Saturday, January 31, 2015

JANUARY 2015 RECAP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


Just like that, January is over! Yes, yes, time is in a hurry it seems. During the first two weeks, I was on roll. I couldn't stop reading. But then for some reason, I stopped again. Took me a while to finish Of Triton and Replica (I still haven't picked this back up again). Also, Mom is currently watching Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix while am drafting this and OMG I am absolutely distracted! :D

I've read a total of 7 books this month. This is actually just half of my intended TBR, I totally failed my attempt but will definitely try next month. I'll be focusing on Contemporary novels because well, it is the love month (oh God).

Anyway, here is what happened on the blog this month!


January 01 - New Beginnings.

January 02 - First review of the year: Willowgrove by Kathleen Peacock (4 stars out of 5!)

January 03 - Stacking the Shelves: The New Year 2015 Haul Edition.

January 04 - Reviewed Ingrid Jonach's When the World was Flat (4 stars out of 5!)

January 06 - Reviewed Amy Zhang's Falling into Place (4 stars out of 5!)

January 07 - WoW pick is Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses!

January 09 - Reviewed Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (3 stars out of 5!)

January 13 - Spill the Feels: Why Numbers No Longer Matter.

January 14 - WoW pick is Susane Colasanti's City Love!

January 15 - Reviewed Blackbird by Anna Carey (1 star out of 5!)

January 17 - Stacking the Shelves: My Bright Place Edition.

January 19 - Reviewed All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (4 out of 5 stars!)

January 21 - WoW pick is Jodi Meadows' The Orphan Queen!

January 24 - Reviewed Of Triton by Anna Banks (3 out of 5 stars!)

January 31 - January 2015 Recap + Book of the Month

Unfortunately, I didn't give a 5-star rating this month. I also have one 1-star rating which sucked because Blackbird was one of my Most Anticipated Titles. Am crossing all crossables that February will be a wicked one.



Since the highest rating I gave was 4 stars, this is a little bit difficult because I loved these books on the same level. Picking up only one is hard but it has to be done. So this book that won the place this month reached a part of me that has been untouchable and unreachable for as long as I can remember. This book made my throat tighten so hard because I kept holding back the tearS. The other 4-star books are equally amazing only this one gripped me a little bit tighter. Sooooooo.. my Book of the Month is none other than..

"Driven with passion, All the Bright Places reaches the deepest parts of the heart. Riveting and gripping, All the Bright Places is a magnificent and moving story -- that can melt the toughest hearts and maybe a thousand more."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

REVIEW: OF TRITON BY ANNA BANKS.

Title: Of Triton
Series: The Syrena Legacies #2
Author: Anna Banks
Edition: Paperback
Publication: Square Fish (Macmillan) / May 23, 2013
Source: Finished copy sent by the publisher
Pages: 246
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Trailer: Watch HERE.

Synopsis:

Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half-Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

Once again, Anna Banks infuses Emma and Galen's points of view with humor, intrigue, and waves of romance.
*Some spoilers*

Galen is trying to prove to Grom that the long-lost love of his life is alive. It took a while before their paths have crossed but that isn't the only trouble that they have to face. They have to make the Syrenas acknowledge that the Princess is indeed the alive but Jagen is in the way. He's trying to manipulate the Syrenas that they needed change, that the Royal Family has neglected their people for so long that they truly didn't need them anymore. He's using the opportunity to overthrow the Royal Family and Galen is trying to let Emma out of this. But their love has to be tested yet, their friendship and and even loyalty.

Of Triton is an easy read one can enjoy any time. I enjoyed how fast-paced the story is and it was like, everything is plain straight-forward. Banks' writing is absolutely enjoyable, her ability to dash wit in every chance she gets makes the story even more lovable. I cannot wait to flip through Of Neptune to see through the series.

Emma however, bored me a little bit. She assumes a lot of things, she decides on behalf of others and she's (as always) stubborn. Her self-centeredness seeped up. Unfortunately, I didn't fully connect with her in this book. Even if her Poseidon gift deemed useful, there were just moments I felt as if her emotion left her. There was just something off about her in this sequel. But I adored Galen even more. He's logical, brave and his unselfishness shone bright. I liked how he's giving his might to bring his people back together at the same time, protecting humans. His character pretty much developed in a very relatable way. Though I hated how he easily believed Toraf betrayed him. He should have given Toraf at least the benefit of the doubt because he is is bestfriend but he didn't. It's as if their friendship didn't matter. And lastly, why didn't they anticipate what could have happened to Rachel? That was a hundred point seven percent their fault. I mean, come on. That was absolutely uncalled for.

Of Triton is a sequel sprinkled with hearts and tears then bottled up with the right amount of humor. This installment pushes the rage, loss and happy buttons in moments no one would anticipate. Balanced carefully, Of Triton is the go-to book if you want a light and fun paranormal read.

Thank you Pan Macmillan Asia for the review copy!

"My dad always told me that holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die."
"Only land dwellers worry about storms."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (43): THE ORPHAN QUEEN BY JODI MEADOWS.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
Expected Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Add to Goodreads

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.
I love Jodi Meadows and her books. I've read Incarnate and Asunder and absolutely enjoyed these. Though I have an ARC of Infinite, I still haven't gotten to it yet and hopefully, I'll get that fixed soon.

Meadows' world building I can say is one of those unique ones we have in the YA Fantasy genre. Hearing that she has a new one coming out is so thrilling! I was so lucky I was sent an ARC of Orphan Queen and I cannot wait to dive in to this new story!

Thank you HarperCollins US for the review copy!

Monday, January 19, 2015

REVIEW: ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES BY JENNIFER NIVEN.

Title: All the Bright Places
Series: Standalone
Author: Jennifer Niven
Edition: Paperback (International Edition)
Publication: January 6, 2015 by Knopf (Random House)
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary (Mental Illness), Romance

Synopsis:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

All the Bright Places left me emotionally dead.

I honestly don't know how to write this review because I am so unstable right now. That little piece of my heart I've been trying to save all this time has been taken from me. It was crushed over and over again that not even a surgery can fix. I need a new heart. I absolutely do. And this is All the Bright Places' fault.

I don't want to talk about anything else except THEODORE FINCH. Because if I do talk about how romantic their project turned out to be or if I do talk about how lovely their relationship molded, I just can't promise this review won't be a novel-length review. And I just really wanna talk a lot about THEODORE FINCH. Thinking about Finch right now brings tears to my eyes and THAT painful flutter in the chest begins. There is no way I'll forget Finch. No way. I know he's got those labels he hated but man, I've never seen a love expressed this way. His labels or depression didn't stop him from expressing his feelings with such intensity. He loved Violet in his own little ways and it makes it so painful because his love wasn't enough. All those things he did for himself and for Violet captivated me in so many unforgettable ways. He didn't make it too hard to fall in love with him. He's an amazing character. Broken indeed but mesmerizing.

Who would have thought that a character who is too fascinated with death is so full of life? He just didn't see it. He didn't know how much he is loved. He sank so deep in his "black moods" and overlooked Violet -- his the only person who made him so damn happy. I wish for so many things for Finch and Violet but alas, I wasn't the author. Niven made the journey so excruciating but wonderful.

Driven with passion, All the Bright Places reaches the deepest parts of the heart. Riveting and gripping, All the Bright Places is a magnificent and moving story -- that can melt the toughest hearts and maybe a thousand more.

"It's not your fault. And sorry wastes time. You have to live your life like you'll never be sorry. It's easier just to do the right thing from the start so there's nothing to apologize for."
"You are all the colors in one, at full brightness."
"We do not remember days, we remember moments."
"The thing I realize is that it it's not what you take, it's what you leave."

Saturday, January 17, 2015

STACKING THE SHELVES (61): MY BRIGHT PLACE 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.

Good morning, guys! It's Saturday morning here from this side of the world and what a fine morning to be alive!! Though am still jobless and it is boring the hell out of me, am all good because I get to sleep in, read the books and do nothing all day! But kidding aside, I just got one physical book this week and I've been meaning to get this one for so long. I got an eARC few days before the release date but I want to get my own copy. Thankfully I live outside US and got myself the paperback International edition. Also, I've devoured it already but haven't posted my review yet. Can't find the right words for this amazing book.


BOUGHT:
- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- Sticky tabs

This book has the most accurate blurb ever. Like TFIOS meets Eleanor and Park? Yup, yup! I cried a little but my throat was tight the entire time I was reading the last half part. It was an emotionally invested story. Also, I missed doing this, buying a book because I really, REALLY want to read it. I think I'll do this again the entire year, like buy titles then read them right away. It feels rewarding. Here is the tabbed version.



Thank you National Bookstore for reserving a copy for me!

What books did you get this week, guys?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

REVIEW: BLACKBIRD BY ANNA CAREY.

Title: Blackbird
Series: Blackbird Duology #1
Author: Anna Carey
Edition: Paperback
Publication: HarperTeen / September 16, 2014
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 256
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia, Mystery
Trailer: Watch HERE.

Synopsis:

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.
Maaaaaaaan. What is this really?

Anna Carey's The Eve Trilogy is one of those series that helped me get my reading groove going. Seriously. I loved it and will forever recommend it. So learning that Carey wrote a new one automatically made me put it on my Most Anticipated Titles list. But boy oh boy, I was utterly underwhelmed with Blackbird.

Well, the synopsis is pretty much it except for the part where is says "The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists." That is completely wrong. I mean, not even close.

In the story, the girl doesn't remember anything after waking up in a train station and up until the end, she still didn't figure out who she is. Not even her name. (!!!!!) She just keeps running away from people she thought want to kill her. Then she meets Ben in the grocery store and easily liked and trusted him. I mean, JUST. LIKE. THAT. Gaaaaah. She then tries to figure out who these bad people are but she got nothing. She didn't even get to know what her tattoo means. I mean, what the hell is this really? The plot didn't make sense to me. The characters are stupid ones. The story is so flat. Am so sorry Carey but this is blah.

What I hoped for was at least the girl learns something significant. I didn't have issues with the second person point of view because that's the only thing I liked about it, but come on! The plot was so promising but the execution absolutely failed. I seriously want brain bleach so I can erase this from my mind. Blackbird is one of the worst books I've read in my life.

Am really sorry but I felt like I just wasted time reading Blackbird. I don't know if I'll pick up the next one. Maybe I will, for closure.

Thank you HarperCollins International for the ARC!

""It's just...there are things that I've wanted to forget before. Shitty things, things that it would be easier if I didn't have to think about it. And there are people I wanted to forget. Maybe whatever happened before, how bad things were - maybe this is your chance."

"My chance to be someone else?"

"Yeah," he says. "To be who you want to be.""

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (42): CITY LOVE BY SUSANE COLASANTI.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.
Expected Publication Date: April 21. 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Add to Goodreads

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn't resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl's life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.
WHY YOU ASK?
1.) Susane Colasanti's book covers are my kind of book covers.
2.) I've been meaning to read a Colasanti book since forever and that will be fixed next month.
3.) New York is one of my dream destinations.
4.) Dream destination + adventures with friends? SOLD.
5.) This is Contemporary and I love Contemporary.
6.) New York + Friends + ROMANCE? DOUBLE SOLD.
7.) Pink book. Hee Hee.

Seriously though, I loved all Colasanti's books, the covers primarily since I haven't read one yet but am hoping that I would love them, too. City Love just happen to have all the things I wanted in a book that is why am uber excited for this one!

What about you? What book/s did you pick for this week's WoW?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SPILL THE FEELS (07): WHY NUMBERS NO LONGER MATTER.


I had this post titled and saved since February 2014. Every time I try to begin expressing what I truly feel, nothing seems right. So I left it empty until today. (I think I have all the fitting thoughts, thanks to coffee?)

I've been blogging for a while and the journey has been nothing but amazing. When I was starting, I was too energetic to post every day, join all the memes, comment on all the blogs (this one I have to continue) and be on Goodreads all day reading all the reviews. Even if I don't sleep, even if I don't eat, as long as I blog, all is well. I kept doing it until one day I can't anymore. I looked back and eventually realize how horrible my blog contents are (I've improved a little today, I think). I felt like no one reads my reviews or no one visits my blog at all that is why I DON'T GAIN FOLLOWERS. The insecurity began crawling in my brain like a worm that I can't remove. Then the blogging mojo started to fade.

I tried what I thought would help me reach the number of followers I want by joining blog tours, cover reveals, doing blog features of my own and giveaways but none of these helped. Well, I gained little following (THANK YOU) but still not the number I wanna see. I became obsessed with hitting the right stats and started comparing my blog to this blog blah blah blah. IT WAS SO UNHEALTHY THAT THE HORRIBLE THOUGHT OF QUITTING CROSSED MY MIND.

But then, I asked myself, why was I so eager to hit a certain ceiling for blog stats to begin with? To be called a big blog? To be looked up to? To have the number back up when requesting ARCs? To what really? Dammit, I couldn't answer. Up until now, I still can't and probably I never will admit it to myself even if come to the conclusion as to WHY. Okay, well, maybe because I thought having small following made me a little bit of a failure but boy, was I wrong!

So last December, I took a month long hiatus and contemplated on what truly makes me happy -- fangirling (capslocking basically) on Twitter and reading all the books I feel like picking up. I stopped cramming and obsessing and it made me so liberated, so free! I don't really look into the what numbers I have on the blog anymore because am satisfied with what I gained. I value these readers, commenters, RTers so much that I feel I am finally an accomplished blogger through them. The most important thing I learned in this beautiful community is that numbers on your blog don't define you. So why not focus on the aspects of blogging that bring bliss to me, right?

I'm proud to say that am past the 'numbers obsession' phase. Blog numbers no longer matter to me, I mean, it wouldn't be the priority anymore. And thank you to all of YOU (email subscribers, GFC, Bloglovin, Twitter and IG followers and friends on Facebook) who have been with me all these years. You are all that I ever need. And advance thank you to the future ones!

And to the big bloggers who I get the chance to talk to once in a while on Twitter, do not freaking change!

Friday, January 9, 2015

REVIEW: GRAVE MERCY BY ROBIN LAFEVERS.

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Edition: Paperback
Publication: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / April 3, 2012
Source: Bought
Pages: 549
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Trailer: Watch HERE.

Synopsis:

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
*Some spoilers*

It was long.

It's not that I regretted reading this altogether, its just that I regretted reading it now. It was painfully long and I knew I might get bored eventually (and I almost did) but I had to put a dent on my backlist books. I've had this copy for years and I was compelled to start it, I just wished I've read it last December or something. Because it took me three days to finish it and I was THIS close to DNF-ing. Am also sad to say that am a part of the minority who didn't quite enjoy this one as much as I wanted to.

Ismae is marked my the Saint of Death. Her mother tried to abort her but she survived the poison and her scar is the proof of it. She's forced to marry at a very young age but when her husband found her scar, he hit her. Thankfully, she was saved by a priest and delivered straight to the convent of St. Mortain. When the nuns learned who and what she was, she was trained to be an assassin. She has the ability to see the marque of death on people and then kill them. The convent then sent her to a mission.

The first three hundred pages dragged. Seriously. I loved the politics and all but there were a lot scenes that I felt didn't contribute even a bit of an impact to the entirety of the story. This book would have driven me insane if it was just around the normal length. Well, this is just me who easily gets impatient with ridiculously thick books so don't think the book is any less. But it was painfully long. Ugh.

The last two hundred and forty nine pages made all the difference though. Finally, the story picked its pace up and things started to unfold. Some plot twists were also a little bit predictable like the romance, who the real traitor was and that the male protagonist will eventually be saved but I enjoyed it quite a bit. I enjoyed the last two hundred pages, that is. I wasn't crazy about the world building thinking how much I loved other High Fantasy series out there because there's something lacking. It didn't quite hit what I expected it to hit plus, Ismae bored me to death.

It is truly unfair to compare Ismae to other characters I've read in the past but I cannot blame myself. She's the weakest assassin I've encountered so far. She's so doubtful and naive. It's as if she wasn't trained in the convent for three full years. She's so unsure of everything, even herself and that didn't fascinate me. And how can she even be labeled assassin when the killings are done by her tools? Example, the misericorde. Without it, would she truly be able to kill? I don't think so. She should still be able to kill with her bare hands but she couldn't. And that didn't quite fit her the label assassin.

Then I've worked so hard, so SO hard, to get through this book and what I get is POISON. That was absolutely the last straw. First, I lost the only ship I have for the Duchess and then Duval's poisoned. WTH. I hated it I almost threw the book but I persisted. As expected, HeA. Am not bitter with the ending, though. I believe Ismae and Gavriel deserve to be happy and well, be together. It was longover due!

I wish I learned more about the Beast, de Lornay, Annith and Francois. They are my favorite characters in the story. But alas, I only got glimpses of them. I wanted more and I expected more knowing the book is a beast. Maybe in books 2 and 3?

Grave Mercy is another high fantasy series I think I would have enjoyed so much if it weren't too draggy. I think I would pick up the rest of the series to but anytime soon.

"It is the well-tempered blade that is the strongest."
"What good is fighting if what you are fighting for is lost?"

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (41): ACOTAR BY SARAH MAAS.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that highlights our much anticipated books.

Expected Publication Date: May 5. 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Add to Goodreads

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
This is another Sarah J. Maas novel and I think that's enough reason why be excited about this upcoming series. My love for her Throne of Glass Series is endless that whatever she writes, I'd read. Like, hands down, even her grocery list!
My reviews of:

Am super jealous right now that a lot of bloggers received ARCs of ACOTAR but am also happy that they get to read it early. Their reactions are making me go apeshit crazy about getting this. So May, please be here ASAP!

Also, this is my first WoW post for the year (and in a while) and I must say am excited to be back! How I missed fangirling over our anticipated books!

What are the titles you are most excited about this year?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

REVIEW: FALLING INTO PLACE BY AMY ZHANG.

Title: Falling into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback (International Edition)
Publication: September 9, 2014 Greenwillow Books
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Pages: 296
Genre: Contemporary (Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness)

Synopsis:

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

*I don't know but this might contain slight spoilers.*

The universe stopped conspiring and gave me another fantastic read.

Liz Emerson applied Newton's Laws of Motion in a horrible way - her death. Despite her luxurious life, she's empty. This emptiness turned her to being bully which eventually made her feel she ruined everybody's life at school, including her best friends'. And no matter what she does, she will never be better and thought that the world didn't deserve someone like her.

I've read novels tackling the same topic - depression, suicide, bullying - but Falling into Place touched these sensitive topic in a unique perspective. The narrator's distinctive, alternating chapters are presented alluringly, the metaphors are lyrical and I have to commend how the number of pages were printed (I liked it, it was cute, okay?). Falling into Place is nothing like what I've read in the past in a way that this tells us a journey of a teen who got it all but still felt empty. The void in her life made her do horrible things to others yet couldn't find the strength to fix it or change her ways. The deeper I get to the story, the stronger the impact has been. Like, my chest constricts so much while reading Liz's parts. One part I cannot forget was the part she googled suicide symptoms and murmured, "no one noticed". I was crushed and thought, the level of taking people for granted is so high that the strong facade these people carry hide what they truly feel so well. It was so painful that those people she cared about didn't know how lost she truly was. And I must say, it all goes back to parents.

One thing I also liked about this story is that all major characters had points of views. I appreciated how I learned about Liz's mothers feelings and reasons why she withdrew so much from her daughter's life. I understood her yet wished that as Liz's mother, she could have done more. Also, Liam Oliver's POV truly caused me internal bleeding. How ironic it was that Liz remembered him but he didn't know and she didn't say anything. All they needed was communication and it would have been a happily ever after. I LOVED HOW HE PAID ATTENTION WHEN NO ONE DARED TO. I loved him, his small ways of kindness and his respect for Liz.

Heart-rending yet passionate, Falling into Place can cause bucket loads of tears and a crushed heart. Packed with misguided love and flickering hope, Falling into Place is poignant reminder of life's cause and effect. A truly engaging debut!

"She didn't run up like she used to, because there is no one to race her."
"By the end, she was just another girl stuffed full of forgotten dreams."
"Out of the seven billion people sharing the planet with her, not one of them knew what was going through her head. Not one of them knew that she was lost. Not one of them asked."
"Please," he whispers, "Remember the sky."
"She wanted to go back. She wanted to be little girl again, the one who taught getting high meant being pushed on the swings and pain was falling off her bike."

Sunday, January 4, 2015

REVIEW: WHEN THE WORLD WAS FLAT BY INGRID JONACH.

Title: When the World was Flat (and We were In Love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Edition: Paperback
Publication: Strange Chemistry / September 3, 2013
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 312
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Trailer: Watch it HERE.

Synopsis:

Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.

An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
Murdered over and over in her dreams, Lillie is bothered. Good thing her mother's a dreamologist and she was able to at least explain what the dreams meant. But Lillie knows better. She feels this tiny bit of hunch that her dreams are connected to Tom, because everything unusual about her life started when he arrived at her school. The sense of familiarity in the air around him tells her they've met before, like the ache of homesickness in her gut tells her she knew him well, that they've shared something. Her hallucinations have gotten worse then Tom's presence is becoming constant in her life. She can't put her finger on it, like when they've met or where because her memories are screwed up but Tom tells her - yes, they've met before, in another dimension.

BAAAAAM!! I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING.

All I ever learned about this book was that my friends liked it so much. Good thing I didn't know anything, even the synopsis, because I like how my stories take me by surprise. Like When the World was Flat took me by surprise. I was banged by the chest so hard by how intense the surprise was!! NOPE, I HAD NO IDEA THAT THIS STORY IS THIS MIND BLOWING. Wow. I was really, absolutely, amazingly surprised.

I did have issues though with the world building because some parts got me questioning the reliability of the "creation of dimensions", "sliding" and "merging" parts but STOP!! I won't going to even think about it (also, I was utterly uncomfortable with the characters but they're hilarious). I just wanted to honestly say I loved how - can I say time travel? or what, dimension travel? - THIS was incorporated to Lillie and Tom's story. It was Fallen (Lauren Kate's series)/Time Traveler's Wife vibe all over again! It was THAT greatness of a love that knows no bounds. The sense of home by being with someone, the comfort and ability to identify how much you know someone incredibly warmed my heart. No one can ever be wrong by picking up stories, love stories for that matter, that defy human nature or even science. At the back of my mind, a little thought plays that there could be possibilities that these amazing stories could be true and I couldn't stop imagining how brilliant it would be. Like, you could literally say I LOVE YOU, FOREVER, right? How strong that love is if you will slide from one dimension to another to find the person over and over again? Incredible. Hard probably but just incredible. I mean, I couldn't even wrap my head about the massive string theory sub-plot! The love story just blended fantastically with this take on parallel universe and that's the part that sated my need.

When the World was Flat defies the norm and brilliantly showcases timeless love in a whole new level. Truly engaging, this book surely puts romance to the pedestal it deserves.

Thank you, Dianne of Oops, I Read a Book Again!, for lending me the copy!

"I watched her walk down the street again, wishing that I had a ball of twine for the future like I did for the past. Then we could stick to the highways, instead of these country roads with their potholes and dead-ends."
"They say you should take the road less traveled. You know, when two roads diverge in a wood? They say it makes all the difference. But how can you make a difference when you take all the roads?"