STUNG FROM:

You can also visit the other blog tour stops by clicking on the tour button! 

There is also an ongoing giveaway so you could go ahead and visit the other blogs for the Rafflecopter form! I couldn't find it on my email! (Sorry!)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

BLOG TOUR (8): LIFE IN OUTER SPACE BY MELISSA KEIL.

Thank you so much to Dianne from Oops, I Read a Book Again! and Melissa Keil for letting me review and tour this novel! I seriously enjoyed reading this nerdy and cool story! Today is my blog tour stop and here's my review!

Title: Life in Outer Space
Author: Melissa Keil
Edition: Paperback (ARC)
Published: February 1, 2013
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont
Pages: 316
Source: ARC provided by the publisher for the tour
Category: Contemporary, Romance
Trailer: not applicable
Synopsis:

Sam Kinnison is a geek, and he’s totally fine with that. He has his horror movies, his nerdy friends, World of Warcraft – and until Princess Leia turns up in his bedroom, he doesn’t have to worry about girls.

Then Sam meets Camilla. She’s beautiful, friendly and completely irrelevant to his life. Sam is determined to ignore her, except that Camilla has a life of her own – and she’s decided that he’s going to be part of it.

Sam believes that everything he needs to know he can learn from the movies ... but now it looks like he’s been watching the wrong ones.
Life in Outer Space is extraordinary.

Living a monotonous life is always the best way to go through it everyday. That is for Sam at least. He's a self-confessed nerd who've seen too many movies in his lifetime and could probably quote most of it. He just wanted to get out of high school. But then, the smart and pretty Camilla pops in and ruins, or better yet, changes his routine. And he falls in love with her and just doesn't know what to do with it.

I've enjoyed reading Life in Outer Space. It was the only book I've read so far with such hilarious and clever prose. Keil wrote it the way that really suited Sam's character. I loved how it all happened in Australia which gave me glimpses of a country I would love to go to someday. The music and the film influences are very strong too. Its story  is something a lot of us are familiar with that simply made impact directly to my heart.

Sam is a very smart character. I loved how he has this clever way of describing or saying things that are only two things: funny and out of the ordinary. He is a little obsessive on how his day to day life runs and isn't comfortable with sudden changes. The way he handled is school and family issues is always rational and i liked how he does not try to be in with anyone on anything. Camilla is definitely the one for him because she's also smart and they compliment each other. Together with his awesome set of friends, they make a nice group and a friendship worth keeping.

Life in Outer Space is a light and fun read with a hard punch in the gut. The freshness of the output of such young and relatable novel is very likely to capture hearts and put smiles on reader's lips.

Thank you so much Dianne, Melissa and Jennifer of Hardie Grant Egmont for the ARC!

VERDICT:
 "I said that I am in love with you. I've tried not to be, I really have, but it's just useless. I know you don't feel the same way about me, but I had to tell you because... well, you're all I think about. All the time. I miss you every second that you're not with me... and I know you won't want to be around me anymore, but, Camilla... you're one of the best friends I've ever had. You're smart and amazing and weird and probably the most beautiful person I've ever seen... and before I met you, all I wanted was just to fast-forward through everything. But, really, I think my life was just paused, or something. You... made me press play. You made everything move. And no matter where you go, or whatever you feel about me... I will love you forever for that."
If you want to check out the other blog tour stops, you can visit them all by clicking the tour banner!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

REVIEW: SHADOW AND BONE BY LEIGH BARDUGO.

Title: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Edition: Hardbound
Published: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Pages: 358
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Fantasy, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.
Shadow and Bone is enthralling.

I've had my copy of Shadow and Bone sitting on my book case for months now and it really took me a long time to read it because of work and too many blog tours to attend to. This month I promised that I would focus on my TBR pile first and probably pass from too irresistible blog tour offers. As soon as I had the time to focus on my pending reads, I grabbed this book and devoured it in one sitting.

Alina and Mal are orphans and been the best of friends since they were little. They were inseparable. Alina is secretly falling in love with Mal and on their way to crossing Shadow Fold, there were attacked by Vodcras as what they have predicted. But the last thing they both remember was Mal saving Alina's life. They were taken by the Darkling and was questioned because everyone who survived the attack claimed that Alina literally shone. They are now saying that she is the Sun Summoner that would save the whole country by taking over the Shadow Fold. But she's unsure and doesn't believe what people are saying. She needs to figure it out and by any chance it is true, she have to work with the Darkling. Without falling in love with him.

Shadow and Bone, just like what I expected, blew my mind away. The world Bardugo created was just magical and breath-taking that I loved staring at the map the book has and imagining the richness of it. It wasn't difficult to picture it because everything was vividly described and for some reason, I felt familiar with it. Its one of the many reasons why I fell in love with high fantasy novels -- it tours me to parallel worlds I have never ever imagined someone would think of. Its just a fantastic feeling wandering around such terrifying yet beautiful alter universe. Bardugo did such an awesome job teleporting readers to such wondrous place too far from what we have in reality.

The premise Shadow and Bone offered could be easily pictured as a block buster movie. It is definitely movie-material and I couldn't wait to see it on big screen. I loved how Bardugo came up with these highly magical creatures living in such diverse universe. The way the people were grouped by their colorful keftas and the fact that people could be divided by unique talents could just leave one's mind playfully picking which group they would belong to. I loved everything in this novel. I loved the descriptions, the powers the character possesses and the lands. I wish I have Siege and Storm at this point so I could continue losing myself in each page.

Alina is basically the naive character. The way she held on to her memories kept her grounded inspite of all the power, luxury and fame she acquired. The relationship she has with her best friend Mal makes me so envious and elated because that also kept her going. There were times I wanted to smack her face for trusting so easily but she eventually redeemed herself at the end. The Darkling is very mysterious. I wondered all throughout what his name was. He also had me going there for a second and I loved how Bardugo twisted this handsome and dangerous character. Genya is mysterious as well. By the end of the novel, I couldn't figure out what her motives were and what is her significance in all this. And Mal. He's the best character by far. He's brave, full of pride but for the right reasons and persistent. Though I honestly predicted what his character would do at the end, it didn't stop me to be happy that he made it through and he is there for Alina.

Shadow and Bone is actually one of my 2012's most anticipated novels and I couldn't be any happier I've finally read it. Its dark, magical, romantic, funny and action-filled. Its engrossing. Its true what these reviews have to say: its unputdownable and I cannot wait to read Siege and Storm because this novel is awesome like that!
VERDICT:
"I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I'd catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I'd seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I'd realize that you weren't there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I've risked my life for you. I've walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I'd do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don't tell me why we don't belong together," (Mal)"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

REVIEW: BREAKING POINT BY KRISTEN SIMMONS.

Title: Breaking Point (Article 5 #2)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Edition: Hardback
Published: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 398
Source: Finished copy provided by the publisher
Category: Dystopia, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

The second installment in Kristen Simmons's fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?
Breaking Point is action-filled.

When everything you once had has been taken away from you, how would you go on? Ember Miller is lamenting over her mother's death and now added to the Most Wanted. She needs to fight for the cause she believes in no matter how much loss she copes with. She has to choose whether to just hide of fight.

I think Breaking Point is way better than the first novel. I loved how action-filled this sequel is and how Simmons expounded everything in this one. Knowing that war is on, I easily get goosebumps whenever I picture this cruel world and how difficult it could be to just survive. I loved that part of the novel because I expect so much from any dystopian novels and that part is very vivid here.

Ember changed. The way she progressed to someone responsible and mature took me by surprise. I didn't agree with her at some point during the first novel yet her, she proved she could handle herself. Though I hated how she feels sympathy for those people responsible for her loved one's death that easily. I hated how she treats Chase and I hate how Chase let her treat him like that. Though Chase is a good character, what highlighted my fascination with him is the truth behind his stubborness: he loves Ember so much and he's in so much pain. One can only handle so much right. Oh, who would forget that one annoying, irritating and disturbing character Tucker? I wanted to see more from him and I hope, book three would have plenty of him.

I wasn't much impressed with Breaking Point but as I've said, I loved the fact that its an action-filled novel. The world and characters have changed so much to what best suits a dystopian novel and I enjoyed reading it!

Thank you so so much Alexis from Tor Teen for providing a finished copy!

VERDICT:
"And one more thing, I have never loved one single thing in my life more than you. You were worth living for, and Ember, you were worth dying for." (Ember's Mother)