Saturday, August 30, 2014

STACKING THE SHELVES (52): THE PENS 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.

Hellew everyone! It has been a little over a month since I posted something for Stacking the Shelves meme and I have quite a haul to share. These are the titles I got since May (?) but I forgot to post them and even couldn't remember the dates of purchase. But it doesn't matter, as long as I remember what I got and what I haven't shared here yet, then that's what is important.

Sorry for the crappy photo below. I was ambitiously trying to capture a macro shot using ONLY my phone and it took 27 shots to get it right. It wasn't what I wanted it to be but it would make do. Am happy with it and satisfied. LOL

Just a little back story though: I got these books months back in separate occasions and different locations. I guess this is another collective haul, if I may say. I attended Jenny Han's Book Signing event last June and got all her titles signed. Aside from attending such swell bookish event, my co-bloggers and I received an ARC of Ashes to Ashes as well as an ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After during Stephanie Perkins' Book Signing event a month after. National Bookstore is just THAT awesome! (Oh goodness, someone remind me to write my Perkins' signing recap post, please?) We also ordered the Collector's Edition of Ruin and Rising from Barnes and Noble and it was really pretty! (Thanks to Maricar of Blackplume and Kazhy of My Library in the Making for making it possible) Then Louisse of The Soul Sisters gifted me her copy of Wait for You by J. Lynn and Kai of Amaterasu Reads gifted me her fantastic ARC of The Last Forever. I've been lusting over this book, I swear, since the moment I saw its cover and I couldn't stop bugging/begging Kai to just give it to me! Thank goodness she did! And I borrowed QoT from Chyna of Lite-rate-ture. There was supposed to be a blog tour but it didn't push through.

And last but not the least, my glorious copy of Open Road Summer. I fell in love with it the moment the cover was revealed last year. (You all know I have a thing for covers like this right?) I asked my local book store if they would order copies but was immediately let down since they wouldn't. I was so tempted to order it via Special Order even if it was expensive, but good thing I waited. It was such a pain in the butt to wait but it was worth it. They finally ordered a few copies and I felt so special that they contacted me right away. I still haven't read it and I am really crossing my fingers that it would be worth all the trouble. Thank you so much, Fullybooked Fort!


BORROWED:
* The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen (ARC; 3/5 star review)

GIFTED:
* The Last Forever by Deb Caletti (ARC)
* Wait for You (Wait for You #1) by J. Lynn

FOR REVIEW:
* Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins (ARC; 5/5 star review)
* Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3) by Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian (ARC)

BOUGHT:
* Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo (Collector's Edition)
* Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1) by Jenny Han (Goodreads Author), Siobhan Vivian
* The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1) by Jenny Han
* It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) by Jenny Han
* We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han
* Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Thank you so much Blogger friends, National Bookstore, Simon Teen, Simon and Schuster and Fullybooked!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

REVIEW: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER BY STEPHANIE PERKINS.

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
(Anna and the French Kiss #3)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Edition: Paperback
Published: August 14, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Teen/Dutton
Pages: 339
Source: ARC provided by National Bookstore and the publisher
Category: Contemporary, Romance
Trailer: Not Applicable.

Synopsis:

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.
Ohmygod.

Am going to say it straight, I adored Isla more than Lola. I think I loved it as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss. Gosh, Isla gave me a lot of feelings that turned my cheeks to red. There was even a point when my cheeks started to hurt because I couldn't stop giggling about this amazing book. Wow. It was really a lovely read. (Sorry, I couldn't contain THE feels, my review might probably wouldn't make sense.)

When I finished reading Isla (note: it took me 6 hours to read it, the fastest I've ever read), I had mixed feelings. I felt like things would have been less complicated if Isla wasn't too coward. She had been uncertain of Josh's feelings, that she doubted herself in the process. But after a while, these thoughts came and I realized Isla wasn't coward, she was just afraid to get hurt. I've been in that sticky situation in my life so many times that a simple fight would lead to break up. I finally understood how Isla felt though I can't agree with her at this stage. She should have trusted Josh, she should have believed in them. But I guess that makes Isla and the Happily Ever After special, it shows how love can still be vulnerable. That trials would come and test you. Am just glad that Josh hang on and hoped that their love would again, cross paths and find each other.

Ohmygod, Josh Wasserstein. YOU ARE ALL THAT I NEED.

Isla and the Happily Ever After is the perfect ending to this companion series. It is bubbly, swoony and dreamy that your heart will beat a hundred times faster than normal. Isla is my favorite next to Anna and definitely, there's a re-read that's going to happen soon! GO GRAB YOUR COPIES NOW!

Thank you Penguin Teen and National Bookstore for the review copy!

"I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?"
"There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew."
"Phones are distracting. The internet is distracting.The way he looked at you? He wasn't distracted. He was consumed."

Here it is!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

REVIEW: HOLD STILL BY NINA LACOUR.

Title: Hold Still
Author: Nina LaCour
Edition: Paperback
Published: September 25, 2009
Publisher: Penguin Teen/Speak
Pages: 231
Source: Bought from Fullybooked, Fort
Category: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Trailer: here.

Synopsis:

I am a girl ready to explode into nothing.

That night Ingrid told Caitlin, I'll go wherever you go. But by dawn, Ingrid was dead and Caitlin was alone. Suddenly Caitlin has to deal with a completely unfamiliar life—a life without the art, the laughter, the music, and the joy she shared with her best friend. When she finds the journal Ingrid left behind, Caitlin gets a chance to learn about another side of her friend; and the journal becomes her guide as she deals with forging new friendships, finding a first love, and learning to live without the one person who knew her best.
**MIGHT CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS**

I may have squealed a little on Facebook the day I bought Hold Still. Been lusting over it for over a year and when I saw a copy locally, I didn't let the chance pass. A few months after, I am now faced with unexplainable circus of emotions.

There are parts in my heart where I can pull off my understanding of what depression is about. Or even how depression affects people. I see  it every day, depression is all around me. Hold Still made me feel hopeful not because I can deal with life's unbelievable events fine, but because I somehow understand it. People tend to shun symptoms of it and think that depression is stupidity. Hold Still touches such sensitive topic in a soulful way and it exudes encouragement for us to be supportive of our loved ones. The grief and regret I felt all throughout this is story is overwhelming but it truly pokes the heart. It makes me what to reach out to the world in any way I can.

Hold Still's writing however, made me feel wary. Most of the time, I was lost and couldn't find the connection with Caitlin. Maybe because she deals with loss in a different approach. She keeps to herself and shuts the world off. She's having a very rough time accepting that her best friend, Ingrid, took her life. She feels betrayed and alone. But on a fateful day she finds Ingrid's journal, her healing starts. Yes, she finds new friends and even a boyfriend and finally able to let go, but still, most parts of the story felt irrelevant to the main plot. It jumped from one sub-plot to another and it made me aggravated that why couldn't it just focus on the suicide part or the reasons behind it? I wish I learned what started Ingrid's depression. It would have made so much sense instead of dealing with other things like the tree house or her car. Good thing though, their friendship molded in a way art (photography) was involved. I liked it.

I was tempted to rate this book a three. But the last eighty pages seemed to redeem my failing expectations of it. Caitlin, being the rude, angry teen who couldn't believe her best friend died, finally woke up and faced her life -- by letting Ingrid go. I admire what she did at the end, that she made copies of Ingrid's journal entries and gave them to those people who needed to have a part of her best friend. I also loved the fact that Jayson felt the same way for Ingrid even though it was too late. That part gave me the strength to tell those people in my life how much I value them. Then Taylor. He didn't take advantage even if he could that I absolutely adored how respectful that guy is. And Caitlin's parents? They are THE bomb.

Hold Still is a perfect combination of grief, loss, hope and faith put into one touching story. It showcases different ways of coping and allowing one's self to heal on its own. This is my first LaCour novel and surely, I wasn't disappointed! Can't wait to read more from her soon!

"And I want to tell you about everything but I can't because I couldn't stand for you to have that look on your face all the time. I just need you to look at me and think that I'm normal. I just really need that from you."
"Here's how I feel: People take one another for granted. Like, I'd just hang out with Ingrid in all these random places--in her room or at school or just on a sidewalk somewhere. And the whole time we'd tell each other things, just say our thoughts out loud. Maybe that would have been boring to some people, but it was never boring to us. I never realized what a big deal that was. How amazing it is to find someone who wants to hear about all the things that go on in your head. You just think that things will stay the way they are. You never look up, in a moment that feels like every other moment of your life, and think, "Soon this will be over." But I understand more now. About how life works."
"I sort through the letters and pull out what I need for the beginning. They snap easily into place. And even though I thought I would need every letter, I finish the first sentence and realize that it’s all I have left to say.
I MISS YOU."


So here is how it looks like now!! took me time to find the right spot and the right accessory!


Friday, August 1, 2014

#BookPhotogProject (01): SPLINTERED SERIES.

Hi guys! You might be wondering what this new feature for the blog is all about. I couldn't stop babbling about it on Twitter. But before I start talking details about it, let me just clarify things. I haven't done a single research about MY feature. If ever there's already a similar meme, I didn't intend to copy or something. I feel like I've thought of this first haha and up to this point, am still believing that am the first one to do this. So there.

This feature is going to be posted every first of the month. And what I really wanted to showcase here are the books I totally, absolutely, definitely loved. But not just in a review form, though. Am going to try to pursue my (postponed hobby) love for photos. Am not a photographer of some sort (not professionally,anyway) but I just really like and enjoy taking photos. Combining my passion for pictures and love for books, I came up with this feature called


For my first #BookPhotogProject post, am going to put AG Howard's Splintered series in the spotlight.

Camera: Samsung S3 - Location: At home - Photo Editor: VSCoCam and Phonto.

There is no doubt about the love I feel for this series. The moment I finished reading Splintered, I was blown away by everything about it (Please see 8/5 star review of Splintered here and 4/5 star review of Unhinged here) I couldn't stop thinking of Morpheus (am Team Morpheus) and the sequel, Unhinged. I was left in awe and in so much thirst for the next one. I wish there are more ways for me to tell you guys how much fantastic this series is. The world building and characters are amazing and the romance is a killer.

I am not only featuring Splintered series because of the lovely covers or you know, the stories. I wanted to also share how lovely AG Howard is. I have never met her and only worked/talked/giggled/fangirled with her online but the sincerity, kindness and sweetness she have shown me is unbelievable. I hope that one day, I will be given a chance to meet her. Because that would be awesome.

I would also like to thank Tina and Abrams and Chronicle UK for Splintered and Unhinged hard bounds, Unhinged ARC and necklace I won on their Facebook contest. Thank you so much, Anita. I will hold on to you promise that you won't ever change no matter how popular you become.

PS: I just wanna let you know people, that is the real key to Wonderland. :)


I hope you enjoyed my new but not super ambitious feature and hope you guys would continue to support! Till next month's #BookPhotogProject !!