Sunday, December 28, 2014

THE BEST BOOKS OF 2014.

Where I get to recap my fruitful year and compile all the best ones I've read!
Again, where did the rest of 2014 go? Time have gone by so fast I felt like I missed life this year. Well, I totally did! I was just stuck at home almost the entire year because I quit my job and I allowed LOSS to get the best of me. I was pretty much depressed the entire time: didn't read much books, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, no strength to go out with friends. Yeah, that was basically my 2014. BORING. But am glad there are still awesome things I could look back to and choosing the best books I read this year is one.

Here are the best books I read this year.
Am missing two books here because one is borrowed and one is an ecopy.


~January~
5 stars
"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~
8 stars
"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."
~March~
8 stars
"Maybe Someday may have ended too perfectly but it ended the way it should. The idea of this story isn't totally applicable in real life but it gives a little spark of hope that the heart could wait and could find the one that beats the same way. Wrong as it may sound, but love will always take its own course to the right person no matter how wrong circumstances may be and it will take as long as it could until the time is right. Maybe Someday made cry ocean and seriously tore my heart apart. Hoover did it again. The story she created rendered my entire existence speechless and my heart shattered. Maybe Someday is absolutely a tear-inducing novel that will mess your feelings up but will plant love deeply to your heart. Then rip it."
~May~
8 stars
"Wings is the perfect conclusion to such amazing series. I will never have sufficient adjectives to describe how Wings gave euphoria and all sorts of unnamed emotions to me. Highly fitting to be the last installment (because there is nothing that would top this), every fiber of Wings suited the need for answers and satiated the cravings for action. Gripping with blood and vengeance, Wings turns out to be the key to all the madness. Treacherous, dangerous and brutal it may appear but Wings is by far the best part of the series. Breath taking and breath stopping altogether."
5 stars
"As I have shared on Facebook, I couldn't recommend this book enough. It isn't only mysterious but highly intriguing and it plays so good with the mind. Lockhart sure enough nailed this one, the characters are so lovely, the plot is one of a kind, the romance is ugh, to die for and that tingling sensation on each chapter gives an out of the body goosebumps. This book is surely one of the amazing novels I've read this year. And be warned: prepare for a support group. You wouldn't survive longer after you're done with this."
~June~
5 stars
"After the End is truly mind numbing, heart breaking and fist clenching dystopian take. The depth of my love for this book is undeniably immeasurable. It took my breath away in a surprisingly beautiful way. The striking prose combined with the astounding mystery behind the plot, this book is worth all the praises the dictionary can ever produce. Brilliant, wonderful, magnificent."
~July~
8 stars
"Monstrous Beauty is a story of eternal love, magic and tragedy mixed beautifully. It is one of the so many astounding novels ever written. Thrilling, mystifying and excruciating to the heart, Monstrous Beauty brings the kind of love that will haunt and torment you. This is a book that will change you forever."
~August~
5 stars
"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!"
~September~
8 stars
"Heir of Fire is absolutely worth waiting for. If it takes another year for Book 4 to be published, I will wait with all my heart. Maas' wrote another phenomenal story with such amazing structure that never misses to surprise me. It is mysterious, brilliant and thrilling. Hands down to you, Maas! Another job well done! And I will follow the Throne of Glass series, to whatever end.."
~October~
4 stars
"Pawn is a book that is sensitive, intriguing and powerful. It speaks individual empowerment that nothing should stop you from being who you are and achieving what you want. It is such a magnificent work that you would beg for Captive immediately. Truly an evocative dystopian novel, Pawn will touch your heart with strength to fight not just to make ends meet but to seek justice, safety and equality."
4 stars
"Red Rising is absolutely heart-racing, hair-raising and mind-blowing take on a very cruel dystopian world. It speaks a language so uniquely and tells a story so admirably. Holding distinct characters as its strength, it doesn't stop there. Love, revenge, and freedom are cooking in such impeccable way that tasting Red Rising would have you asking for more."
8 stars
"Intoxicating and nerve-wracking, Golden Son brings full blast of action and suspense that will leave you grasping for air. With a remarkable plot and shocking ending, Book 3 couldn't be here fast enough. It holds love, loss and vengeance in its center that if this incredibly phenomenal sequel will not break you, I don't know what else will."
There are my favorite reads this year. Not only because I was swept away by the story or characters, it's because I was blown away by the emotional impact these books brought to me. Yes, I will never be the same again after reading such brilliant novels and I'll be more than happy to tell the world about these books!


Now, one of the hardest things I've to make this year it to decide which one is going to land The Bookaholic Blurbs' 2014 Book of the Year. I narrowed it down by rating so the 8 star reviews are among the ones I've to choose from. But it's still hard. I loved all of these books but only one fits the titles. Which one would it be?

I chose this book because I've never read anything quite like it. As in, there's nothing to compare it to.

The Bookaholic Blurbs' 2014 Book of the Year goes to:

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

There you have it! Thank you so much authors for writing such amazing novels and for making my life a little bit bearable! Till next year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

STACKING THE SHELVES (59): THE 2014 YEAR END HAUL 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.

This is it. The last Saturday of 2014. Seriously, where did the rest of the year go? Well, in this STS post, I'll be showcasing what I accumulated for the past 2 or 3 months. I was originally planning on posting just the November haul but then I just received one this month and a few last October so I just combined them in one post. This year has been full of ups and downs for me, personally and here on the blog. Been on a terrible readings slump and honestly, I kind of neglected the blog. I tried to do something about the slump but I guess I didn't try hard enough. However, I met 12 authors this year and I'll be creating a different post for that. It should be up on the 30th.

So here's what I got! Enjoy!


GIFTED:
- Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu (signed)
- Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu (signed)
- Life Before Legend (Legend 0.5) by Marie Lu (signed)
- Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu (signed)
- Willowgrove (Hemlock #3) by Kathleen Peacock (signed)

BORROWED:
- The Chance You Won't Return by Annie Cardi

WON:
- The Calling (Endgame #1) by James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton
- The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
- Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
- The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine
- Lies I Told by Michelle Zink 

BOUGHT:
- Landline by Rainbow Rowell

FOR REVIEW:
- Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion #2) by Aimee Carter (review HERE)
- Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor
- Replica (Replica Trilogy #1) by Jenna Black
- Resistance (Replica Trilogy #2) by Jenna Black
- Revolution (Replica Trilogy #3) by Jenna Black
- Golden Son (Red Rising Trilogy #2) by Pierce Brown (eARC review HERE)
- Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes (eARC)
- The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand (eARC)
- Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay (eARC)
- The Pretty App (App #2) by Katie Sise (eARC)
- 99 Days by Katie Cotugno (eARC)
- Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (eARC)
- Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby (eARC)
- Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (eARC)
- Illusionarium by Heather Dixon (eARC)
- The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski (eARC)
- Red Queen (Red Queen Trilogy #1) by Victoria Aveyard (eARC)
- Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider (eARC)
- Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (eARC)
- Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (Kindle Copy)
- The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles #3) by Gena Showalter (Kindle Copy)
- Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid (Kindle Copy)

Thank you ever so much to my brother, Willowgrove Book Fairy, Hazel of Stay Bookish, Maricar of Black Plume, Netgalley, Edelweiss, HarperCollins International, Random House/Del Rey, HarlequinTeen CA, Mira Ink, Bloomsbury Plc and Tor Teen!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

REVIEW: GOLDEN SON (RED RISING TRILOGY #2) BY PIERCE BROWN.

Title: Golden Son (Red Rising #2)
Author: Pierce Brown
Edition: eARC
Publication: Del Rey (Random House) / January 6, 2015
Source: eARC provided by the publisher / Netgalley
Pages: 400
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-Fi
Trailer: Not available.

Synopsis:

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.
Oh, boy. This is going to be a long one.

If you loved Red Rising and can think of a word better than love, then that's what I feel for Golden Son. Afraid it may fall under the Middle Book Syndrome? As early as now, listen to me. It is not even close to any syndrome known to middle books because when it comes to this series,Golden Son is waaaaaaaaaaay even better than the first. It surpassed whatever standards Red Rising set. You know, with flying colors.

Golden Son took off years after Darrow succeeded in the Institute. Left in the dark by the Sons, he has to find a way to make the cause work on his own. Together with his Peerless Scarred friends, he stretches all of what's left of him to pursue what Eo wanted him to do -- break the chains and live for more. In his saga to conspiring civil war against Octavia, betrayal and loss await him. He has to brave what lies ahead, whatever the cost maybe. One thing which conflicts him though, some Golds are more than their color.

I read Golden Son slowly. Like, I was torturing myself in the slowest way possible. I need to take breaks every chapter to tweet, breathe, pull my hair and be prepared for what the next page will bring. It makes breathing so hard and I mean this literally. Like, every page makes me dread for all of the characters I fell in love with because Golden Son was surely full of unwavering surprises. Surprises beyond what one could have anticipated. I took my time (and when I say time, it means weeks) because savoring each fantastically crafted scenes would just leave you breathless. I hyperventilated, palpitated and didn't sleep because aside from this book is unputdownable, the suspense, gore and politics are amazingly plotted and well-executed.

Golden Son wasn't what I expected it to be. Golden Son, with all the innards flying across the battle field, skyrocketed my expectations. It is true that I loved Pierce Brown even before I read Red Rising but this book made me love him harder. Not only that, the respect I have for him rooted deeper. His work, this work, this is a masterpiece. Nothing to compare it with. Absolutely shocking, stunning, breaking. Brown owned it as if there isn't any book written under the genre. His voice, style, personality and love for his work all showed in the story. Here I get to appreciate the dedication and passion Brown has for his craft. Written magnificently, Golden Son is one book to look forward to..one book worth bragging about..a book worth sharing to the world.

Brown honed his writing thoroughly. I was annoyed by how much "bloodydamns" I've seen on Red Rising but here, I understood its importance. The sequence of events, despite the time set in between, is utterly seamless. Character development, I kid you not, justifies the different personalities, motives and approach. Brown made sure that his characters developed fully to portray each roles with such intensity and perfection.

Darrow embraced the life of a Gold in such humbling way. Despite the ups and downs in his life, the power in his hands, he's not afraid to show vulnerability. He still gets scared and the pain he endures every time a life is lost, makes him a great protagonists. His ability to be a warrior and his strategic planet-invasion planning aren't only his strength, but he draws it from his friends. He knows when to be a smartass and when to be emotional. In the middle of betrayal and loss, the heart of the Golden Son shone brighter, felt tender, loved deeper. It was unbelievable that such mighty and god-like characters like Darrow, Augustus and Sevro (I love you, Sevro) could still have raw emotions.

The curves of the story almost drove me mad. With exhilarating anticipation for the twists to unfold, I was left paralyzed. Nothing could have warned me enough on what state my heart would be at. I was crushed, devastated, shattered over and over yet each pain made me fall in love deeper. I was brutally damaged after Golden Son. I will never be the same, ever again. Ever.

Intoxicating and nerve-wracking, Golden Son brings full blast of action and suspense that will leave you grasping for air. With a remarkable plot and shocking ending, Book 3 couldn't be here fast enough. It holds love, loss and vengeance in its center that if this incredibly phenomenal sequel will not break you, I don't know what else will.

Thank you Random House and Netgalley for the eARC!

"It's not victory that makes a man, It's his defeats."
 "What scraps you have been given by your betters, cherish. What favor you curried, remember."
"Everyone's honest till they're caught in a lie."
"We're all just wounded souls stumbling about in the dark, desperately trying to stitch ourselves together, hoping to fill the holes they ripped in us."
""Feels good. That's how I know it's right, Reap. Despite all this shit. It feels good in here." He taps his thin chest. "It feels... how do you say.. bloodydamn good.""
"My name has nothing to do with who I am."
"One word shatters a thousand lies."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TWEAKED THE THEME Vx!

Just a quick note, I tweaked my blog's theme again for the xx time already! :)

I got tired of the girly theme so I researched a little bit and realized I want something with minimalist approach. Am super happy with the way it looks right now! I guess the blog "matured" a little bit. :D Oh and I finally added those little social media icons! Wooohooo!

One thing left to edit, blog button's grab box! Will prolly do that next time!