Friday, May 31, 2013

MAY 2013 RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


I honestly haven't reviewed much this month because I had to be at work for 11 hours for 2 weeks and it ate all my time for reading. I've also been so busy during weekends that added to the almost blog hiatus but am glad I was still able to squeeze in some reviews. This is also an epic month for me when it comes to ARCS! So here's my recap for the month and yes, I officially hate summer of 2013 because it was way too hot for my liking and yes, I am thankful it is over.

May 01 - AUTHOR OF THE MONTH FOR MAY 2013 IS KATHLEEN PEACOCK!

May 01 - Two stars for Hooked (Hooked #1) by Liz Fichera.

May 04 - Stacking the Shelves post #20 - The Elite and Pivot Point!

 May 05 - Five stars for The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan.

May 09 - Three stars for The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass.

May 10 - Five stars for The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass #0.1) by Sarah Maas.

May 11 -  Stacking the Shelves #21 - THE ARC PARTY EDITION!

May 14 - Three stars for Towering by Alex Flinn.

May 18 - Stacking the Shelves post #22 - Oppression, Ruby Red, Bitterblue + more!

May 21 - Introduction for the #PhoenixPHTour!

May 23 - Five stars for Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman.

May 25 - Stacking the Shelves post #23 - Reboot, Cinder, Grave Mercy, Icons + more!

May 27 - THE BOOKAHOLIC TURNS ONE + INTL GIVEAWAY!

May 29 - Four stars for Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins.

May 31 - Monthly Recap post + Book of the Month.


It was difficult to just highlight and choose one because I enjoyed Taken by Erin Bowman so much. But there's just something with this novel that no one can seriously talk me out of choosing this and I know most of you guys would agree! So my pic for the month is:

THE MARK OF ATHENA BY RICK RIORDAN!


I enjoyed it so much that I got book hangover! I really really enjoyed it and so far, this is my favorite series he wrote! You can check out my review HERE!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

REVIEW: SWEET PERIL (THE SWEET TRILOGY #2) BY WENDY HIGGINS.

Title: Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Edition: Paperback
Published: April 30, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 371
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Category: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
Trailer: not available.
Synopsis:

Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?
Sweet Peril made me cry not just a river but tsunami.

Sweet Evil seriously tormented my entire respiratory system after that ending. I've never wanted a sequel as bad as Sweet Peril because I wanted to mend my broken parts. I also wanted to know HOW would Kaidan heal from all of these and I was so fortunate to be given an ARC! Honestly, I finished it after not being able to put it down for 5 straight hours.

Anna goes to "pretend" working and goes partying and drinking all the time. Somehow, her broken heart pushes her to be someone else. When she learns that she has to play a huge part in making peace between Dukes and other Nephs, she and her dad start to gather allies and she eventually has to face Kaidan.

I was taken aback by how Higgins widen the scope of world building on her sequel. At first, I could sense some similarities to Mark of Athena but not entirely a major thing. The travel, though short, made the story much exciting. At least it didn't get stuck on one location. I liked the countries she incorporated because the cultures perfectly matched the the description of each of the characters she represented. The plot is broaden and more questions has been answered. Plus, broken hearts found hope.

My love for Anna didn't change. She may have been astray a little but I think it her behavior was justified. I particularly adored how she fought and clung so hard to the only thing that her shattered heart longed for even though the pain was extremely antagonizing. Her love for her parents and respect to herself are traits I also loved about her that is why I think Kaidan should never hurt her in anyway for any reason. I was pissed at first that Kaidan was too distant and cold but his feelings for her truly proved that he would do anything to keep her safe, even if it would cost him so much. Belial is still the best Duke dad there is!

Sweet Peril is a dangerous, sweet, funky and romantic sequel perfect for Sweet Evil! I may have cried tsunami in some heart-crushing parts but I loved how masochistic I've become! It is unputdownable, riveting and exciting! Can't wait for the final book to come out!

Thank you so much Sarah of HarperCollins for the ARC!

VERDICT:
"Love was the essence of being alive."

Monday, May 27, 2013

THE BOOKAHOLIC BLURBS TURNS ONE!

Yay! I cannot believe my eyes when I looked at the calendar earlier today!
My book blog on Blogger just turned ONE!


I've always loved reading and doodling even as a kid. I would grab a book and pretend reading even if I didn't really know how to. I also would play around as a secretary and write or doodle words as if I was signing an important document. My dad loves writing, he has a ton of journals, so probably I got that writing thing from him. I started loving books when I first laid my eyes on a ginormous set of old school encyclopedias back then. The set was dazzling.

Then as I enter high school, I started reading some adult fiction. Paulo Coelho's Veronica Decides To Die and 11 Minutes were my first reads. Then I collected (and lost) 30 issues of Candy Magazine. I loved reading their love and fashion tips and other informative columns. There was also a house few blocks away from mine that has an entire living room full of Sweet Valley High novels that we rent. Harry Potter series that I just borrowed also hooked me up but I eventually stop reading because life happened. Been on a horrible reading slump for years but the most important and special novel that made me go back to reading was Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. (I will forever be proud that am a fan!).

Early in 2011 was when I started blogging. I've always dreamed of becoming a "blogger". There's so much pride in it. So I ventured onto Tumblr. I loved it so much and it made me appreciate not only writing but how I run my life. I blog mostly about my personal day to day life and a little bit about books. Since I was earning a little, I started indulging in stacking titles I've always wanted to get. I had no idea about book blogging back then so all I did was just post pictures of my new books and forget whatever the feels were. I wasn't really content with the chaotic mixed blog, so I decided to make one on Blogger. The OCD in me kicked me in the butt that made me transfer blogs, then changed URL and finally settled with this one. (As I am writing, I am still trying to figure out how to move to Wordpress.). My bookish online adventure started early 2011 but this account was created MAY 27, 2012 and I just transferred everything from the old blog (manually and messily) to this one.

The ups and downs I've gone through were the very main reasons I am still here blogging. Blogging have taught me so many things and allowed me to have people in my life who are all worth keeping. I've met people from all around the world! It is just an exhilarating and invigorating experience that the humbleness in it is overwhelming! And looking back, my bookish dreams did come true!

And without my blogger friend's (namely: Kai, Precious, Dianne, Dani, Leslie, Kazhy, Eunice, Chyna, Tiff, Alyanna, Geraldine, Maricar, Nicole, 2 Michelle's and Louisse) support, I'm not sure if I would have lasted this long. Also, to all of you who drops by, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart especially to Erwin who never fails to like every book-related thing I post on Facebook! I would also never forget the person who helped me and guided me back when I was still starting, Liz, you know how much am thankful to you, right? Thank you also to Giselle of Booknerd Canada and Braine of Talk Sup. ANDDDD, to Lucy of Fully Booked, thank you for always being a tweet away whenever I needed a title and to JB of National Book Store, I feel a legit blogger more than ever because of you! How about Christine and Sarah of HarperCollins and Elizabeth Richards? Love you guys! You are the best ever! Jodi Meadows, Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs and Kathleen Peacock, I love you forever!


So here's a little giveaway for all of you for making my first year such a success!
THANK YOU ALL SO SO MUCH FOR YOUR ENDLESS SUPPORT!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Saturday, May 25, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (23)


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.

  
FOR REVIEW:
- Pink Slips and Glass Slippers by J.P Hansen


GIFTED: (eBooks)
The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1) by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass, #0.2) by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass, #0.3) by Sarah J. Maas
The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.4) by Sarah J. Maas
 


BOUGHT:
- Reboot (Reboot #1) by Amy Tintera
- Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
- Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by R.L. LaFevers
- Icons (Icons #1) by Margaret Stohl

Woohoo! I finally have Cinder! It's much expensive now! I also got a paperback of Icons and brought it to Tagaytay! Yay!

Thank you so so much to Author JP Hansen, Leslie from Bibliophile Kid for gifting eNovellas of Throne of Glass, Fully Booked Fort for Reboot, Cinder and Grave Mercy and National Book Store Glorietta 1 for Icons!
HAPPY LONG WEEKEND, GORGEOUS PEOPLE!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

REVIEW: TAKEN (TAKEN #1) BY ERIN BOWMAN.

Title: Taken (Taken #1)
Author: Erin Bowman
Edition: Paperback
Published: April 16, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 360
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Category: Dystopia, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
Taken just simply enthralling!

Taken is one of my 2013's most anticipated titles. I've seen mixed reviews of it but my excitement didn't falter. I wanted to see for myself whether it is worth the hype of not. My gut tells me all the time that it would rock my world and it sure did!

When the world you've learned to appreciate suddenly isn't something what you've always thought it was, or when what you believed you are suddenly are all lies, you would find answers, you would seek the truth. That's what Gray Weathersby have chosen, to leave what he used to call home and risk everything just to find out the truth and go beyond the wall. He's eager to know what is the secret his mother told his brother, Blaine, who also never told him anything even before he's gone to the Heist.

The pacing of Taken is wonderfully fast-paced. I never got bored and true enough, I couldn't put it down. The world building is very intriguing that at first I thought it wasn't dystopian. Every chapter brought surprises and I very much love that the point of view is from a male protagonist! Taken's world building did not jeopardize its richness by its pacing. It managed to built it in the middle of unraveling the main plot. And the romance didn't happen instantly. It developed together with the story.

My favorites are Gray and Blaine Weathersby. Their relationship as brothers is very knit and perfectly balanced since Gray is a little bit aggressive while Blaine is patient. I loved and cried watching how intact their love for each other in amid of hardships, betrayal and loss. Gray's loyalty to his loved one is very heroic if I may say especially with the norm these days. But Emma didn't deserve that loyalty. You have to read the book to know why. Then there's Harvey which totally tore my heart apart and Bree who is strong, independent and embodies leadership.

The questions I have though are: if all of this happened after a war that majorly devastated the world, where did they get the resources to fund such experiments and how the Heisting is performed?

Taken is surely a very strong debut novel! The pacing is right, the twists are surprising, the romance is thrilling and the overall plotting is uniquely delivered and I thoroughly loved and enjoyed it! Bowman did a fantastic job in giving us a one of a kind dystopian approach that I would love to read over and over!

Thank you so much Sarah of HarperCollins for the ARC!

VERDICT:
"People have all sorts of pasts, sometimes dark or dreary, but perhaps the actions they choose in the present are the ones that carry the most weight."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PHOENIX (BLACK CITY #2) PH BLOG TOUR.

Hello guys! I am so excited to let you all know that we, bloggers from the Philippines, will be doing a blog tour for Phoenix, Black City's sequel by Elizabeth Richards! The tour will kick off June 1 until June 15 and we will host an awesome giveaway (thanks to Elizabeth!) open internationally! What's cool about this tour is every day for fifteen days, we will not only share our reviews for Phoenix but also we would share character interviews (as in different fabulous characters each day!) and some scene inspiration! I hope you guys would support this event! So here's the schedule:

June 01 - Milly from Home of a Book Lover
June 02 - Me here at The Bookaholic Blurbs (Guest Post + Giveaway only)
June 03 - Kazhy from My Library in the Making
June 04 - Dianne from Oops, I read a Book Again (Guest Post + Giveaway only) and Leslie from Bibliophile Kid
June 05 - Chyna from Lite-Rate-Ture
June 06 - Lyra from Defiantly Deviant
June 07 - Nicole from The Twins Read
June 08 - Jessele from Jesselle Loves Books
June 09 - Haraiah from Random Things in Action
June 10 - Bryann from Three Blank Pages
June 11 - Dianne from Oops, I read a Book Again (with review)
June 12 - Athena from The Book Junkie
June 13 - Alyssa from Diary of a Book Maniac
June 14 - Jenna from Coffee, Books and Me
June 15 - Me here at The Bookaholic Blurbs (with review)

The giveaway will run for a month, so from June 1 up to June 30 and as I've said it would be open internationally! Just wait for the awesome prizes!

Also, for the #PhoenixPHTour participants, you can put in the links of your reviews/posts here:


 Thank you so so much guys for participating and I bet this will be a blast!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (22)


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.


 BORROWED:
- Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3) by Kristin Cashore



FOR REVIEW:
- Oppression (Children of gods #1) by Jessica Therrien
- Swag


GIFTED: (All the way from PA!)
- Ruby Red (Ruby Red Trilogy #1) by Kerstin Gier



WON:
- Thornhill Swag
THANK YOU SO SO MUCH TO NICOLE FROM THE TWINS READ, JESSICA THERRIEN, DEREK PLANK AND THE VERY LOVELY KATHLEEN PEACOCK!! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

REVIEW: TOWERING BY ALEX FLINN.

Title: Towering
Author: Alex Flinn
Edition: Paperback
Published: May 14, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages:293
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Category: Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Trailer: not available
Synopsis:

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!
Towering is an epic retelling!

I've had my issues with novels inspired by another novel and I was afraid that this one would disappoint me again. I've also had an issue with Flinn's novel, Beastly that I wondered if her retellings aren't meant for me to read. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this one!

Wyatt grew up in a modern world where cell phones and computers exist. He decides to stay with his mother's friend, Mrs. Greenwood, to mend his shattered world when his best friend died. Then he starts to see visions and hear someone's voice no one else can hear and he convinces himself to find the voice that eventually leads him to being saved by a very beautiful lady from a well-hidden tower. A lady who haven't been out from it in 17 years.

I loved Rapunzel. Well, technically not the original fairy tale but Rapunzel from the movie Tangled. I've seen it more than my eyes can handle and I could lip synch the lines. I am crazily in love with that movie and the moment I laid my eyes on this novel, it took my interest. I may have doubts but I opened my arms wide and welcomed it. No regrets.

Rachel, who portrays Rapunzel, is very subtle and intelligent. Though naive with the modern commodities, she taught herself to be accustomed to what might be the norm to a society she didn't know. Her eagerness to learn shows so much about her independency and her ability to adapt well. She just simply didn't let anything stop her from fulfilling what she thinks she has to do and she trusts with her heart. I may not agree on the fact that she falls in love as fast as the blink of an eye but I guess it was inevitable. But still, I liked her overall. I also appreciated that Wyatt, obviously stronger that Rachel, didn't take advantage of her. Instead, he chose to be there for her no matter what and made sure that he's the only man for her. It is romantic that way.

The only reason I decided to rate this three stars instead of four is the sub-plots. It was slowly building up at first and I am fine with that then there were seriously fantastic twists but then, I got lost. I didn't know what happened. I wasn't sure enough where the prophecy came from, how it tied up to Rachel and why did it have to be her to free people older than her. There's  a whole list of questions I wasn't able to connect the answers to but overall, it is enjoyable.

Towering is a novel one could finish in one sitting. It captures the sympathy of a longing heart and the patience of a waiting mind. It is dangerous yet romantic and perfectly balances classic and modern! Such a fun read!

Thank you Sarah of HarperCollins for sending in the ARC!

VERDICT:
 "My own, Wyatt. My Wyatt."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (21): THE ARC PARTY EDITION.


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews that showcases newly acquired books or goodies we bought, received or borrowed during the week.

I have received these awesome books a week and a half ago and up until now, the excitement I feel is still beyond whatever I felt when I first saw the package. I was SO surprised and seriously went in shock for almost the entire night because I couldn't believe what I just got. I am not exaggerating here! And as I am typing this post, the books are still boxed and I can't help but stare and smile like an idiot! Super super happy!


FOR REVIEW:
- Elegy (Hereafter #3) by Tara Hudson
- Unbreakable (Unraveling #2) by Elizabeth Norris
- Asunder (Newsoul #2) by Jodi Meadows
- The Ward (The Ward #1) by Jordana Frankel
- Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman
- Defy the Dark (Anthology)
- Towering by Alex Flinn

So what do you think? *giggles* I once dreamed of receiving ARCs as massive as this one and it finally came true! I will surely treasure these for the rest of my days and I cannot wait to review them!!
I would like to say a special thank you to Sarah of HarperCollins for these review copies! Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
HAPPY, HAPPY WEEKEND, LOVELIES!

Friday, May 10, 2013

REVIEW: THE ASSASSIN AND THE PIRATE LORD BY SARAH J MAAS.

Title: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #0.1
Edition: Kindle
Publication: January 13, 2013 by Bloomsbury
Pages: 65
Source: Gifted by Leslie from Bibliophile Kid
Category: Young adult, high-fantasy

Synopsis:

A Throne of Glass novella.

On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:


The Assassin and the Pirate Lord is a kickass e-novella.

Sixteen year-old Celaena Sardothien was sent by the Assasin's Guild to a remote island to collect a debt by the Lord of the Pirates. Together with Sam, another assassin, they went ahead and endured weeks of traveling. Upon their arrival, Celaena learned that that will be doing an entirely different mission which tested her love for the slaves and loyalty to her master.

This is a very short e-novella that completely made me miss Throne of Glass so much. The world building Maas presented here is as awesome as Elirea and I longed for more. Maas basically made me so hungry for Celaena's world and adventures that it drives me insane because I need more from this series. I loved the fact that Celaena's strength didn't falter even if her full capability hasn't been tested yet and her true heart shone so bright at the darkest part of her decision-making to do the right thing. Her skills as an assassin can truly make any past or present hero shy. And I so so liked the idea that there is Sam, probably another love interest or a dear friend. That I cannot decided which is beyond intriguing.

I need Crown of Midnight in my life and reading the series of e-novellas wouldn't satisfy the need! This will forever be one of my favorite series of all time and Celaena is such a strong symbol of women empowerment! A soft and beautiful outside, tough and buff on the inside! Did I say she's a kickass protagonist?

Thank you so much Leslie at Bibliophile Kid for the copy!

"Sam, if you ever tell anyone about me embracing you.. I'll gut you."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

REVIEW: THE ELITE BY KIERA CASS.

Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Edition: Paperback
Published: April 23, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 323
Source: Bought from Fully Booked
Category: Chick Lit, Romance
Trailer: not available
Synopsis:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
The Elite surely gives "unbearable feelings".

I just recently bought my paperback copy of The Elite and started it immediately bypassing any titles on queue because aside from its pretty cover, I cannot help but wonder who America chooses. I've been on Team Aspen since the beginning and my lovely friends are mostly on Team Maxon. I am kind of wishing that I made the right choice and I'm glad to say that I remained cheering for Team Aspen.

The Elite revolves on the six ladies left to compete for the crown, America's love life and the kingdom's fight against the rebels. While the competition is on going, the rebels attack the kingdom making their existence known. And while the ladies are competing for Prince Maxon, America is confused whether to go on and fight for her chance to be crowned princess or just simply back out because she thinks she doesn't have what it takes.

The novel is kind of all over the place which made it hard for me to truly pinpoint the main plot. It shifts from one scene to another all at once. For me, this could make or break a novel. I remember that The Selection is a little bit dystopian with so much Chick Lit on it and in The Elite, I find it focusing more on the Chick Lit aspect. The Castes were still highlighted but because it uses monarchy, whenever a guard or the Prince needs to go someplace else, I can't help but imagine horses, you know. Given that, I haven't been able to feel the "futuristic" element of it.

Okay. The characters. WHERE SHOULD I START? The acknowledgement Cass wrote says something about "having unbearable feelings" about this sequel. True enough, I did feel that. It was unbearably annoying yet enjoyable at the same time. Annoying because goodness, these characters should grow up. America for example was terribly immature in so many ways. She was so impulsive, irresponsible and a little selfish. She was being offered a chance of a lifetime only to opt for something senseless. Everything that she does is based upon her current emotion. She's confused with whoever she has to choose when it's clearly obvious that she likes someone else. And she's a total crybaby. She's brave for stepping up and I give her that but I don't know, she's irritating at times. I didn't expect her to develop this way but I seriously find it hilarious. I am annoyed but I couldn't put it down! Prince Maxon was so romantic just like what I imagined and I adored how he stands up for what he truly wants. I liked how he could tolerate stupidity but gives an ultimatum once needed. And Aspen turned out to be much handsome in this novel! He's a little pushy about getting America back but I cannot blame him for America gives him all the right to be. I still love him for being true to his feelings and how he can be the best friend anyone could wish for despite the situation. And I find the whole thing enjoyable because I was eager to know how it would end and it's yes, bearable.

The Elite is a thrilling sequel. It is hilarious and well-written. Cass' intentions for The Elite surely did its job in bringing different emotions to readers and that attempt did make me enjoy it. This is an addicting one.

VERDICT:
"Love is a beautiful fear."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

REVIEW: THE MARK OF ATHENA BY RICK RIORDAN.

Title: The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3)
Author: Rick Riordan
Edition: Paperback
Published: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 574
Source: Bought from Powerbooks
Category: Middle Grade, Adventure, Mythology
Trailer: not applicable.
Synopsis:
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.
And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?
Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.
Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare.
Mark of Athena is phenomenal!

I had this book sitting on my shelf since October of last year and now I'm actually trying to reason out with myself WHY it took me SO long to read it. I'm just simply at war with myself because none of my so called excuses is best enough to justify my very wrong move. I deserve to be thrown away in Tartarus. I think.

The union of seven demigods is planned by Hera to prevent Gaea from awakening. The Mark of Athena should only be taken and conquered by Annabeth alone. Jason, Leo and Piper go to Camp Jupiter to merge powers, have peace talks and get Percy but Leo, possessed by an Eiodolon, attacks the camp and starts a war between the camps. Hazel, Frank and Percy escape and and together with the other demigods, they have to face quests that may get them killed and will test their powers. They only have six days to save Nico and stop Rome from getting wiped out then they have to find out what the prophecies will lead them to.

Wow. How can I make justice to such adventurous read? Riordan gave me another fantastic novel! I loved every single thing about it! The world building he made here is another masterpiece! The way he described the locations in the US to the locations in Rome is scenic and add the very useful Argo II! And how can I forget that ever epic ending? After going through so much finding Jason and Percy with wiped out memories, here they are, facing another difficult one to find and save Percy and Annabeth even before stopping Gaea! I just wanted to scream and pull my hair after I've read it! It's that good!

The characters are magnificently presented. Each power, each quest and each development shows so much improvement and thrill! No one is left behind and each demigod surely had their own spotlight all throughout the novel. Riordan highlighted each demigod's strength and weakness that answers why they are the most powerful demigods existed. Annabeth, Percy (hilarious), Leo (super hilarious!), Hazel, Frank, Jason and Piper sure did make a good team and one couldn't continue without the other!

Riordan never fails to amaze me. His writing is just right to the core and his adventures always leave me catching my breath. Mark of Athena surely gave me all the goosebumps and mini heart attacks. The world building is getting better and better and the characters positively progresses every chapter! This third book to his Heroes of Olympus series is definitely the best yet among the books and I couldn't wait to read House of Hades!
VERDICT:
"Hercules, huh? Percy frowned. "That guy was like the Starbucks of Ancient Greece. Everywhere you turn--there he is." - Percy

Saturday, May 4, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (20)


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: (Fully Booked BHS)
- The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
- Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West

For some reason, blogger wouldn't allow me to put links on this post and even tried to redo it but it still wouldn't allow me to. Talk about Blogger Bugs! Pffft! But anyway, oh gosh!! I was seriously tempted to grab so many titles back at the book store but I must resist! So I ended up getting these two lovelies! I've been dying to get my hands on Pivot Point and I am so happy! I initially reserved Taken and Ruby Red but I cancelled because Harper sent me a copy of Taken and Red Ruby was the UK cover and I prefer the US.

HAPPY WEEKEND, LOVELY PEOPLE!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

REVIEW: HOOKED BY LIZ FICHERA.

Title: Hooked (Hooked #1)
Author: Liz Fichera
Edition: Paperback (ARC)
Published: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 368
Source: ARC borrowed from Kazhy at My Library in the Making
Category: Romance, Contemporary
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...

GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.
Hooked is uniquely plotted.

I never thought I would be this sad when I realized that Hooked had a make-over. I seriously loved the first cover! I wish they didn't have to change it because the initial one was very captivating as opposed to what they've printed. But I managed to like the story nonetheless.

Fred Oday, who is a native American girl, loves playing golf. It means business to her and she's way very good at it. When the coach for her school's golf team approached her and asked her to join the team, she thinks of the college scholarship and agrees. Even though she knows she's the only girl in the team and she doesn't know how to handle the very charming and star gold player, Ryan Berenger, she have to play well.

I enjoyed reading this unique novel by Fichera. When I say unique, it means that it was the first time I've encountered golf-centered novel which I truly appreciated. I loved how I learned things about golf because the only thing I know is how to swing on a driving range. The fact that Fichera took time to share her fascination for golf is something remarkable. I only wish there's more to being a native American is as opposed to what was just presented. It could be more fun to know more about their culture and belief.

I didn't enjoy much of the characters, though. Like how weak Fred appeared to me. I don't know, it maybe just me not liking her entirely. And Ryan slightly annoyed me. How can he just let some bully friend decide things for him and wait up until something crazy happens before taking action. How easily they kind of went crazy over each other. It was just debilitating from the start. But thank goodness for Mr. Odey's kind and loving heart that I found myself liking him and continuing on.

Hooked made me like it because of full blown golf and glimpse of native American culture. The expectations I had for it weren't delivered and it is infuriating to feel sad about that. I feel like there's too much easiness in it and failed to showcase important aspects. It is just sad it didn't work for me as much as I would like it to be.

Thank you so much Kazhy for lending me your ARC!

VERDICT:
 "Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go."