Monday, February 29, 2016

JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2016 RECAP + BOOKS OF THE MONTH.


HAPPY MONUMENTAL LEAP DAY!

It has been a while since I've posted a recap and honestly, I am not quite sure if this is necessary here on the blog. I don't want to keep posting buffers just to keep it going. I deleted all my Follow Friday posts which had the most pageviews but I felt like they had to go. (Disclaimer: I did enjoy this meme a lot and I met a lot of awesome bloggers because of it!). So right now, Monthly Recap posts are in the brink of distinction on TBB.

Anyway, here's what happened on the blog for the past 2 months:

JANUARY
January 01 - Welcome 2016!
January 06 - 5-star review of Joy N. Hensley's RITES OF PASSAGE.
January 09 - Stacking the Shelves (68): The Year Ender Haul Edition.
January 27 - Waiting on Wednesday: The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye.

Wow, What happened between January 10-26? LIFE. ADULTING. It sucks. But someone has to be the adult so I am really sorry my blog for I have been neglecting you.

FEBRUARY
February 03 - Waiting on Wednesday: The Mirror King by Jodi Meadows.
February 09 - 5-star review of Kathy MacMillan's SWORD AND VERSE.
February 10 - Bookish Delights: 5 Reasons Why I Love The Last Time We Say Goodbye.
February 11 - Tweaked the Blog Theme/Graphics Again!
February 12 - Meeting the Author: Epic Day for All PH Firehearts! #SarahJMaasinPH
February 13 - Stacking the Shelves (69): The Shiny Edition.
February 22 - 2-star review of Colleen Hoover's NOVEMBER 9.
February 28 - 8-star review of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff's ILLUMINAE.
February 29JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2016 RECAP + BOOKS OF THE MONTH.

Okay, February was pretty decent and I love all the contents I posted. Here's to making this one a good pick up point for a posting trend.



There isn't really much of a choice for January because I only reviewed one book that month. But even if it had contenders, this book is really good and there is no dwindling emotion or anything because it deserves it. For February, I have 3 reviews: 1 bad and 2 good ones. Since Illuminae is actually 2015 read, it won't be counted. So both BoTM for both month deserve this spot.




Rites of Passage blurb:

"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!"
Sword and Verse blurb:

"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."


I am really hoping that March would top what I did this February! I am just so happy to be back to my first love - reading! Have a good one, blurbies!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

REVIEW: ILLUMINAE BY JAY KRISTOFF AND AMIE KAUFMAN.

Title: Illuminae
Author: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: October 20, 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 599
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Romance

Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
AmazonBarnes and NobleBook Depository

Been staring at this blank space for hours and my brain has been hypnotized by the blinking cursor. Whenever I try to start this review with something I thought is clever, I delete and then stare at the cursor again. Type > delete > repeat for hours > I give up.

But here I go. But I am warning you, this review might be one of those incoherent ones I am so good at writing.

I read Illuminae (according to Goodreads) back in August of 2015 but it is only now that I found the courage to translate my feels to words. My feelings were just all over the place, my heart shattered to tiny bits and there is no point in trying anymore. That is one major review hungover right there. Illuminae was just the epitome of all YA uniqueness that finding the right words to use seriously took me quite a long time.

The first time I saw the BEA ARCs of this book, I got intimidated by how thick it is. I know myself too well that I won't be able to follow through thick books or slow paced ones. 600-page book is quite a long one so I was hesitant. When Hazel of Stay Bookish pushed her ARC to me, I grabbed the chance (I was then sent an ARC). And then everything became emotionally chaotic. Turns out that 600-page book just isn't enough to subdue the need for Book 2.

This line might have been said a thousand times over by people who have read it but I will say it again, I have never read a book like this before. I mean, the people responsible for the printing format made such a statement in the Sci-Fi genre. Every page of this book is so appealing I kept going back just to stare. The formatting was so clever like how the spaceships are trailed by the words, how the reports looked so authentic and how curse words are erased that you could use any curse words you want. It was like a fun game at some point that reading Illuminae made you want to re-read it right away.

Kristoff and Kaufman made such a great team. The balance in Illuminae was so obvious -- it wasn't too cheesy but has the right amount of romance, it wasn't too heavy on the technical aspect but has the right amount of guided explanation and it wasn't too crazy for the imagination but has the perfect elements of what you are already familiar with. What's striking is that even if there are similarities to movies such as Star Wars or Iron Man, the authors' signatures stand out. I was so hooked from page one that I felt like the book swallowed me, I felt like I wasn't reading but watching.

The love department didn't let me down. Where in the world could you see a couple breaking up on page 1 in the middle of an invasion? Where would you laugh your arse off watching the characters being cranky, funny, inappropriately sexy and nerdy while trying to save each other? Where would you be able to feel the need to cry for friends who fought hard and faced danger not only to salvage what's left but also to be there for you? Where would you get your heart broken more than all your lifetime's heartbreaks combined? Only Illuminae. This book is so heart breakingly good, I just can't tell you hard enough how brilliant it is. I cannot breathe it is so magnificent.

And even if I want to talk more about Kady and Ezra (hi there, sexy!), I won't. Because let me tell you this, I think I am close to liking

<*error*>

the technology behind AIDAN

<*error*>

 and I want to get to know

<*error*>

 this piece of tech deeper. This AI broke me so damn bad that I want

<*error*>

it to justify itself even a little.

<*error*>

It is a lunatic son of a bleep

<*error*>

but I can sense there would be something more to it

<*error*>. like humanity, perhaps?

Illuminae has taken me to an intoxicating universe where difficulty bonds love stronger, where technology pushes faith in humanity higher and where danger turns intentions better. There is nothing like Illuminae and by this I now pledge my solemn loyalty and allegiance to Kristoff and Kaufman because THEY HAVE NOT BEEN MERCIFUL at all.

Thank you Hazel of Stay Bookish for lending your BEA ARC and Penguin Random House for sending in my ARC!


"You deserve every star in the galaxy laid out at your feet and a thousand diamonds in your hair. You deserve someone who'll run with you as far and as fast as you want to. Holding your hand, not holding you back."
"Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death."

Monday, February 22, 2016

REVIEW: NOVEMBER 9 BY COLLEEN HOOVER.

Title: November 9
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: November 10, 2015 by Atria Books
Source: ARC provided by National Bookstore
Pages: 310
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Trailer: to follow

Synopsis:

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

ON FALLON:
I don't mind her 'appearance' because I have scars as well. Hers are just a little extreme but those scars didn't change the way I see her. She's beautiful alright and I love her more because of it. Not because she is someone who needs the world's sympathy but because she is pretty. Period.

However, throughout half the story, gaaad she's been nothing but annoying. I understand that what she had to go through affected her confidence (emotionally, mentally, physically) but did she need affirmation from others to embrace herself? I don't think so. Most of the time, she just complains and I feel like she needed others to tell her her worth. I don't agree to that. When she regained her confidence, it went to her head? She makes it appear as if she only needed Ben to make herself feel pretty and her walkout tantrums? Annoying AF. Seriously.

I love the way she thinks though. I love her perception of other people and I just simply adored how she tries so hard to be fair to everyone. But that's it. Fallon is beautiful but she isn't for me.

ON BEN:
Damn, BENTON JAMES KESSLER. Damn, damn, damn. Why does he have to be too perfect for a fictional character? Is it because he's fictional? (HAHA sorry, bad pun) There were thousands of reasons why I would love Ben but I just couldn't wrap my fucked up mind how perfect he is. I cannot swoon over that ridiculously cheesy perfection.

ON THE STORY:
True enough, the story is one of a kind but also unbelievable. This part I guess is the hit or miss part of November 9. I personally couldn't connect to it and come on, people. It is just not going to happen in real life. Not even close. This story is definitely the exact definition of fiction. I want at least a small part in this story that I could connect to. But falling in love with someone you only get to be with once a year? No texts, calls, letters, social media = NO COMMUNICATION? Sounds pretentious to me. Also, flight from NY to LA and back without sleep just to keep your agreement? Has anyone tried this?

November 9 is the first Hoover book that underwhelmed me. I truly can't say if I can recommend this or not. I've seen so many people loved the story but I guess I am going to be in the minority for this one. Too unrealistic, too predictable with two characters who are too perfect for each other. Nope. I'll pass.

Thank you, National Bookstore and Atria for the advance copy!


'You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else."
"When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and you do everything in your power not to let it go. You can’t just walk away from it and expect it to linger until you’re ready for it."
"She’s not the kind of girl you choose your battles for. She’s the kind of girl you fight to the death for."
"Goals are achieved through discomfort and hard work. They aren’t achieved when you hide out in a place where you’re nice and cozy."
"I’m not sure if sex is supposed to make you feel like you’ve just lost a part of yourself to the person inside you, but that’s exactly what it felt like. It felt as if the second we joined together, a tiny piece of our souls got confused and a piece of his fell into me and a piece of mine fell into him. It was by far the single most intense moment I’ve ever shared with another person."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

STACKING THE SHELVES (69): THE SHINY 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.
Hi, guys! I only got a few books for the past 2 months. I am trying to limit my book splurge and Gundam hoarding since I am saving money for my first out of the country trip *hopefully* this year. So here's what I got:


GIFTED:
▲ Ex-Standard 006 Strike Freedom Gundam ▲

BOUGHT:


FOR REVIEW:

I bought ACOTAR last month before the book signing announcement was made by NBS. All of my Sarah J. Maas are US first ed hardbounds and this is the only one not first ed but I am totes okay with that. What I am not okay with is the fact that I need to rebuy all Maas' UK Ed paperbacks for the signing. That is 3000PHP or around 68 dollars. But I am still thinking about it because priorities.

Victoria Aveyard is also going to have a book signing event here next month. Good thing that Leslie of Bibliophile Kid gifted me Red Queen last December so I only bought Glass Sword and Cruel Crown. I heard that there are only limited hardbound copies of Glass Sword here and I got lucky! I snagged one home!


A million thanks to Random House for the copy of Morning Star (20% in now) and to HMH for The Art of not Breathing, to National Bookstore, Fullybooked and TowyTown Glorietta!

Friday, February 12, 2016

EPIC DAY FOR ALL PH FIREHEARTS!


Been a fan of Throne of Glass even before it was released (first post about it here). The synopsis of ToG just captured me and I knew then it would be my kind of book. And I wasn't disappointed. I was introduced to this whole new HF world that I immediately fell in love with. My experience with ToG was unbelievably good that it kind of set this standard when I am reading HFs. What I love most is that aside from Celaena, Sarah J. Maas is such a wonderful person that she isn't only a gorgeous queen but also very approachable on Twitter.




Thankfully, my lovely Lady friend Louisse of The Soul Sisters turned out to be a huge fan of SJM as well and she hosted a PH blog tour of ACOTAR April of last year. It was such amazing thing because we all had the chance to read ACOTAR in advance and some of the participants had the chance to interview SJM. Then Louisse went to BEA and met SJM in the flesh (!!!!!!!!!!!) and she was thoughtful enough that she sent the blog tour participants this:

SIGNED BOOK PLATE FOR ACOTAR!! Thank you so much, Louisse!
(This bookmark is now pasted on my ACOTAR copy)

Most of my blogger friends know how much I love this ToG and of course, meeting Sarah and getting my books signed are dreams I want so badly to come true. I think that is every SJM fans want to experience - to meet the queen. Then the gods of the publishing world suddenly cracked the entire PH bookish universe when National Bookstore posted this:


THE QUEEN IS COMING TO STORM MANILA. THE QUEEN IS COMING TO MANILA ON MARCH 13. I AM GOING TO FINALLY MEET SARAH J. MAAS. OH. MY. GOD.

I couldn't express my gratitude to National Bookstore and to all those people responsible for this event. SERIOUSLY. OMG. This is unbelievable. OMG!!!!!!

According to National Bookstore, they would post the full mechanics of the signing soon and HONESTLY, I AM SO FREAKING NERVOUS. All her UK books are available at NBS branches here and I don't see any US ones. I both like the US and UK covers and I honestly don't mind it, as long as the height's the same. I also hope there wouldn't be any limit on how many books we can get signed because I'm expecting a lot of fans attending the event so SJM/the publisher/NBS might limit it. Sorry guys, I am just trying to internalize everything HAHA and I don't want to get disappointed (just like what I felt during CoHo's signing) so I am preparing myself for the worst. I mean, I am not expecting SJM to sign gazillion of books in one event because she gets tired, too. But I am hoping - truly - for a no-limit signing. Because I want all my SJM books touched by the queen. HUHUHUHU.

Anyway, the registration starts at 10 in the morning on March 13th in Glorietta, Makati. I don't know why there is no event in Cebu, though. I will definitely be there so I hope to see you, fellow Firehearts!

Let us all look forward to having a blast in this event!

Thank you so much, National Bookstore! This means a lot to me (and us) and don't get tired of making PH bookworms happy and satisfied! I LOVE YOU, NBS!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

TWEAKED THE THEME AGAIN!

Hi, guys! Just dropping by today to officially say that we've tweaked the blog's theme! Polaris and I started this probably a week ago and I think Polaris should get 100% credit. This person Photoshop-ed everything from scratch -- I was just there to oversee the details (and applied the changes to the blog)! You wouldn't believe we almost fought because of 3 pixels! HAHAHA that's how ridiculously OC I am but look at the blog -- GUUUUYSSS IT IS STUNNING! So thank you, Polaris for all the hard work and patience with me. You did a wonderful and superb job!

After a little over 2 years, I was also able to get the blog button working! Thanks, Miles! I AM SO FRIGGIN HAPPY! (I am going to edit everything to this new format! Good luck with that! :))


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

5 REASONS WHY I LOVE TLTWSG.


Bare with me people. Here I am again with the never curing fever for this book. Why I am so freaking in love with Cynthia Hand's The Last Time We Say Goodbye? Well, there are a ton of reasons why so I thought of listing them here. I could not pimp this book hard enough and if only I am like a billionaire or something, I'll buy all the copies and send them to everyone. But unfortunately, social media is the only tool I have at the moment to spread my love for this amazing book. I hope this one convinces you enough to grab a copy and run over to the grocery to purchase ten boxes of Kleenex -- BECAUSE YOU'LL NEED IT.

5. These reviews said so much I couldn't say. They found the prefect words.

"The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a beautiful, emotional, thought provoking story that will move it's readers in unexpected ways. You can't read this book, and not be changed by some part of it. There's something within this story that will resonate with each of it's readers, and it won't leave them same after they finish it.  This is Cynthia Hand's best book yet!"
"A simple, emotional tribute to those who leave us all too soon. And a small reassurance to the rest of us that we're not alone in our sorrow."

Shady Boots (My fave!)
"I don't know what it is about Cynthia Hand, but I've felt it ever since I finished her wonderful Unearthly series. She has this uncanny ability to make me feel so much for the characters she creates. She's able to deal with dark topics like death in an emotional way while still adding a certain lighthearted charm to it. There's no way of me saying this without sounding cheesy as fuck but there's a certain quality to her writing that's just so goddamn lovable and warm, at least to me. The way she depicted grief in this book really struck me. Even though I've never experienced that deep of a loss myself--at least not yet--I still felt for Alexis. I still could relate to her because she saw the logic in everything, and she was strong but still vulnerable at the same time."

4. Minimalist cover (for me atleast).

The cover at first glance, is something you would not double take on. True, it is plain compared to the crownish/gownish/leterrish covers we see lately. However, the simplicity of this one spoke so much to me, like, how it could probably connects to the story or what lies beneath it. It kept me asking what is this books about (I don't normally read synopsis to avoid spoilers) and then all feels drained me down. This cover, this simple cover is actually one of the highlights of the story. SO I WILL STOP TAKING ABOUT THIS COVER BECAUSE I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO STOP and also have you seen the Aussie paperback edition omg it is so puuurteeeey

My TLTWSG collection. I have an eARC and incoming Aussie ED Paperback. Need to hunt down a US pb!

3. It is by Cynthia "The Heartbreaker" Hand.

I've said it before and I believe a lot of bloggers could attest to this, Cynthia Hand is an expert when it comes to elaborating stories about grief. Well, grief isn't a nice feeling but she wraps it in her stories in a way that punches you straight in the heart One-Punch Man style. There's magic in between her words and ALL THE FEELS will just get to you at the right moments. Her words aren't forced and are all one hundred percent relatable. Truly, Kleneex will be your best friend during the course of reading TLTWSG.

2. Those heart-warming lessons.

TLTWSG taught me so much. It made me ponder on so many things in my life that I usually take for granted. Well I think most books under this theme implore to be a little sensitive and observant with people around us. It makes me want to say sorry to everyone I took for granted and to those special people I no longer give time to. Indeed, life is happening for all of us but if we just take a moment to look around us, we'll notice these small yearnings from others that they need us. Aside from that, this book taught me to not beat myself up anymore. I've experienced guilt a hundred times over on different levels and most of the time, it eats me. After reading TLTWSG, I learned somehow to let go, forgive myself and accept that there are certain things - no matter how futile for us - that we just can't change no matter what we do. After that, after I learned to embrace that life can sometimes fuck me over, that we can't always control things, I started feeling okay with myself.

My favorite quote:
"Don’t cry any more tears over me, Ash. I’m not worth it. But I want you to know, in case I ever do give you this letter and you read it first before you burn it or something, that for just a little while, you made me feel like I was really alive. Like I was special. Thanks for that. Thanks for picking me to be the one who got to stand in your sunshine for a while. I’ll carry that around with me for the rest of my life—that you saw enough good in me that you wanted to hold my hand and kiss me and smile at me like I was the only guy. Be happy."

1. It is a book that would help and push you to "LET GO".

This book not only left my heart bruised but truly, the feels on this one is SO MUCH I could hardly breathe. If you are feeling terrible and just been accustomed to keeping it all in.. well, I think this book is the one you need to loosen up all the bottled emotions IN there. Seriously. Try it and see for yourself. It helps so much in relating to other's struggles and in a way it helps to free us from anything we've been suppressing. Well, that's what it did to me.

What book changed you or impacted you the most? Like one book that is hands down your all time fave (except Harry Potter)? Let me know!


Thank you so much, HarperCollins International, Epic Reads, National Bookstore (for the discounted hardcover), Martin Szyndler for my incoming AU Paperback copy (WOOOOHOOOOO!) and Kai of Amaterasu Reads for the printed ARC.

HAPPY FIRST BOOK BIRTHDAY, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

REVIEW: SWORD AND VERSE BY KATHY MACMILLAN.

Title: Sword and Verse
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: January 19, 2016 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, High-Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Trailer: not available.

Synopsis:

Raisa was only a child when she was kidnapped and enslaved in Qilara. Forced to serve in the palace of the King, she’s endured hunger, abuse, and the harrowing fear of discovery. Everyone knows that Raisa is Arnath, but not that she is a Learned One, a part of an Arnath group educated in higher order symbols. In Qilara, this language is so fiercely protected that only the King, the Prince, and Tutors are allowed to know it. So when the current Tutor-in-training is executed for sharing the guarded language with slaves and Raisa is chosen to replace her, Raisa knows that, although she may have a privileged position among slaves, any slipup could mean death.

That would be challenging enough, but training alongside Prince Mati could be her real undoing. And when a romance blossoms between them, she’s suddenly filled with a dangerous hope for something she never before thought possible: more. Then she’s approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slaves—to help liberate the Arnath people. Joining the Resistance could mean freeing her people…but she’d also be aiding in the war against her beloved, an honorable man she knows wants to help the slaves.

Working against the one she loves—and a palace full of deadly political renegades—has some heady consequences. As Raisa struggles with what’s right, she unwittingly uncovers a secret that the Qilarites have long since buried…one that, unlocked, could bring the current world order to its knees.

And Raisa is the one holding the key.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

This story started with an execution. Such a rough start but it is I believe, one good pickup point. There is this old yet still growing rivalry between Qilarites and Arnath and I just got hooked by the political issues and so much history there is. I wasn't expecting so much from the world building since I've seen and read a lot of fantasies in this life and even though there is nothing too special about how the entire kingdom looks like, I fell in love with the people. How Qilarites are distinguished as masters and how low the Arnaths are represented. Aside from looks, their bloodlines has something to do with their status and that added to the fiery intrigue building up in my chest. There has to be something more than physical appearance. And then the gods were mentioned.

We have Raisa here, an Arnathim from Nath Tarin, born from the Learned Ones' bloodline. She's our heroine - self-doubting heroine if I may add - who practically wavers easily no matter how strong her foundation with someone or something is. I like how her curiosity didn't get the best of her. There are moments she points out that she has to prove herself to the entire kingdom which is kind of annoying, really. There were also little stupid moments thrown in between and I just went and scratched my head but those made her imperfect and I adored it. My favorite about her is she didn't give up deciphering her heart-verse despite the danger. She goes after what she wants and seldom gets side tracked until Mati. Mati is our charming prince. Raisa was selected as Tutor-in-Training so she could teach Mati's future child because only four people are allowed to write and read the letters of the gods. Their relationship blossomed during their lessons and from that point, the story kind of sloped down a bit because it focused heavily on the romance department for the longest part of the book. It wasn't boring, it wasn't a strong point of the book because as a high-fantasy fan, I was leaning toward the essential aspects of high-fantasy but don't get me wrong - I absolutely loved the romance part. It kept me at the edge of my seat. My heart kept pounding achingly for I was afraid they would eventually get caught. They faced a ton of problems, it isn't truly easy to fight for whatever you think is right. But her struggles with Mati didn't stop her for loving him, she didn't loathe him or didn't rebel against herself because I was expecting her to jump herself over to Jonis. But she's loyal and proven that up until the end. And spoiler alert (well, not really since the author wrote this on Goodreads): THERE IS NO THIRD WHEELING IN THIS ONE. HUZZAH!

What's amazing in this breath of fresh air for the high-fantasy genre is the incorporation of Ancient Writing, Mythology and GRAND Library of the Gods. The writing/language/symbols are so intricate you could feel their "power". And the library? A book lover's dream to have, indeed. I mean, I kept visualizing the Library of Alexandria from the description. I think it is the nearest comparison. I loved how huge it is in my imagination and the scrolls!! I couldn't stop wondering how they smell! I just hope there's a map on the finished copy. This book needs a glorious map and so I could point where the Library is!

I was considering those chapter prologues as a separate novel. It could stand on its own. I know that the chapter prologues support the story and honestly though, I wasn't expecting SOTIA like - WTAF (dunno if *THAT* revelation helped or something). It weirded me out because seriously? Mati just found a random stone at the beach which then happens to be a crucial part of THAT SOMETHING? Really? What are the odds? It kind of made me feel underwhelmed but I just ignored it. It was something that surprised me so I just believed that it could also serve as strength of this novel.

Thankfully, MacMillan said on Goodreads that this is a stand alone. I believe she is currently writing a companion novel. I wanted this selfishly to be a stand alone because one book is enough to swoon over MATI and JONIS OMGGGGG! Kidding aside, everything has been answered in this story and I am afraid that a sequel would just weaken it. I dunno. Maybe am wrong.

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.

Thank you, HarperCollins International for the ARC!

"I'd long ago learned that wanting things too much was a sure way to have them taken from you."
"What can you say when you've destroyed someone's life, but that someone won't hold you accountable for it?"

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (48): THE MIRROR KING 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: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.

March of last year when I read my ARC of The Orphan Queen. This book is totally, absolutely different from Jodi's first series. The Orphan Queen was phenomenal. (I've used this word over and over, am so sorry because it truly is phenimenal) It was like seeing the other side of Jodi and I like this side way better. The Orphan Queen is incomparable, actually. And to prove how much I adored this story, here is my glowing 8-star review (click this)

Since I fell head over heels with the Black Knife (here), I couldn't contain myself from squealing and making weird noises every time someone mentions TOQ. I want to know him more. I want to know how everything would end. And most especially, I want to know more about the backend story of the Wraith and their powers. I've been shouting and pleading all over social media for an advance copy -- thanks to HC International and Edelweiss -- I got it months back! Also, my lovely friend Kai from Amaterasu Reads is going to gift me her printed ARC. WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!

I just hope that The Mirror King would not underwhelm me. I have high hopes it wouldn't. Eeeek!


Hafsah from Iceybooks made Quote Candy graphics for ToG. Here's one I've been using ever since:


Also, ToQ is one of The Bookaholic Blurbs' Books of the Year for 2015 so imagine my excitement for TMK! I cannot truly wait for it! As in, I-C-A-N-N-O-T!