Saturday, December 31, 2016

GOODBYE, 2016!


It seems like only yesterday when I posted THIS. I couldn't believe how fast days have gone by. It was all in all a rough year for me - I developed anxiety and depression kept coming in and out. 2016 also has been nothing but a bitch when it comes to adulting and reading. I absolutely sucked this year because I lowered my Goodreads Reading Challenge from 45 books to 35. My mom was hospitalized, I got sick twice, almost quit my job, cancelled my credit card and a whole lot more of misfortunes.

But you know what, I made it out alive haha and I think that is what's more important.

This year has also been good to me in terms of blogger/blogging achievement. I was invited by Penguin Random House Internation in their Blogger Tea Party last August and the most surreal one is when I became one of the panelist for The Philippine Readers and Writers Festival 2016 (Bloggers Panel). Up until now, I still couldn't believe it happened to me. It was the ultimate blogger achievement ever and my heart just couldn't handle the gratitude and happiness. This is also the year I learned that I was mentioned in the acknowlegments of Wings, final book in one of my favorite series ever - Black City Trilogy by Elizabeth Richards! I hoarded from BookOutlet (which I won't do again), toured Nevernight and ordered my first item from Society6! I got to travel to Cebu and Bohol, purchased my dream DLSR and bought a new phone. Bujo is also now my thing, I formally started July. THIS IS ALSO THE YEAR I MET MY MOST FAVORITE AUTHOR - SARAH J. MAAS! Hold on, the most important one that happened to me this year is.. wait for ittttt! This is the year I am completely debt free! So liberating!

I just realized that by looking back, the blessings I received are far more than the misfortunes I faced and that made me absolutely grateful. These adversaries shaped me into becoming a better version of myself. I was I guess focused on all the stressful things in my life half of the time. I was blinded by the negativity and toxicity around me but I won't let that happen in 2017.


Out of the thirty nine books I read this year, eleven are all DNFs. Siiiiiiiigh. Forcing myself to read didn't work out so I had to stop and find one that I would like. It is going to be like that next year! I mean, if I couldn't connect to a story or character, then I won't force it. Anyway, here's the list of my Top 10 Reads for 2016!


Top 10 Reads for 2016
(in no particular order)

Rites of Passage is a stunning debut novel. Nothing beats a hellish set of exercise to beat a hellish secret society with hellish hot drill sergeant. It is one novel fully loaded with girl power!
Rebel of the Sands is such a thrilling debut novel you would trade sleep for! Amazingly plotted, exponentially breath-taking and one of a kind ride! Cannot wait for book 2!
This is Where it Ends is a novel that is irrevocably haunting. This novel, if anything, is composed of hope and bravery that in our darkest moments, only the truest kind of love can shine the brightest.
Rainbow Rowell meets Robyn Schneider, What Happens Now is a story full of wonderfuls. A truly unforgettable story of two broken souls molded to piece their parts together. Its heart-warming romance is crunched by depression, toughened by distance but blossomed with time. What Happens Now is truly an outstanding novel I highly recommend!

What Happens Now that this story is over?
A Court of Mist and Fury is TAUNTING, HAUNTING, AND IS SO FUCKING PAINFUL YOU WOULD WANT TO THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW. SJM MASTERED TOYING WITH MY FEELINGS AND ACOMAF LEGIT DESTROYED ME. I CANNOT ANYMORE WITH THIS LIFE
Anatomy of a Misfit is a bold and hilarious novel I would surely reread. Highly recommended for those readers who are into another level of contemporary. This book is so good you won't be able to do anything else but read it.
Tell me Three Things is such a thrilling contemporary novel. It is full of real life experiences, heart-wrenching lessons and knee-buckling romance! This book is really a feel-good, swoon-worthy novel everyone should devour!
Gemina is highly thrilling and full of abhorrent creatures that would keep you awake at night. Brilliant as ever and full of plot twists you wouldn't see coming (AKA MIND SHATTERING), Gemina proves equal to the magnificence of its predecessor. Legit hands down one of the best sci-fi series to ever hit shelves.
An Ember in the Ashes is the most brutal novel I've read this year. For fans of Red Rising and The Hunger Games, this haunting, dark and heart-wrecking novel is a must read! Buckle up for a wild ride!
Sword and Verse is honest to goodness a refreshing addition to the high-fantasy genre. I cannot stop flying through the pages because I don't want to calm my nerves anymore. I want more of that rushing adrenaline, that gripping feeling and that teeth-gritting sensation. This novel is a balance of a young romance that rooted deep with the hunger to uncover ancients secrets and surpass the call of a crown.


So 2016 gave me such amazing reads I just lacked motivation and time to read more. But this year's pick is This is How it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp! It was such a moving read I can't forget about it. I can't forget how it made me feel and I believe it has become such an important part of my bookish life. You gotta read it.


If I have hurt you indirectly, I am sorry. I didn't mean to cause pain. But thank you all for being a part of my 2016! You are part of the reason I am who I am now and I will strive to be better than before! Here's to more amazing books next year!

Monday, December 26, 2016

THE DAY I FELL IN LOVE WITH A GIRL.

Did the title catch your attention? Read on to know who's the luck girl!


My v/blogger friends Dianne from Oops, I Read a Book Again!, Sab from Sab The Book Eater and Salve from Cuckoo For Books have been tweeting/instagramming about #RomanceClass for quite some time now. Not that I am ignoring them, I just couldn't find it in my heart to attend events because a) ADULTING IS FUCKING MY SOCIAL LIFE b) I am so skeptical, initimidated and afraid that I might not enjoy the books *again* c) I want to promote Filipino Authors but I don't have the confidence in me yet because I tried some novels in the past but I didn't like them one bit. Promoting something I love is my thing so it has been true hard to be involved in something I don't tuly enjoy. I don't want that to happen again so I just watched and envied from afar.

These past couple of weeks though, Sab was reading something and her Goodreads updates really caught my heart. I've eluded these books because I was just too afraid to be disappointed again but I felt like it's time, I told myself I will give it one more push. Then the hunt started. I was aiming to get Dawn Lanuza's books because there's this weird thug in my gut that tells me it is going to be THE book! Her books sell out pretty fast but good thing I snagged the last one left in National Bookstore Glorietta 1 branch and KAAAABOOM I WAS SO FREAKING HAPPY MY CHEEKS HURT FROM SMILING TOO MUCH


I read it the next day and MY GAAAADDDDDD! I HAVE NEVER BEEN THIS RIGHT IN MY LIFE!! I LOVED IT SO SO MUCH I AM OBSESSED! I knew it, I knew damn well this is the correct door for me. So definitely watch out for my review - I am just cracking my knuckles, doing some stretching and waiting for all the words to come so I can post it.


After reading The Boyfriend Backtrack, I immediately requested for What About Today. I've finished reading it and what do you know? I ENJOYED THIS ONE VERY MUCH, TOO. My review will be up soon but just to give you an idea, this has a Jennifer E. Smith feel to it. Cute story happened in just a short span of time and what I liked most about this one? Friendship development! Okay I will stop now am sorry~~ *zips mouth*


I practically fell in love with Dawn's writing. (Her writing is the lucky girl!) It's the perfect timing for me to have devoured her writing because this is the one I am looking for right now and I feel like Dawn wrote TBB for me (weird I know but I also know you get that feeling sometimes when you really really connected to a character/story). I NEEDED THIS. Her writing has the perfect blend of everything I enjoy: romance, humor, heartache, joy (and the right amount of sexy! HELLO, CHASEEEEEE!). Her books opened this amazing door for me and introduced me to other Filipino NA/YA Authors I would never dare read because of *my* fear (it's not them okay IT IS ME ME ME). Dawn is now officially added to my Auto-Buy Authors and thank you Dawn for being approachable, kind and accommodating! Thank you for your words! Know that your stories bring colors to such dull life!

I am absolutely thrilled to start reading and hoarding more books from Filipino Romance Class Authors. Currently looking forward to buying books of Jay E. Tria, Claire Du (HELLO MY DEAR FRIEND *waves*), Six Delos Reyes and Carla De Guzman among others.

This is going to be a fantastic journey, I know it.

#romanceclass for the win!

Monday, December 19, 2016

REVIEW: THE BOYFRIEND BACKTRACK BY DAWN LANUZA.

Title: The Boyfriend Backtrack
Author: Dawn Lanuza
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: September 2015 by Anvil Publishing
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Pages: 161
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Synopsis:
If they say that life flashes right before your eyes when you die, do you also get a flashback of your exes when your perfect boyfriend is proposing to you? At least that's the case for Regina Cortez. There's her dramatic high school boyfriend, her first college crush, the irresistible heart breaker, and the ever elusive one. By backtracking to her past, will Regina make it to 'I Do'? Or will she just keep running away?
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

HELLEW CHASE SEVILLA YOU BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEING YOU OMG I AM BABBLING

What? I loved The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza like I love Blueberry Cheesecakes! This book is a quick read and truly an enjoyable one! I am now obsessed with Dawn's writing and I cannot wait to breeze through her other works!

The Boyfriend Backtrack is just the perfect New Adult novel for me. AS IN PERFECT I-NEEDED-THIS-BOOK-AT-THIS-VERY-MOMENT PERFECT. The setting is here in the Philippines and I am of course familiar with where this one took place and it gave me funny feelings because OMG FINALLY A BOOK I CAN HONESTLY SAY "I KNOW THAT DAMN PLACE!" (Especially the hospital because I've been there a lot of times) It's funny how Reg spaced out and had a flashback of all her exes when Kevin proposed to her. At the beginning of the book, I knew she's skeptical about the engagement because it's pretty much obvious but what I didn't expect was Reg legit went back tracking her exes for closure. I mean, that's just freaking weird, like, after years of not seeing seach other, you had to go find them just to tell them, like, why it didn't work out and stuff? DAMN CRAZY, RIGHT? I can relate to having anxiety/panic attacks when meeting people you actually don't really want to me at all but you kind of have to? Or like those confrontations you have to go through to finally close like whatever chapter in your life? All the feels right there! And she has this ex who wrote a song for her titled Devil Woman HAHAH OMG THAT IS JUST CRUEL BUT FUNNY BECAUSE WOW EX REALLY?! Her exes are weird af and Reg's face if so readable I was just laughing the entire time.

A slight downside though, the first person POV and narration's tense confused me a little bit.

Then we have Chase Sevilla who is actually a close friend of Reg since college. More like best friends. I loved Dawn's way of getting around this trope because I practically fell head over heels with Chase. He's the kind of guy one would actually fall for - SMART, handsome, tall, sexy, sweet, I don't want to say kind but he actually is - aaaah a lot more! He's sooooo easy to be with and he's probabaly the type I could talk to 24/7 because he's like that - like, you can just talk and he would be there for you anytime? Chase is not shallow but he can be for you just to keep the conversation going? He's that type! He's also a little bit cheesy aaaaah all I am saying is he's THE perfect package! (He's also a doctor so that's a MAJOR bonus!)

Maaaaaan, if you need a refreshing read and a story you can 100% relate to, pick up The Boyfriend Backtrack. This book is a source of happy feels!

"You only fall in love once, The rest are just endless rebounds."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (60): THE WISH GRANTER BY CJ REDWINE.

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

Expected Publication Date: February 14th 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Add to Goodreads
An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.


I LOVE CJ'S BOOKS THAT'S WHY!

"Defiance is a stunning debut novel that captures one's full and undivided attention! It is magnificently laid out and gravely consuming! I let it give me emotions I never thought I would ever feel again and the adrenaline rush every page turn is terrifyingly addictive! I was at the edge of my seat the whole ride!"

"Deception surely tops my Best Sequel of 2013 list. It is overflowing with raw emotions, full blast actions and powerful analytical concept. It is truly a mind-blowing sequel that no one would forget easily. It tore my bookish defense wall brick by brick and didn't leave me with sufficient strength to move on. IT IS MY KIND OF SEQUEL. ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SEQUELS EVER WRITTEN."

"The Shadow Queen was a little tricky for me to read since retellings could be a hit and miss for me. There's just no gripping emotion for me in this book or swooning or anything. In short, it was insipid."

I did enjoy TSQ but not as much as the Defiance Trilogy (I have yet to read Book 3! My eARC is buried long enough in my Kindle). I didn't even know there's a sequel/companion so I was ecstatic when I learned about The Wish Granter! Though TSQ can be a standalone, I still want to read TWG because Rumpelstiltskin-based story written by the hands of CJR? YUUUUS PLEASEEEE!

What title/s did you pick this week?

Monday, December 5, 2016

I WANT TO EMPTY LYRA'S BOOK SHELF.


My friend Lyra (of Defiantly Deviant) sold some of her books early this year. I was able to buy a few hardbounds back then and she gave me one book as a gift. Then a few months back, she mentioned she's selling another batch due to *all bookish people's problem* lack of space and guess what I did? I kind of hoarded.

Her books are so SO worth it because she takes care of the phenomenally and some of these titles she hasn't read yet! Fantastic score, right? Anyway, I wanted to go visit her house and hoard all her books but I can't afford another hoarding sesh yet *I gotta save for 3 travels next year* so I am really limiting my purchases (who am I kidding) so here are the books I got!


BOUGHT:
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Blackhearts (Blackhearts #1) by Nicole Castroman
The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken
TThe Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) by Sara Raasch
The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski

GIFTED:
Timepiece (Hourglass #2) by Myra McEntire

Isn't this stack a beaut? The set I've recently acquired consists of Passenger, Ice Like Fire, Unhooked, The Trouble with Destiny and BlackHearts. The rest I got earlier this year. What made this extra special is that Lyra actually went from North to South in the middle of the day - it was hella traffic and it was too far - just to give me the books! Thank you so SO much, babe! Love you! Heehee! I will take good care of these babies I promise!

THANK YOU LYRAAAAAAA!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

HELLO DECEMBER, HELLO AMAZING BEGINNING!

Hi, guys! We have reached the last leg of 2016! Happy Holidays! Seriously, I cannot wait for 2016 to get over with because I know it, I just know, 2017 will rock! My 2017 will still all about books but I am going to add travels and -- most importantly -- clothes lol because my wardrobe needs a major overhaul! What are your plans for next year? I'm pretty sure you have a ton! Thankfully, planning is easy with the help of my Bullet Journal. This is one thing I've been consistent on lately and I hope it would be up until the next few years. Journaling has been so therapeutic and it makes me feel accomplished.. somehow.

I didn't set up a To-Be-Read stack this month because it just won't work for me no matter how hard I try. Setting up monthly TBRs just makes me feel worked up so I started re-reading some favorites (Shadow and Bone is book 1 for the month). My For-Review shelf is overflowing but I just can't find it in my heart to prioritize them (I always end up DNF-ing) and I also don't have new release picks.

December is going to be easy-flowing blog wise but quiet on Twitter - there's just too much in there! I'll focus on reading this month and I am absolutely excited!

My bujo!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

REVIEW: AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR BY MORGAN MATSON.

Title: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Series: StandAlone
Edition: Hardbound (signed)
Publication: May 4th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Pages: 344
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Travel, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Synopsis:
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:


Amy and Roger's Epic Detour has been on my book radar ever since I laid my eyes on its glorious hardcover copy. It took a while (as always) for me to get a hold of one and I would just like to thank National Bookstore for not only getting copies but also for inviting Morgan Matson for a signing here! It was just one of the best moments ever!

This book is the first road trip themed novel I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the scrapbook entries so so much and how intricate the details of each place is! My wanderlust heart is suddenly so full because of this book and I can't help but be adventurous - like Amy - along the way. Definitely a book I would re-read and recommend.

Amy obviously is going through a hard time accepting such a huge loss and adjusting to the absence of her father. I felt her pain and how it is just so darn hard to miss someone that much. I also felt her regret and the self-blame I believe is understandable. I wish that her mother though helped her instead of going away to mend her own heart. Leaving her children like that is an act of selfishness - but somehow, still understandable from a different point of view. What felt a little off for me is the insta-romance and how romance-centered the plot turned out to be. (What was I expecting, a fantasy? This is a roadtrip romance story, silly!) I mean, there's gotta be other ways to develop romance. Even though Roger is cute and sweet, I find him too good to be true. (I might be biased here because I have a thing for villains). Can't they just get off as friends or whatever? The romance was just iffy to me.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is an epic story that made me giggle, cry, mad and happy. This one is a ride I would not hesitate to follow again!

"The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren't looking for them."
"It's not about the destination. It’s getting there that’s the good part. - Leonard"
"...You can do something extraordinary, and something that a lot of people can't do. And if you have the opportunity to work on your gifts, it seems like a crime not to. I mean, it's just weakness to quit because something becomes too hard.."

Monday, November 7, 2016

MEETING THE AUTHOR: LAUREN KATE IN MANILA 2016.


So 16 hours after the event, my legs are still noodles and my shoulders still hurt but my heart is happy. I missed my blogger friends so much I wish I had seen them all yesterday but most of them are busy they couldn't attend. Thankfully, Louisse, Hazel and Lyra attended the event and it was all I could hope for. It has been a while since I went to a public signing and true, it was legit tiring but you know, nothing could top off the screaming and enthusiasm of fans! Just worth all the blood and pain haha


Just like what I told Hazel, Fallen series is one of the first novels that introduced me to Young Adult that's why my love for it just never dwindles. Imagine meeting the love of your life but when you kiss her, she dies? Then you meet each other again after seventeen years? Then this time, when she dies, that's it? LIKE WTAF? My faves are Fallen and Rapture because I think the essense of the entire series are in there. I have been trying to find hardbounds of these but the only ones I saw are in a boxed sets. I want them all in hardbound, you guys.


I arrived in Greenbelt 5 around 12 noon and I was 228 in line. So we went around first, ate lunch then waited. I wasn't there when Lauren and Harrison arrived but the Q and A was happening. Harrison Gilbertson looked short from afar but when I stood next to him, I think he's around 5'9"! Oh and he's soooo good looking you guys! HAHA! I never heard of him actually but when he was waving hello, I couldn't help but giggle! He's sooooo nice! (AND SOFT)


I was only able to get three of my books signed: Fallen in Love, Torment and Unforgiven because I don't have Fallen, Passion and Rapture in hardbound (also because only three books are allowed). So yeah, I have no issues waiting for like, three or four hours to get to meet Lauren but I was legit disheartened when it was my moment, right there, in front of her. She was absolutely tired AF and didn't have the energy to talk. She sounded condescending in a way, like, she didn't wanna talk at all? I DUNNO MAN AM SORRY BUT SHE SOUNDED SARCASTIC LOL. I didn't ask her what I've been wanting to anymore because I felt like she just wanted to get the signing over with. (Now I am actually wondering how Victoria Aveyard did it for 1k fans). I waited for this moment, to meet Lauren, since that time I fell in love with Fallen which was around 2012. I am thankful forever to National Bookstore for bringing her here. But it wasn't what I hoped it would be. It felt like Colleen Hoover Encounter again but worst.


I'm still grateful though that I was able to have the opportunity to meet her and I will forever treasure the experience. I cannot wait to re-read Fallen series! Fallen and Rapture are my top faves! (I said that, right?)



"What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?" - Fallen


"I want you to know that I would do it all again. I will choose you every time." - Rapture

Thank you National Bookstore, Lauren, Harrison, Pioneer Films, Greenbelt and Penguin!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NOVEMBER NEW RELEASE PICKS.


Hello, November!! YAAAAS only fiftyish days left before Christmas! Not that am excited, I just need those holiday breaks so I can read more HAHA! Happy Holidays, everybody! I am currently doing my December Bujo spreads because I've finished my November ones (if you follow me on Twitter, you know what I'm talking about) and I can say these are the best spreads I made yet. So excited to complete my christmas theme! I wasn't able to decorate my Bujo much this month because I didn't have the tools last month (I make them a month in advance) so I stuck with my galaxy-ish theme for November.

BUJO is life!

Made a list of the books I need to take photos of!
Anyway, I want a lot of books hitting shelves this month but I only have two titles that are what I am most looking forward to getting!



Thank you to my friend Louisse of The Soul Sisters for giving me an ARC of Heartless!

What titles are you looking forward to getting this month?