Monday, September 30, 2013

SEPTEMBER 2013 RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


I had a very interesting month guys. A lot of events happened and I acquired the biggest haul ever in my entire life this month, too! A lot of things happened this month like, I wasn't consistent with my "one post a day" goal but here you go!

September 01: September Releases.

September 02: Author of the Month: C.J. Redwine.

September 04: Waiting on Wednesday (35): Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

September 05: 5/5 stars for My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi.

September 06: Feature and Follow Friday (29).

September 07: Stacking the Shelves (30): Collector's Edition.

September 08: 5/5 stars for The Assassin and the Dessert by Sarah J. Maas.

September 09: Outstanding Crown for Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.

September 10: 4/5 stars for Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers.

September 14: Stacking the Shelves (31): The HarperCollins Edition.

September 15: 4/5 stars for Frozen by Melissa Dela Cruz and Michael Johnston.

September 16: 3/5 stars for Rush by Eve Silver.

September 18: Waiting on Wednesday (36): Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge.

September 19: Stohl, Alyson, Dela Cruz Blogger Forum Recap.

September 21: Stacking the Shelves (32): The Book Signing Edition.

September 22: 3/5 stars for The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett.

September 24: MY TWENTEENTH BIRTHDAY :D

September 25: Waiting of Wednesday (37): Panic by Lauren Oliver.

September 26: 3/5 stars for Waterfell (Aquarathi #1) by Amalie Howard.

September 27: 5/5 stars for Thornhill (Hemlock #2) by Kathleen Peacock.

September 28: Stacking the Shelves (33): The MIBF 2013 Edition.

September 30: September 2013 Recap + Book of the Month.


And before I end my recap, I would also want to share the book/s that I truly loved and can blurb about 24/7/365 here. The title/s not only made me fall in love with it but the impact it has on me is tremendously strong that I have book hangover for days (and of course, my personal thoughts on the novel is considered).

Here are the runners up for this month:

Thornhill (Hemlock #2) by Kathleen Peacock
My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

And the Book of the Month for September 2013 is
ELEANOR AND PARK BY RAINBOW ROWELL.

My Blurb for Eleanor and Park:

"Eleanor and Park is one novel I would surely not forget. It pinched my heart that the mark will be there forever. Engrossing, romantic and witty kind of a story, it is surreal, subtle and nostalgic. It hits the right spot! I will never find the right words to proclaim how much this novel embraced me but it is one you would come back to over and over again!"

Saturday, September 28, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (33): THE 34TH MIBF 2013 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.


BOUGHT: (Fullybooked, MIBF)
- The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
- Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
- The Faerie Ring (The Faerie Ring #1) by Kiki Hamilton
- Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

So after my Book Signing impulsive buying, the next day I went to MIBF. It was kind of our LOCAL version of BEA/ALA. The books I bought were all 20% off. I actually had a list with me but it was useless the moment I entered the fair. The only title I was able to buy from my list was Obsidian and mind you, it was the LAST copy. So I think, it was meant to be. Also, I saw the LAST copy of Insurgent's Collector's Edition so again, you know, meant to happen. HAHAHA! This haul was supposed to be all paperback, but Insurgent was just laying around and it called me! HAHAHAHA!

Here are some pictures from the fair! (and here's my post for last year's!)
Clockwise: Me, Dianne, Eunice and Lois!
Clockwise: This year's paperback from Fullybooked; and Publishers at NBS' booth!
My second year at MIBF with Fullybooked!
AS A RESULT OF THESE NON-STOP IMPULSIVE BUYING, BOOK BUYING BAN WILL COMMENCE TILL DECEMBER! WISH ME LUCK!
What did you get this week, Blurbies! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, September 27, 2013

REVIEW: THORNHILL (HEMLOCK #2) BY KATHLEEN PEACOCK.

Title: Thornhill (Hemlock #2)
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Edition: Hard bound
Published: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 368
Source: Copy sent by the publisher
Category: Romance, Paranormal
Trailer: Here.

AmazonBook DepositoryGoodreads Barnes and Noble

Synopsis:

Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

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

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.
*Might be spoilery for you.*

Thornhill is LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!

I tried requesting for Thornhill ARC back in April because you know, I LOVED Hemlock to bits and am too excited that is. Thornhill is basically one of my Most Anticipated Sequels of the year so imagine my eagerness in getting it. I've actually encounted several issues getting it but I am SO grateful that it finally arrived. I actually devoured it in less than 7 hours (which is pretty fast in my case, I usually finish a novel around 10-16 hours). And WOW!! All the trouble is just worth it!

Thornhill took off a several days after Kyle left Hemlock. Mackenzie, together with Jason, tries to find Kyle then convince him to come back home. He's infected with the Lupine Syndrome but Mac believes that Kyle's still human - inside out. When they stop and ask a cashier Eve if they've seen Kyle, they feel like they were lied to. They then decide to follow the girl that lead them to an abandon warehouse full of partying werewolves. They've seen Kyle but they've also seen Jason's tracker tattoo so they locked them up. Surprisingly, Mac sees her long lost father as the pack leader. The warehouse then is attacked by trackers and eventually put them in a rehabilitation camp in Thornhill where wolves are missing and not coming back at all.

The first page of Thornhill cracked me up! It had me at DEFLOWER! I cannot help but laugh and tweet it at Kathleen Peacock and I wasn't really prepared about THAT sexy moment 3 pages after! Kidding aside, I loved Thornhill. It was all in all about busting some wolves from a camp where they are being experimented at, all about fixing burned bridges, reunited hearts and unrequited love. I loved how Peacock made the consistency of the story smooth yet you would see that the novel can stand alone. Am not sure how to explain it but I feel like Hemlock is about friendship and then Thornhill is about against all odds kind of love. I was expecting a little more "wolf" action from this sequel though. I wish there was more explanation as to what is happening to the wolves being "treated". I guess there would be more of that in H3 (Hemlock 3).

I missed Mackenzie. Next to Anna from The Sweet Evil trilogy by Wendy Higgins, Mac is the second main character that showed me how to really define and live BENEVOLENCE. Despite the pain, the cruelty, the loss and self-doubt, Mac remained kind-hearted and faithful. Its as if there's no bad person for her. She doesn't hold grudges/resentment at all. I just feel bad for her because after all the trouble she's been through, she still couldn't get the only thing she wants. And I am hoping that this second heart break both Mac and I experienced at the end of both books would be rewarded in H3. I ship Mac and Kyle so much that seeing them being apart tears me. Though am super okay with Jason! CAN I HAVE HIM INSTEAD THOUGH, KATHLEEN? *bats eyelashes* because OMG THE CAR CRASH SCENE OMG MY HEARTTTT!

Hank also showed some progress when it comes to his relationship with Mac. I totally get his facade but no matter how we look at it, he owes her daughter a lot. That's the part I can totally relate with Mac. Love/hate relationship with THE father. Ugh. But yeah, am also glad to get to see new characters such as Eve and Dex who rocked! These characters added spice to the premise and who would forget my favorite character of all? AMYYYYYY! True enough as to what Peacock told me, there would be more of Amy here! OMG! Her presence not only gives me goosebumps but its actually my favorite aspect of the entire novel -- how your best friend still tries to help you even after death -- THIS IS STRONG WOMANCE, PEOPLE! Y'all should really ready this series then let's fan girl together!

Thornhill is a delicious and mysterious novel which is the perfect sequel for Hemlock! Peacock really does know how to surprise her readers with all the unexpected thrilling action and heart breaking romance! I honestly couldn't ask for more! Thornhill is exciting, riveting and unputdownable!

Thank you Sarah of HarperCollins for the finshed copy!

"He hasn't figured out that no matter what you do, some people just end up broken."
"Can you hide what you were? Every moment of every day, could you pretend to be something else? Someone else? Could you stand spending every day worried that you were going to hurt someone if you knew there was an alternative?"
"I loved Kyle. More than anything. Maybe enough to want what was best for him -- even if that best would end up hurting me."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

REVIEW: WATERFELL (THE AQUARATHI #1) BY AMALIE HOWARD.

Title: Waterfell (The Aquarathi #1)
Author: Amalie Howard
Edition: eARC
Published: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 360
Source: Net Galley
Category: Romance, Paranormal
Trailer: not applicable.
Synopsis:

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN

Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.

Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?
Waterfell is pretty much a cool novel.

When I saw Waterfell's cover, I was honestly mesmerized with it. I liked how the strips of image came together perfectly. Then I learned that it's another sea creatures novel, I knew I just have to request for it. Thankful to Harlequin for granting my Netgalley request, I immediately started reading it and I must say, I enjoyed my second mermaid book. I mean, it was okay.

Nerissa is a Royal Aquarathi who lives as a regular human attending high school. Her father before he was murdered informed her to never go back to Waterfell. But the sea is taunting her to come home. She learns that an evil sea creature is trying to rule her people but still too half-hearted to come back. Until she learns that her mother is still alive.

What disappointed me in this novel is that 70% of it is entirely BICKERING. Yes, you read that right -- BICKERING. The main characters just bickered non-stop even at the slightest moments. I can actually picture them like that and it isn't a very pleasant view. I hate that some of them are very physical and that there's almost no respect for each other. Seriously, I almost did NOT finish this just because of that. If it weren't for the mystery behind Waterfell and the Aquarathis, I would stop reading this at once. I tried my best to keep up with all those "shouting" and I'm lucky I surpassed it. It was a little dragging at first. I like and enjoy anything "mermaid" related because it is magical and hair-raising topic. I was actually elated when there were good parts of the book that focused on the back ground of the Aquarathis and how they really look like. This story is actually very promising novel but I feel like it fell short on character development. This time though, world-building wouldn't make up for that insufficiency.

Can I just let this out? Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I met the most agonizing, pathetic, SELFISH and annoying character that kicked Lena from Beautiful Creatures off her throne. Let me introduce you guys to Nerissa. The only Heir to the Aquarathi Throne. Her character mainly threw the novel out of the window. She's everything I hated about a character -- childish, SELFISH, indifferent, SELFISH, arrogant, SELFISH, full of pride, SELFISH, judgmental, SELFISH and she's OMG physical! She actually slapped her best friend/protector - TWICE! I don't know about you guys, but I honestly don't think she would be a good Aquarathi Queen someday! Her attitude sucks big time! AND GOODNESS TO GRACIOUS, HOW CAN YOU "BOND" (like sex) WITH SOMEONE YOU HATED SO MUCH? She did hate Lo to the fullest of her existence! OMG. I couldn't believe how their romance started and am not a fan at all. Lo may seem full of himself but I don't think he deserves such loathing from Nerissa. I actually liked his predictable character over Speio's. Speio is Nerissa's best friend/protector who is also an Aquarathi. He's in love with her the he shows his feelings by being pushy and annoying. He's like a girl who gets even! He's just impossible to be with, to tell you the truth. BUT!!! I totally adored Jess!! She's the ultimate bestest friend ever and I loved that the antagonists are HOT! (You have to read it I guess, because it would too spoilery if I say it!)

Waterfell is a unique take on sea creatures. It may sound like a mermaid story but there are striking differences which totally hooked me. I think Waterfell better suited book 2 as a title though. But all in all, it is enjoyable and surely, you would get carried away by the waves of the fantastic sea story and would drown by its intriguing mystery!

Thank you so much Net Galley and Harlequin Teen for the eARC!

"How do you explain to someone you've given every part of yourself to that you're going away and never coming back? How do you break someone's heart when yours is already shattered? How do you say goodbye when all you want to do is the opposite?"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (37)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
Expected Publication Date: March 4, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Add to Goodreads
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
I may have not liked Requiem but I totally LOVED Delirium and Pandemonium. This series is one of the first I fell in love with and pushed me back to reading. So anything Oliver writes, I will surely read! Plus, the synopsis and cover are BAAAAM!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

REVIEW: THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR BY MINDEE ARNETT.

Title: The Nightmare Affair (The Arkwell Academy #1)
Author: Mindee Arnett
Edition: eARC
Published: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 367
Source: Net Galley
Category: Romance, Fantasy
Trailer: not applicable.
Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.

Literally.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.
The Nightmare Affair is definitely witty!

Woah. Finally. After requesting this from Netgalley gazillion years ago, I found my eARC and finished reading it! I was using the ereader on my laptop at the time I requested this and took me so long to transfer it over to my phone. I thought it expired! Whew! Its always better late than never!

Dusty is a dream feeder. When she tries to feed on Eli's dream, she's shocked to witness almost like a vision. She isn't prepared at all when Eli sees her and her powers bounced off him which is very unusual. After the incident, her school's principal called her the she overheard about a murder. Little did she know that the vision she saw in the dream is the murder that just happened. And she has just been informed that she's a Seer that needs to work with Eli as a team. They have to figure out who is the killer but she's kept in the dark, she doesn't know why she has to be involved at all.

The Nightmare Affair is one of my Most Anticipated Novels for the year. When I got the eARC, I was stoked and too excited I completely forgot it! LOL! But seriously, I loved how hilarious this book is. There are not dull moments in it. The prose was all in all funny and very relatable. I loved how Arnett expounded how dream-walking works and the fact that it is about DREAMS just made it magical. The dream feeding/walking was backed up completely that one wouldn't ask why or what. The premise however, seemed too familiar to me. Like Harry Potter slash Hex Hall? I can't help but see glimpses of these worlds to what's presented in this novel and even though the familiarity is a little bit uncomfortable, I still loved it! Arnett wrote a story that definitely stands out. I loved how she incorporated my favorite subject to it. I wanted to re-learn everything about Merlin and King Arthur but the story lacked at that part, I think. I wish there's more to it.

I also feel like the story should have happened outside the campus. I mean, they could have travelled to Britain or something instead of making everything happen in one place. I believe it would make the story much interesting. Not that am a professional writer to judge this by setting it in one place but as a reader, it would help the imagination wander. If you know what I mean. But I will have to commend the love department for blossoming just at the right time. It didn't push it at the very beginning like what typical paranormal novels I've encountered. It is always a PLUS when the romance was given enough time to develop instead of insta. It ALWAYS ruins the fun. I loved the fact that each character initially had relationships at first then eventually realized how much they were attached to each other! I cannot wait for The Nightmare Dilemma to know how the romance goes!

Speaking of the characters, I loved Dusty and her snarky come backs plus her friendship with Selene. Their personalities jammed well! Selene is the rational one who keeps Dusty grounded while Dusty keeps Selene appreciate her kind. Also, I swear I swooned over Eli! OMG He's really hot plus good looking! Though I wish there was more to his involvement as an ordinary! Paul's character was just too predictable and I don't really buy the part where a thousand year old antagonist would be THAT easily obliterated. I mean, I just don't buy that part at all. Dusty didn't even practice that move/spell! And no matter how unconventional her relationship with her mother, she shouldn't judge her like that.

The Nightmare Affair is such mystical and hilarious novel! The prose is too enjoyable partnered with snarky and hot characters that ensures massive blushing and fan girling! I recommend this novel Hex Hall and Harry Potter fans!

"Just because someone has the power to do something doesn't mean they will. Sometimes people choose to be good even when they don't have to."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

STACKING THE SHELVES (32): THE BOOKSIGNING 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.

 

GIFTED:
- Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

BORROWED:
- Uprising (Children of the Gods #2) by Jessica Therrien
- Indelible (The Twixt #1) by Dawn Metcalf 
- The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

BOUGHT: (Best Sellers, Robinsons Galleria)
- Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black
- The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #5) by Michael Scott
- The Everafter by Amy Huntley
- The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) by Kelley Armstrong
- The Reckoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #3) by Kelley Armstrong

A huge haul, ha? Indeed! Thank you so much to Kai of Amaterasu Reads for gifting Nobody But Us ARC and for lending Indelible. Thank you also to Dianne of Oops, I Read a Book Again for lending Uprising and The Distance Between Us.

I wasn't supposed to buy anything YET because there's a huge book fair I would attend the next day however, the books I bought (the only paperback was Red Glove) were on 70 and 50% off! So why not give in? I was just annoyed with myself because I grabbed The Reckoning thinking it was The Gathering's Book 3 only to find it wasn't. But it was still a good haul!
What did you get this week? Happy weekend, Blurbies!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

MEETING THE AUTHORS: STOHL, DELA CRUZ, NOEL'S BLOGGER FORUM IN MANILA.

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

Last saturday (September 14), I was given another chance to attend a Blogger Forum with New York Times Best Selling Authors Margaret Stohl, Alyson Noel and Melissa Dela Cruz at Best Sellers in Robinson's Galleria, Ortigas. Best Sellers is National Book Store's sister company. I was stoked not only to meet these fantastic authors but to also see my lovely co-bloggers! I missed them to bit! If I haven't mentioned it on any of my old posts, Best Sellers is definitely the biggest book store I've ever been to! IT WAS GINORMOUS. There was a sale so I didn't pass the chance to hoard!

Going back to the Blogger Forum, I didn't record the entire Q and A because I know it would be difficult to transcribe but how I wish I did! Its kind of hard to rely on my unreliable memory. Let me still try to share the important stuff from the said event.
Clockwise: Me, Louisse and Lyra; Me and Dianne; Me and Kai; Michelle, Me and Nicole;
Me amd Louisse; Chad and I.
Clockwise: The books I bought for the signing; The ever jolly JB of NBS;
The panel table at the event; The EPIC Chad of NBs; TADAAAAAH! The TRIO!!

There my co-bloggers Louisse, Lyra and Precious were interviewed by National Book Store then the Q and A began. There were several of us who asked the trio and OMG, Margaret was just so funny! We learned that Blue Bloods by Melissa Dela Cruz was opted to be a TV series only to be cancelled. A week after, Vampires Diaries started filming. Gaaaah! It could have been Blue Bloods' slot! Alyson Noel will also have more books published because at the moment' she's writing them. Margaret Stohl also told us the story behind Beautiful Creatures -- it was written for their kids! She also said that She and Kami Garcia exchanged chapters for the entire series then would edit each other's work. She's also very excited for the spin off series! She also told us that she wanted to tell a story of her own thus Icons. It wasn't hard to write something different according to her because Icons is like, her expression of herself. Melissa also came back to the Philippines after 28 years and I loved her American Accent! They were all gorgeous in person! Melissa was wearing Valentino shoes and Jimmy Choo for Alyson! I forgot was Margaret was wearing! You wouldn't believe how they know each other very well and the support they have for each other was just mind blowing!

Clockwise: Margaret Stohl signing my Beautiful Redemption; Melissa Dela Cruz signed with my signed Frozen
and Alyson Noel siging my copies of Fated and Echo!

It was so fun meeting Alyson again! She's as gorgeous as ever! Melissa Dela Cruz was a bit reserved but funny and stunning! Just like what she said, a fashion editor is always a fashion editor. I loved her Valentino shoes! Margaret was just the bomb! I will never be able to FLAIL like her! It was really surreal meeting these lovely authors and getting to understand their passion for writing as well as the inspiration behind the novels! IT WAS JUST AWESOME!

THE PH YA BOOK BLOGGERS. ♥
I would not be hosting a giveaway at the moment because I am so broke but I hope you enjoyed these pictures! I cannot wait for the next bookish event!


THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH JB AND CHAD OF NATIONAL BOOK STORE FOR HOSTING SUCH FANTASTIC EVENT, MELISSA, MARGARET AND ALYSON FOR BEING LOVELY AND MY CO-PH YA BLOGGERS!
Don't forget to visit these pages and check out the pictures!
Sab The Book Eater
Mine

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (36).

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
Expected Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Add to Goodreads
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
IT HAD ME AT GRACELING. SERIOUSLY.

Monday, September 16, 2013

REVIEW: RUSH BY EVE SILVER.

Title: Rush (The Game #1)
Author: Eve Silver
Edition: Paperback
Published: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 361
Source: ARC borrowed from Dani of Book Whales
Category: Dystopia, Time Travel, Romance
Trailer: Here.
Synopsis:

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
Rush is full of adrenaline.. rush!

I've been meaning to read this for a while now and thanks a lot to Dani of Book Whales for lending me her ARC! Finally, I've read something quite "fresh" and it was such a good read!

Miki is pulled into a different dimension just at the moment she saves a child from being crushed by a truck. She's supposed to play this game where she has to maintain her "green" con in order to survive and finish a mission involving mercury-eyed aliens. She's quite surprised to learn that there's an alien invasion happening and also, why she's pulled. She has to rely on her team mates to answer all her questions especially to Jackson, the one who acts the leader who also happens to be an a-hole.

What I did not like:
- I think the consistency of the story narration is quite confusing. It tends to jump from sub-genre to another sub-genre. There are moments when I feel so engrossed with the alien invasion adventure then all of a sudden, I would ask myself, is this contemporary am reading or what?
- Being that said, the first few chapters of Rush lead me to believe the promise of the blurbs. As I've said, the alien invasion adventure is THAT really strong and it is something I focused on at first. But as I go along, especially the middle part, it kind of turned to a Contemporary genre. The characters aren't being pulled for a couple of weeks at that point, so the story basically revolved only on romance. Imagine it, from having such an intense start, it mellows down in the middle to focus on romance. Didn't quite work for me.
- Just like Miki, I have a ton of questions about the Draus. Most of them are actually answered and explained but the others? Still left as questions.
- Also, I tagged this under YA Time travel because of the "pulling". However, the part where Richelle was pulled but from 7 months back actually didn't register. How?
- I don't buy the alien-genes being passed on. Maybe because there was nothing to support that in the novel.
- And Carly. Actually, her whole existence didn't weigh anything at all in the novel. And she's the rude one?

What I did like:
- This is my first "Alien" plotted novel and I was so happy I liked it!
- The entire premise is such new to me! It is very unique and refreshing!
- I liked how they are being "pulled" and thrown to another dimension!
- The romance part was a little insta BUT you know, THAT intense love-triangle?? I LOVE!
- I also liked how Miki reacted. I mean, I would have reacted the same way if all of a sudden I was pulled like that. It is the normal way to react.
- Her questions were also the right questions. I liked this because she didn't stop asking. Unlike with other characters I've stumbled upon in the past, some would just accept the situation with even trying to clarify things. Kudos, Miki!
- The ending. I liked how it ended. I know it is a complete absurd cliffhanger but its the kind of cliffhanger that ended at the right moment? Make sense? HAHA
- The video game inspiration. That was really thrilling! I want more!
- Jackson Tate's mysterious personality and hot body! BAHAHA

All in all, I really enjoyed Rush! I might have a of questions but the gist of it was really unique, thrilling, dangerous and action-packed! I really cannot wait for PUSH!!

Thank you Dani of Book Whales for lending her ARC!

"Still, her rejection is like a knife in my back. Just because she pulled the knife out doesn't mean the wound isn't aching."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

REVIEW: FROZEN BY MELISSA DELA CRUZ AND MICHAEL JOHNSTON.

Title: Frozen (Heart of Dread #1)
Authors: Melissa Dela Cruz and Michael Johnston
Edition: Paperback
Published: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 336
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Category: Romance, Dystopia, Fantasy
Trailer: not available
Synopsis:

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.
Frozen is ravishing!

I was so happy when I learned that Melissa De la Cruz will be signing here in Manila [together with Alyson Noel and Margaret Stohl]. Frozen is supposed to be released on the 17th but because of the event, it was released early here! I was so stoked to finally be reading it because I heard nothing but good things about it plus, it would be my first De la Cruz novel. I own the first 3 of her Blue Bloods Series but this was the one I first read. And you know what? It was surprisingly good!

Earth changed over the past hundred or so years. It was now covered in ice. In this dying world with very well developed technology, Marked people are being captured, locked up, sold or worse, killed because they have abilities and powers. Natasha is one of them. She only hides her prominent Marked eyes using special lenses and keeps a low profile by working in a casino in New Vegas. When the voice in her head keeps dictating she has to go to Blue, a paradise kept secret from the rest, she tries to follow it. She hires a team that would accompany her to travel. That's when she meets Wes.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone meets a frozen The Ward. Wall-E's world in the middle of Antarctica. Dragons mashed with pirates set in a distant future. You get the entire picture. I LOVED IT. I ENJOYED IT. I WAS LOST IN THIS WORLD IN SUCH FANTASTIC WAY. I loved how the authors merged Dystopia and Fantasy that didn't compromise the premise. I've seen mixed reviews of Frozen and I totally get what went wrong in the entire story BUT I loved it. My brain wanted to embrace it in a positive way. The romance sucked big time because obviously, it was a tiresome insta-romance, but the world building? PHENOMENAL. I never thought such genre combination would be this cinematic. It was THAT UHMAYZINGGGG. The magic, dragons, pirates, sylphs and "zombies" I just can't get enough of! Also, the Earth the authors described in the story was actually something possible to happen. The garbage, pollution, toxins and how Earth died weren't only scary but as a person, you would appreciate what the novel was trying to imply -- SAVE MOTHER EARTH. It was a very unique take on how to educate people about what we do to our environment. That alone made me hug and pet this novel with such ferocious energy. Not only that, it also showcases how we all strive to live a better life in a better place that most people would do the impossible to achieve this. Which to me means good news. We can also go to our own Blues with a little more push and perseverance.

I am not really a fan of the characters though. They're pretty much vulnerable and very predictable. Natasha was emotionally weak while Wes? He should know better. At this point, I cannot ship them yet because I felt like their characters weren't given enough time to develop. There was something lacking. Probably a chemistry. The bacon vest didn't help either. But at least at the end, I was enlightened about Natasha's power and Wes' back ground. I wanted more though, not only from them but the entire Wes Team and the creatures from Blue. I also wanted to know more about Blue and how it survived such earth destruction, not just about the magic it has.

Frozen is a novel built with strong world-building and a very promising premise. It is magical, futuristic and has well-constructed writing. Simply an artistic story one should never miss!

"There's always just a fraction of a second between life and death. Take as much as you can."