Friday, February 28, 2014

JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2014 RECAP + BOOKS OF THE MONTH.


Helloooooooooooooooo gorgeous people!!

I failed to make a separate January 2014 recap only because I believe I only posted two reviews for that month. I was on a complete blog/reading hiatus the whole month of December 2013 and it continued till January hence, not a lot of reviews. But I am slowly trying to be THAT active on the blog and I don't want to force myself anymore to avoid burn outs. So here's the Recap for January and February!
~ JANUARY 2014 ~
January 01 - January New Releases.

January 03 - 5/5 stars for Jennifer Nielsen's RUNAWAY KING.

January 23 - Gayle Forman's Blogger Forum and Book Signing in Manila Recap!

January 29 - 4/5 stars for Rosamund Hodge's CRUEL BEAUTY.
~ FEBRUARY 2014 ~
February 10 - 8/5 stars for Tahereh Mafi's IGNITE ME.

February 13 - 3/5 stars for John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

February 14 - Valentines Feature: My Fictional Boyfriendssss v2.

February 15 - Stacking the Shelves: The Collective Haul Edition.

February 20 - 4/5 stars for AG Howard's UNHINGED.

February 28 - January and February 2014 Recap + Books of the Month.


And before I end my recaps, 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 hungover for days!
~ January Book of the Month ~
My Blurb:

"Nielsen never disappoints. Not in any aspect of the book. The plot was stunning, the writing was witty and "accent" sexy, characters are all well developed and thought of and the twists of every event leads to discoveries not only of secrets but motives and truth. The Runaway King deserves so much that I couldn't type and collect the right words to explain how satisfied I am with the story. Truly mind blowing. One of a kind. Magnificent."
~ February Book of the Month ~

My Blurb:

"I am sad. Sad that the series is now over. That I won't be seeing MORE of my Shatter Me crew. But I am happy. Happy that an extraordinary story ended in an ultramagnetic sonic way. Ignite Me exceeded my sky rocketing expectations that I think, I will never be this satisfied with any other series conclusion ever. Mafi made my standards so high I cannot almost see it. Ignite Me is a book and a story that will leave you asking, WHAT HAPPENED TO MY HEART."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

REVIEW: UNHINGED BY AG HOWARD.

Title: Unhinged (Splintered #2)
Author: A. G. Howard
Edition: Paperback
Published: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 394
Source: ARC provided by the Publisher
Category: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Trailer: Here.

AmazonBook DepositoryGoodreadsBarnes and NobleNational Book Store 

Synopsis:

Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
*MIGHT BE SPOILERY*

Unhinged is absolutely mystical!

In this review, I will be showcasing 3 feels because I loved AG Howard's sequel for Splintered, Unhinged so much. Aside from THAT tantalizing book cover *licks cover*, there is more to it than a pretty face! I couldn't express enough how much I adored Splintered and wrapping up Unhinged tonight absolutely lifted my entire existence, I kid you not! Gosh. AG Howard definitely knows how to tease her readers and this follow up novel for her debut, Unhinged is truly darker yet beyond romantic mixed up in one book!

ALL THE CREEPY FEELS.

WHERE IN THE WORLD THESE CREEPY CREATURES CAME FROM?? My imagination? Howard's head? Wonderland? Who wouldn't get scared with THE clown alone? I couldn't even include the Sisters and Red! The Clown seriously kept me awake the entire night because I kept thinking it would just appear outside my window! I LOVED HOW THESE SIMPLE CREATURES GAVE ME GOOSEBUMPS! These are the things I wanted to see more from Unhinged (aside from my beautiful Moth!). How one book could make you feel scared to the core! Very marvelous and liberating indeed!

ALL THAT YEARNING FEELS.

Why?? Why couldn't I see Wonderland again? Why couldn't I see even a glimpse of it? Why am I left so tempted to bounce and fall down the Rabbit Hole? I LOVED HOW HOWARD TURNED THIS PART UPSIDE DOWN! I thought I would be able to go back to such magical world yet she held up the trip! I felt like she focused on Al's dilemma on which world to choose. I totally appreciated how I was held back from visiting my favorite place in this world because THIS IS PUSHING ME TO YEARN HARD FOR ENSNARED!

ALL THE FEELS FEELS.

I wasn't totally ready.

I wasn't ready to be torn apart. I wasn't ready to be loved and unloved at the same time. I wasn't ready to be left hanging by being locked away forever from Wonderland. I wasn't ready to sacrifice the ones I loved most. I wasn't ready to be left alone. And I wasn't ready to be crazy.
Seeing things from Al's eyes made me ache that my bones hurt. From page one until the last, I DEEPLY felt every emotion she has to go through. True enough, the entire book is quotable that I nearly finished 3 sticky notes for tabbing everything. From jealousy to doubt, from love to longing, from disgust to trust. I felt like I am reading my feelings and it was simply so surreal to see what you feel exactly how you feel it. As if Howard have forseen what I am going to feel and wrote it for me instead. That is how much I am attached to this book. It is as if I am holding my printed my emotions.

Jeb's emotion matured in the sequel, too. I never have anticipated that he would actually be MORE bold when it comes to his love for Al. Even though he was also torn for ALMOST choosing between his career and relationship, it was clear that he would do everything he could to give Al a better life. No matter how painful it is to not spend time with her. I truly adored his intentions and how he tried to prove that he is the right man. And even though his trust was tested, he once again have proven how much Al meant to him that he's always ready to overlook mistakes. Nothing can beat THAT.

Well, I missed Morpheus. His existence in the book left me longing for more. His sarcasm and snarky comments made me yearn for his character to flutter through my wide open door. His pain and hope drove him to do things beyond his control and I loved every bit of it. He is ridiculously funny, annoying, loving and selfless. His ways of expressing what he feels can sometimes get into your nerve but that what makes him Morpheus. That is what made me root for him. He's annoyingly beautiful. He's annoyingly perfect.

Unhinged seeps into your bloodstream which will make your heart stop beating. It is written so beautifully that love can be magic and magic can be love. In amid of darkness, Unhinged shares hope that pushes relationships to grow and trust to develop. I cannot wait to get my hands on the last installment! I AM SOOO THIRSTY FOR MORPHEUS!!

Thank you Tina of Abrams and Chronicle UK for my review copy!

"Nothing can break the chains you have on my heart. For you ARE Wonderland."
".. since when is only half of something the best of anything?"
"I am MAD and I embrace it."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

STACKING THE SHELVES (43): THE COLLECTIVE 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 haven't done an STS post for the longest time because of the 2-month blog hiatus I was on. I was still a little lazy to do this today but I am starting to lose track of what I got. I was auto-approved by Harper Collins on Edelweiss and Harlequin Teen on Netgalley a few months back so I hoarded a ton of eARCs. Unfortunately, I didn't know that these eARCs would expire. Gaaaah. So I redownloaded some and sent them over my Kindle. Giselle from Booknerd.ca told me that eARCs on Kindle doesn't expire so am sharing it with you. Here are the books I got for the past several weeks:


BOUGHT:
- Unite Me (Shatter Me #1.5, 2.5) by Tahereh Mafi
- Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi
- If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman
- Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman
- Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
- Interim Goddess of Love (Interim Goddess of Love #1) by Mina V. Esguerra
- Queen of the Clueless (Interim Goddess of Love #2) by Mina V. Esguerra

GIFTED:
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Complete Novels of Jane Austen by Jane Austen

FOR REVIEW:
- The Children Who Time Lost by Marvin Amazon
- Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard
- Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked #2) by Elisa Ludwig
- Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter
- Infinite (Newsoul #3) by Jodi Meadows
- Resist (Breathe #2) by Sarah Crossan
- Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
- Panic by Lauren Oliver



E-ARCS FOR REVIEW:
- The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry
- Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
- Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
- Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong
- Wanderers (Wasteland #2) by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan
- Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
- Death Sworn (Death Sworn #1) by Leah Cypess
- Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
- Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White
- Elusion by Claudia Gabel, Cheryl Klam
- The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
- (Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn
- The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik
- Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
- The Eighth Day (Eighth Day #1) by Dianne K. Salerni
- After the End (After the End #1) by Amy Plum
- Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley
- The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings
- Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe) by Rosamund Hodge
Thank you ever so so much National Book Store, Ministop SLEX, my friend Roming from Jeddah, Eunice, author Marvin Amazon, Sarah and Megan of Hapercollins, Lisa of Harlequin Teen, Tina of Abrams and Chronicle UK, Edelweiss and Netgalley!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

REVIEW: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS BY JOHN GREEN.

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Edition: Hardbound
Published: February 10, 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 313
Source: Bought from Fullybooked
Category: Romance, Contemporary
Trailer: Here.

AmazonBook DepositoryGoodreadsBarnes and NobleFullybooked

Synopsis:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.
*WITH SPOILERS*

With all the fandoms for The Fault in Our Stars all over the cyber world, my expectations for it went quite high. I couldn't blame myself because of how strongly these groups express their love for the book influenced me. The upcoming movie, posters, quotes, shirts or even cellphone casings with TFIOS prints definitely set a certain standard in my head. So it took me almost 7 months before I picked up my copy. It took me that long because I wanted to prepare myself for what people called "emotional" and "tear-jerker" story. I wanted to be strong enough to face the unknown. I guess, I prepared too much that I became numb.

Hazel Grace if battling cancer that makes her lungs to /produce/store water. She needs help from an oxygen tank to breathe well. When her parents thought she's suffering from depression, she's sent to a social group for cancer patients and there's when she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is also battling cancer that lead him to be amputated. They share the same level of intellectual capacity and complimented their current cancer situation. Hazel Grace introduced her favorite book to Augustus which abruptly ended without a sequel. The book left them wondering what happens next to their favorite characters and since Augustus is trying to woe Hazel, he spent his 'one wish' for them to meet the author all the way from Amsterdam. They spend 3 days there only to be met by a douchebag author. They never learned the sequel. When they came back to the US, Augustus had a recurrence. He suffered a month long until his heart got tired and stopped beating. The only thing he left for Hazel are their memories and Augustus' eulogy for Hazel.

Yep. You read that right. The Fault in Our Stars is that simple. 2 cancer patients trying to love each other while they still have each other. I thought that it would tear me apart. I thought that I would be able to use the TOWEL I prepared for myself. But I reached page 200 but still nothing serious is happening. They haven't even kissed yet. At that point, my anticipation for it dropped lower and lower. Seriously, I couldn't wrap my mind around the part where people told me to prepare tissues or that this story is emotionally devastating. I am sorry but now I find those as exaggeration. I didn't wipe a single tear. None at all. It didn't move me. I couldn't understand what is so appealing to others that I had probably missed? I don't pity the characters. I don't see any emotionally draining part that could lead me to cry ocean. All I saw were a lot of "okays". Could you please lead me where to look?? What page??

Though honest to goodness I didn't enjoy The Fault in Our Stars as much as I would have wanted to, there are still a few points I liked. Like how John Green's writing style goes. Turning a Proper Noun into an Adjective is funny enough that I think, only Green could pull that off. He hides the deeper meanings of thoughts through his wordings we don't regularly use. The spontaneity of his writing is so fluid its as if he speaks this way everyday (he might be, who knows). I've always wanted to write like that. Like I could just grab things from my room and throw it to a paper and viola, encrypted thoughts through legible words. He sounded so smart thus his characters do. Also, I enjoyed how his characters view of the universe, of cancer, of love. So diverse, so objective, so smart. And I love Isaac and Hazel's dad to bits.

The Fault in Our Stars is a story of battle not of Cancer but of staying alive to fall inlove longer. It is a story of how one can put so much value to things while they are still here and how we can leave a 'scar' to the world in the smallest things we do. We shouldn't need to be ill in order to show love and be loved. Love and pain indeed demand to be felt -- because after all, one wouldn't appreciate the essence of  love without pain.


"Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book."
"I'm in love with you," he said quietly.

"Augustus," I said.

"I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."
"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world...but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices."
"Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you."

Monday, February 10, 2014

REVIEW: IGNITE ME BY TAHEREH MAFI.

Title: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Edition: Paperback
Published: February 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 416
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Category: Romance, Dystopia
Trailer: Here.

AmazonBook DepositoryGoodreadsBarnes and NobleNational Book Store

Synopsis:

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.
If I wasn't too sleepy from being awake the entire night from work, I would have finished reading Ignite Me in one sitting. With an easy to go through prose and STUNNINGLY INTRIGUING conclusion, no one should be able to stop reading it. I barely ate, I didn't take a shower (seriously), I shut off everything around me because THIS IS IGNITE ME. THIS IS THE ONE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. I shouldn't have slept, damn it.

When Tahereh Mafi went here for a book signing last year, we were able to tell her how much we loved her and and books. How strongly we feel for Kenji and Warner. How we were all lost in the beauty of her writing. Waiting a year for Ignite Me is a total pain in the butt but right now, right now that I have finished reading it, the pain of longing for your favorite characters for a year is ALL WORTH IT. I would have never appreciated her writing style more or how Mafi expresses her emotions this strong if it wasn't for that pain. I would do it all over again. All over again. Because through pain, you get to see beauty in different spectrum and get to value it more than you thought you could.

The premise focused more on Juliette's growth as a character. From being the stupid weakling crybaby in Shatter Me to a full grown kickass leading lady in Ignite Me, Mafi did heck of an awesome job in letting Juliette take small steps to grasp herself. Juliette still showed vulnerability but eventually reclaimed her purpose and executed it BRUCE LEE STYLE. She harnessed her powers and used her anger to control it and be the best she can be for the people who matter most to her. She is a brand new Juliette in Ignite Me. A Juliette who is not afraid to speak her mind, to do whatever she think is right and to make choices. She no longer depends on others to make herself feel better. She has taken control of her life and hell, did she fight for it. The Juliette Mafi presented in Ignite Me is a heroine every reader will adore.

Juliette's friendship with Kenji showed deeper meaning as well. Kenji's character brought so much laugh to my lips and so much humor to the story. Ignite Me is tagged under Dystopian genre, but sure enough, Kenji lightened up the world. Without his rationality, straight forwardness and FANTASTIC SENSE OF HUMOR, this story would have failed. Kenji is the amalgamation of Mafi's brother but I can't help but see pieces of Mafi's personality as well. I ADORED CHAPTER 25 AND EVERYTHING ABOUT KENJI. He made me laugh my ass off especially in the middle of awkward situations. Who wouldn't want to have a best friend with a loyal, handsome, kindhearted, funny man like him??

I agree on how Kenji saw Juliette's relationship with Adam as "default". Since Adam is the first person who have shown kindness to her, its as if "by default" she felt like they were compatible. I totally LOVED how Mafi transformed this part of the story. I know Adam would have given so so much more to Juliette but for some reason, I never really had this connection with him. His character is noble and handsome and loving but the chemistry isn't really there. Mafi didn't only expand Adam's emotional distress, but she made sure that it wouldn't be a flaw. Adam's character complimented Juliette in so many ways and he's one reason who pushed her out of her comfort zone. His pride shooked him to the core and I've been waiting for him to fight back for so long. Ignite Me surprised me a lot when it comes to Adam. It wasn't something I have anticipated and because of that, Ignite Me completely made me so happy I might die.

Last thing that truly made me DIE for Ignite Me but not the least of course is WARNER. AARON FUCKING WARNER. Who would have thought he would be *insert spoilers here*?? Oh God. I thought Juliette was just leading me on that there will be some stupid realizations ahead but damn, I didn't expect it would be like this. ALL THE FEELS THIS BOOK DID TO ME. Warner completely made me certifiably insane. He's sexier than ever. Oh so sexy! *read Chapters 55 and 58!! HE EVEN WORE A TOWEL. JUST A FUCKING TOWEL, PEOPLE!! Aside from that, he made me crazy by being the character I never would have anticipated he will become. His passion for Juliette grew deeper and his true intentions blew my mind to bits!! Mafi surely melted my bones that I am a crawling jelly! THIS. THIS BOOK IS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION. If your chests are not strong enough for full blast FEELS, don't read this. Then die of regret you didn't.

I am sad. Sad that the series is now over. That I won't be seeing MORE of my Shatter Me crew. But I am happy. Happy that an extraordinary story ended in an ultramagnetic sonic way. Ignite Me exceeded my sky rocketing expectations that I think, I will never be this satisfied with any other series conclusion ever. Mafi made my standards so high I cannot almost see it. Ignite Me is a book and a story that will leave you asking, WHAT HAPPENED TO MY HEART.


"But there is something about the darkness, the stillness of this hour, I think, that creates a language of its own. There's a strange kind of freedom in the dark; a terrifying vulnerability we allow ourselves at exactly the wrong moment, tricked by the darkness into thinking it will keep our secrets. We forget that the blackness is not a blanket; we forget that the sun will soon rise. But in the moment, at least, we feel brave enough to say things we'd never say in the light."
"Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.

No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh."
"Words are like seeds, I think, planted into our hearts at a tender age.

They take root in us as we grow, settling deep into our souls. The good words plant well. They flourish and find homes in our hearts. They build trunks around our spines, steadying us when we're feeling most unsure. But the bad words grow poorly. Our trunks infest and spoil until we are hollow and housing the interests of others and not our own. We are forced to eat the fruits those words have borne, held hostage by the branches growing arms around our necks, suffocating us to death, one word at a time."