Saturday, September 26, 2015

STACKING THE SHELVES (67): THE SALE GEM FINDS 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.
Last week, during Kiera Cass' second book signing in Manila, my blogger friends and I noticed this teeny tiny table in the corner with books that are 99PHP (2$?) each. So while waiting for the event to start (and of course, while chit-chatting), we checked it out. Most of the hard bounds on top of the stack were adult/non fiction books so you know how it goes when there's sale, right? We rummaged the table. THESE ARE MY GEM FINDS.

(Except for The One which was my MIBF2015 haul)
- Until It Hurts to Stop by Jennifer R. Hubbard
- Infinityglass (Hourglass #3) by Myra McEntire
- Tempest (Tempest #1) by Julie Cross (4 star review)

Been wanting to own Until It Hurts to Stop for a while now because I'm curious about it so when Dianne handed me this copy, I snagged it from her hand and didn't let go! I also now have a complete Hourglass Trilogy (thanks, Lyra for book 2). Can't wait to marathon it! And I bagged Tempest because we toured it in 2012 and loved it but I didn't own it!

WHAT A STEAL, RIGHT? ONLY FOR 6$ AND I GOT TO GO HOME WITH 3 HARD BOUNDS!

THANK YOU NATIONAL BOOKSTORE AND POWERBOOKS FOR TAKING ALL MY MONEY! LOVE YOU!

Friday, September 25, 2015

REVIEW: THE CATASTROPHIC HISTORY OF YOU AND ME BY JESS ROTHENBERG.

Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Series: Stand Alone
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Edition: Paperback (International Edition)
Publication: April 18, 2013 by Speak
Source: Bought from National Book Store
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary, Suicide, Romance, Paranormal
Trailer: to follow

Synopsis:

Brie is the “biggest, cheesiest, sappiest romantic” who believes that everyone will find their perfect someone, so when Jacob, the love of Brie's life, tells her he doesn't love her anymore, the news breaks her heart, literally, and she dies. But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie revisits the living world to discover that her family has begun to unravel and her best friend has been keeping an intimate secret about her boyfriend. Somehow, Brie must handle all of this while navigating through the five steps of grief with the help of Patrick, her mysterious bomber-jacketed guide to the afterlife. But how is she supposed to face the Ever After with a broken heart and no one to call her own?
I've read this last June and I forgot most of what happened to it. That is my major issue, I need to review a book right after I closed the last page or else, I wouldn't remember it. Well, depends on the impact of the book but just like this one, I remember only selective parts of the story.

Brie died from a - legit - broken heart. Her heart split into two just after her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her anymore. Now, her 'soul' kind of wandered around because she has to finish some business on Earth. Together with Patrick, another soul, they sort of agreed to avenge her death but then, realizations - how cliche - happened.

What I did enjoy though was the prose. I easily get attached to prose that is relatable and very conversational. Plus the humor just had me cracking so bad! Am so glad I picked this one up after contemplating for so long. I gave this 4 stars because it was an easy read and that I didn't get completely bored with the entirety of the story. Most parts are predictable though and a little too good to be true. But I liked Patrick and I was curious as to how Brie's connected to his past even though I don't remember it being explained further. There were moments when Brie irked me but I guess, dying the way she did would make me crazy and angry.

To make this short, this book ended sort of happy. Because Brie was given a chance to go back and correct all the the possible start of mistakes. That took off one star for me. Just didn't agree to that concept, I mean, what would be the use of you know, living your life at the fullest if you regret everything you didn't do. There is just no point in it for me. Also, the romance didn't quite give me the thrill I was looking for.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me is a breezy and fun read! I can recommend this to anyone who loves to mourn and laugh with their characters. Just be prepared for the feels in this one!

"Turns out, hell's not so much a burning, scalding pit of fire and misery. It's actually much, much worse than that. Hell is when the people you love the most reach right into your soul and rip it out of you. And they do it because they can."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BOOK SIGNING: KIERA CASS IN MANILA 2015.

I was feeling absolutely under the weather last Sunday, September 20. I believe it was because I was so beat the day before (I attended two events: APCC Manila and MIBF). That didn't stop me though from seeing my blogger friends and from attending Kiera Cass' second Philippines Book Signing, Manila Leg. (Here's a recap of first)


There were fewer of us this time and the forum was short. Most of my co-bloggers asked questions and Kiera didn't hold back in answering. She didn't change (in my opinion). She's still the same bubbly person I met a few years ago. Kiera is still lovely and humble.

I haven't read The One yet (but let's be honest, you could smell all the way from The Elite what could possibly happen in it) so I didn't get The Heir (though I wanted to just because of that gorgeous cover alone). Imagine how the question and answer spoiled me (I tried covering my ears to no avail HAHA). I wasn't surprised at all so am still good.

 Dianne, Sab, Jesselle, MEEEEE, Leslie and Maricar! Thanks, Kai for the photo!
From the Q and A, I only remembered a few pointers: how Kiera doesn't read her books once it's published because she doesn't want to feel like "tweaking" the story. She also mentioned she was asked a question about The One and she nearly blurted an answer that eventually became a vital plot twist in The Heir. She also said she grew up in the 90's and survived when N'Sync/Back Street Boys/etc disbanded, so Zayn leaving One Direction she also moved on from.

THE KAI SELFIE WITH KIERA!
The signing I think lasted 20 minutes tops and I noticed she wasn't writing any dedication so since I was the last in line (TOO BAD THERE WERE NO MORE GORG GORG BOOKMARKS LEFT GIMME ONEEE), I asked her to kindly write a quote by Maxon. She flipped my book and wrote something from a a random page. Clever, Kiera. Very clever.


The best part of this day was not only the signing but the bonding after. This one hell of a lunch date at the food court was absolutely fun and honestly, I missed that. YOU GUYS MAKE ME FEEL THAT I BELONG *cue tears*. Thank you, guys!





Signed goodies!
KC with KC :)
Again, my endless gratitude to National Bookstore. With you guys and your passion for books, we wouldn't have wild events like this. Just want you to know you guys are deeply appreciated and love you, much! Thank you, HarperCollins, Callaway and Kiera!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

THE 36TH MANILA INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR 2015.

The first time I attended Manila International Book Fair was last 2012 and it was quite overwhelming, well, for a first timer. I was sick that day and so as today (coincidence?). The weather couldn't get bipolar hard enough and that killed my immune system. I went to the first AsiaPop Comicon Manila 2015 event prior here and I was seriously beat. Thankfully it was just a few minutes away for MIBF's location because if not, I would have died from walking just to get there.

Welcome to The 36th Manila International Book Fair!

I was welcomed by a lot of people and that part was amazing and dizzying at the same time. I didn't go around much because I was terribly exhausted and my head was throbbing so bad. So I went to National Bookstore's booth then it took me 15 minutes searching for what I came there for. You can tell that this event was successful because of the number of attendees. So happy to see familiar faces and eavesdrop to people babbling how much they love books.

Thank you National Bookstore for the free passes! Love you!
CTCinPH MIBF Leg was happening and I tried so hard to squeeze in myself just to wave hello to NBS peeps (thanks goodness Chad saw me!). Am so happy authors are being treated as rock stars here because as I've said in my previous post, they are legit the rock stars of lit! (You can also stalk their tweets about their experience here and I can say they're happy!) After that, I went to the cashier and was shocked to see the gorgeous tarp displays they put there! This one is my faves! So timely because I just reviewed Confess!


The lady was looking at me like I have boils on my face because I was taking photos of the cashier area instead of the booths/signing event! She's kind though and even assisted me there. I wanted to take this one home, though. (HELLO, CHAD. Am poking you! ;p ) And then I was supposed to meet up with Kai of Amaterasu Reads but damn, I couldn't go back in there anymore or I would seriously pass out so I headed home with these.

My bracelet pass from APCC and my MIBF haul for this year!
I was tempted to get The Heir because oh, that gorgeous cover. However, I was spoiled! HAHA! So I'll finish this one first and take it from there! So ready for the KCinPH book signing tomorrow!

Thank you so, SO much National Bookstore for the free passes and for hosting such wallet-killing but heart-warming events! Congrats to all publishers, artists, orgs and authors who participated this year!
TILL NEXT YEAR'S 37TH MIBF!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

BOOK SIGNING: CHRISTINE BRAE, TARRYN FISHER, COLLEEN HOOVER IN MANILA 2015.

This day has been filled with fireworks of emotion. Colorful, loud, bright and extraordinary (you get the idea). Today is the fateful I when my MAYBE SOMEDAY became such a wonderful reality. Been screaming all about this the moment they announced it last year. I couldn't believe that I met not only one but three amazing authors - Christine Brae, Tarryn Fisher and the person who is responsible for the permanent damage in my heart and for the birth of DEAN HOLDER AND OWEN MASON GENTRY in the fictional world: THE ONE AND ONLY COLLEEN HOOVERRRRRRRR.


I don't know how to begin retelling the story I lived yesterday. It would be probably best to start with how I couldn't sleep the night before the event because adrenaline rush enveloped me that I was so damn hyper for hours. I woke up early (thank you Kai for ringing me up!) and dolled up a little because I wanted to be presentable today, okay? I am not my usual self for some (good?) reason. But anyway, I arrived early at the event and of course, talked with my blogger friends (get well, Louisse!) about a lot of things. (I MISS YOU GUYS ALREADY AM THE CLINGY-EST EVER!) And then, they arrived.

MY PEOPLE! Love you!
Thank you, Hazel, for snapping this one!
OH. MY. GOD. OHMYGOD. OMHMYYYYGOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was shaking (inside) and I couldn't stop staring at Colleen Hoover. She's there in the flesh! THE HELL WITH EVERYTHING, I WANT TO HUG HER! Then the Q and A started but I won't post that recap anymore because am lazy to transcribe. Christine Brae is a Filipina (PINAS REPRESENT YO) based in the US. She's an owner of a company there if I am not mistaken and writing is kind of her hobby. She mentioned she has so much story to tell that is why she's in this industry. She also shared that self-publishing has helped her share her stories at the most convenient time for her. Her schedule is cray-cray. Then we have the alluring Tarryn Fisher. She's wearing silky-tunic-type of dress and her legs? Man, so sexy! And her tattoos are freaking amazing! Her confidence and strong personality can be felt in the air and she's absolutely someone I wanna be friends with. Too bad Mud Vein wasn't available. I wanted that so bad.


IF SHE ISN'T ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY PRETTY FOR YOU THEN I DON'T KNOW WHO IS.

OMG, Colleen Hoover. I live you. (See what I did there?) I dunno but I was so surprised to learn how tall she is in person, how gorgeous her hair is, her accent was sexy, her eyes are glowing and she is hilarious!!! As in, HILARIOUS!! Chyna asked her what I wanted to ask (thank you, Chyna) about the twists in her books. Like, how she come up with it and Colleen answered us that she don't really plan the twist (I WAS LIKE, SERIOUSLY?). She just writes and writes and then when it hits her, the twists happen. She also shared that she makes sure the names of the boys in her books are unique and that she cannot ever start writing without naming her characters first. (I JUST LOVE THIS WOMAN.)

Thanks for this beautiful one, Chyna!
While she was signing my books, I told her everything HAHA (drama). Like how she ruined me and all, how fantastic the twists are in her books, how I adored OMG and Dean and soooooo on! You know, the typical fan-girl stuff. But then the air kind of shifted and I suddenly noticed she was a little disconnected? It might just be me, probably me, 101% me but I was altogether underwhelmed. There was something lacking from this. I felt like she's there but not truly there? You get what I mean? I wasn't disappointed, okay. It was just not how I anticipated this would feel. BUT I HUGGED HER LIKE FOR FOUR SECONDS AND THAT IS SO IMPORTANT GUYS!





Signed treasures!
Thank you, Nina for the Polaroid shot!
With Tarryn, Colleen and Christine!
With Christine Brae!
With Tarryn Fisher!
WITH COLLEEN - THE HEART DESTROYER AND MOTHER OF OMG AND HOLDER - HOOVER
Thank you forever, National Bookstore for bringing the rock stars of lit here in the Philippines. Keep them coming! HAHAH! But seriously, thank you. You make our dreams come true, you know. Love you, NBS!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

REVIEW: CONFESS BY COLLEEN HOOVER.

Title: Confess
Series: Stand Alone
Author: Colleen Hoover
Edition: Paperback
Publication: March 10, 2015 by Atria Books
Source: Bought from Powerbooks
Pages: 306
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Trailer: To follow!

Synopsis:

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin

I knew from the very start that Confess would blow my mind to bits. Just like how Hopeless and Maybe Someday did. I knew Hoover has something up on her sleeve that would give me all the feels. Damn was I right! My expectations for Hoover is consistently met and am just tremendously satisfied with her novels. It's like when somebody asks "should I get Hoover's novels?" I would go bat shit crazy and be like: "Duh! GO!".

Confess crushed me in ways I would have never imagined. I don't know how Hoover does it but each of her books has this ultimately soul-crashing twists that you just have to watch for. All throughout Confess, I was waiting for that back story on how Owen knew Auburn and when I got to it? Gaaaad, I think I was massacred inside. It was NOT something I anticipated -- it didn't even cross my mind! (That's one thing I adore about Hoover's books, I couldn't predict it no matter how much I say I knew what would happen next). Also, can we all take a moment and appreciate those pretty paintings? I mean, aside from they are stunning, the connection Owen tells us in the story is something you'd actually feel when you stare at them. I would personally rip them off and ask Hoover to sign them next weekend and frame them. Then I'll hang them on my wall and be reminded how this book made my tear ducts swollen.

Let me also tell you what makes Hoover one of my auto-buy authors. Her take on love-making is just the purest I've read. She put soul to it that it makes its value and importance stand out. I don't know, it could be just me but whenever I read her books, this sexy part is one thing I look forward to because I want to know how she molds the characters and how heavy the impact on the story would turn out to be. Like in Hopeless, I was shocked. In Confess, I was crushed. Sex makes her stories heavier and it's as if the characters bare their entire soul not just because they wanted to do it but because it is the right time and fuck those sexy lines! Always has a pinch the heart.

Then we have Owen. Owen who isn't only swoon worthy but Owen who is also one of the best characters ever written. He's past totally broke him but he tried harder to make everything right for Auburn. He wanted to fix his life for her. And the fact that he adored her - scars and all - was so awesome of him. I wish there are real people like him, it would definitely make the world a better place HAHA. Seriously, Owen would make the such a perfect boyfriend.

Auburn is someone with a subtle personality that mixed well with Owen's. She's weak at times and such a damsel in distress but I liked how it turned out. Her eagerness to be with the one she truly loves just carved out a black hole in my chest that I want to pick her up from the book and slap her then hug her tight. I like Auburn. Simple and beautiful inside out.

Confess can simply come out of your life and leave a trail of disaster feels on its trail. Gripping and delightful, Confess can definitely be that light at the end of the tunnel!

""Sometimes we don't get second chances, Owen. Sometimes things just end." He winces. "We didn't even get a first chance.""
""This is what I want you to remember, Auburn." He says softly. "I don't want you to remember what it feels like when I'm inside you. I want you to remember how it feels when I look at you.""
"Selflessness. It should be the basis of every relationship. If a person truly cares about you, they'll get more pleasure from the way they make you feel, rather than the way you made them feel."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

STACKING THE SHELVES (66): THE PERFECT 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.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Who knew that "ber" season would approach this fast? Am not ready yet -- to face the inevitable that I am only a few weeks away from being in my twenties -- it couldn't be Christmas that soon. Can someone make it slow down please?

Anyway, I have here my July-August-September Haul and I have never been this happy (well, I have but you get the gist, right?) with what I got! Receiving book mail just never grows old! And it has been a while since I got one so imagine my extorted-happy face when I opened them.

I also went to Powerbooks, Greenbelt a week ago (I think) to meet up with bookish friends. Then there was an awesome sale and I couldn't resist it. I COULD NOT AM NOT EVEN KIDDING ESP WHEN I SAW TLSWSG! Then a few days after, -- this is the one that perfected this haul -- QUEEN OF SHADOWS was released and it was also released here a day early (August 31 in the US, September 1 here) so I spent all my money on it! Am going to read it tonight and I know it will be worth every single penny!


BOUGHT:
~ Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
~ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) (another !!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
~ Confess by Colleen Hoover (I finished this last night and OMFGGGGG)
~ Deception (Defiance #2) by CJ Redwine (My 5-star review!!)
~ The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand (Will forever pimp this book -- my 8-star review)
~ Promise Bound (Lies Beneath #3) by Anne Greenwood Brown (Now I only need Deep Betrayal!)

FOR REVIEW:
~ Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (done reading this as well!! So so good!!)
~ Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson (OMGGGGGGG)
~ The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens (!!!!!!)

Here are also some shots with Queen of Shadows!

FIRST GLIMPSE. FIRST TOUCH. OMFG!
I WAS ALONE AT THE BOOKSTORE BUT THIS WAS MY FIRST SELFIE WITH
QOS I DIDN'T CARE IF I'D EMBARRASS MYSELF HAHAHA
ALTOGETHER NOW WITH MY FAVE GUARDIAN - RX78 SUPER DEFORMED!!
MY BABIES ARE TOO PRETTY IT HURTS
Thank you so SO much, Fullybooked (Fort), Powerbooks (Greenbelt 4), National Bookstore (Greenbelt 1), HarperCollins International and Penguin Random House!