Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BOOKS OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL AND MAY 2016.

Where I put the best book/s I read in spotlight! You know, the books I swooned over for!

I ran a poll on Twitter the other day about monthly recap posts being essential for the blog or not and obviously, we have a winner:


I also talked about this on my Jan-Feb recap that I feel like they should go, so here we are, omitting the monthly recap posts on the blog. I will be focusing instead on Book/s of the Month feature every end of each month to highlight the ultimately best book I read.

BOOK OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL 2016
is
THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS BY MARIEKE NIJKAMP

"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." - Kate @ The Bookaholic Blurbs

BOOK OF THE MONTH FOR MAY 2016
is
QUEEN OF HEARTS BY COLLEEN OAKES

"Overall, this retelling of Alice in Wonderland lived up to my expectations. Splintered set the bar quite high but sure enough, Queen of Hearts filled me with so much anticipation for the sequel. THAT ending was freaking brutal. Queen of Hearts might have molded more questions than answers, but I believe a good story allows you to fonder and wonder." - Kate @ The Bookaholic Blurbs

What are the books you loved last month?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

STACKING THE SHELVES (77): THE BOOK DEPOSITORY 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.

Let me just share my experience with Book Depository.

It was my first time ordering from the site around last week of February. I was really, really looking forward to getting myself a copy of this book so I thought, as my first order, this one would be perfect. The book was around 11$. Thankfully, the purchase was successful. I never had issues receiving books from the said site in the past. My book blogger friend *Car* ordered Landline for us and she shipped it to my address. Got it right on time. However, my order never arrived so I went to our local PO and talked to the people there only to go home empty handed. I waited another week. Still nothing. Then Alex from Book Depository Customer Service was so kind to send me a replacement copy that actually didn't arrive. I was going ape shit crazy on Twitter because my local PO obviously had some fuckery happening but I was just absolutely disappointed. It was my first time experiencing lost parcel. Not one, but two lost parcels. Alex then processed my refund and I was so sad that I knew I won't order from them again.

So why am I posting this? Because my fucking parcels came in two months late. First order was received March 8 I think and the second one was April 14 (I cannot remember the exact dates on the parcel) but fuck it, it was such a huge relief that the books were still mint. I quickly emailed Alex and asked him how I could pay them back.

So there. I hope this story is worth all the trouble. I really do hope it is.



What am I going to do with my extra copy? Who's up for a giveaway?

Thanks a bunch, Book Depository!

Friday, May 27, 2016

THE BOOKAHOLIC BLURBS IS OFFICIALLY 4.

Happiest 4th blogoversary, The Bookaholic Blurbs!
Wow. 4 years. The blog is 4 years old. This doesn't only make me absolutely grateful but proud. I feel so proud that I managed to come this far and that the love I have for books never ceased. I am so proud that in 4 years, there's so much improvement and accomplishment. Gaining new friends, staying in touch with the old ones and being able to help out newbies give such thrilling sense of affirmation. And those readers who stayed with me all this time? You are all a gem!

I won't make this post long but again, to our amazing bookish community, thank you for making this life such a grand one! Without this community, I would have been lost. In more ways than I could ever let you know,  you saved me and thank you for that. YOU MAKE THIS THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME!


To celebrate this monumental day for the blog, here's one for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's to more books and years to celebrate!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

DNF REVIEW: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN BY ROSHANI CHOKSHI.

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: Standalone
Edition: Kindle
Publication: April 26, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: eARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 352
Genre: High-Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.
PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
Marked as Did Not Finish at eighty percent.

I know, right? I only have twenty percent left so why not push through it? Believe me, I tried. For weeks. I kept giving myself one more push to finish reading this but I. Just. Cannot. Anymore. I don't want to punish myself, there's just nothing in this story that makes me stay.

I was so excited when I was sent an eARC of this one because The Star-Touched Queen is one of my most sought titles this year. However, I was already gagging at page five. I thoroughly enjoyed the Mythology aspect of The Star-Touched Queen but the writing style just didn't work for me. It was all too freaking (borrowing Nushrika's term) flowery and it honestly felt so pretentious to me.
"I want to lie beside you and know the weight of your dreams," he said, brushing his lips against my knuckles. "I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars." He moved closed and a chorus of songbirds twittered silver melodies. "I want to measure eternity with your laughter."
"The woman whom Amar had looked at, as though she held the universe in her gaze, as if galaxies lined her smile, as though she were myths and love and song contained in one body."
CAN YOU LIKE, STOP RIGHT THERE? Gaaaad. I just can't with the writing style. Ninety-five percent of the time, this is the reason why I just couldn't go through this. Maybe this lyrical kind of writing would work best for a contemporary novel than fantasy? I tried but there is just no way I can fake that I enjoyed it. Don't even let me talk about the crappy insta-romance because ugh no, I can't.

What I also hate about the book is the part where our Queen was tricked by Nritti. And when I say tricked, she was tricked THAT easily! Oh gods of bookish universe, why do we have to suffer for the stupidity of our heroines?

The mythology part of it though is one thing I absolutely enjoyed. It was the highlight of this story and I want to immerse myself in it. It was rich, colorful and intriguing. I have Indian friends and let me tell you this, their culture (and food) is amazing! Oh, and Kamala is the best horse ever!

The Star-Touched Queen didn't capture my taste at all. I wish there was more to it than just fancy wordings. I would have loved the concept it if was kept simple but striking.

Thank you so much St. Martin's Griffin for the electronic ARC!


"I loved the feeling of discovery, of not knowing how much I wanted something until I had discovered its absence."
"There is no romance in real grief. Only longing and fury."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY (53): EMPIRE OF STORMS BY SARAH J. MAAS.

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

Expected Publication Date:September 6th 2016
Publisher:Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Add to Goodreads

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

WHY AM I FREAKING EXCITED? WHYYY? DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO ASK ME WHYYYY? HAHA yeah, I am going ape shit crazy about this fantastic series. We are going to have seven hundred four glorious pages and well, I've noticed that Sarah's books are becoming beastier and beastier but I AM NOT COMPLAINING because the queen is perfect! THE BEASTIER THE SJM BOOK, THE BETTER. What would become of my lovely Rowan? What kind of epic badassery would Celaena do? I CANNOT, YOU GUYS. September is gonna be the best month!

What title/s did you pick this week?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BOOK TABBING 101 IN ALL ITS GLORY.

Random bookish things that are all delectable and delightful!
You know that "If I had a dollar every time.." thing? *insert GIF here* I've collated around eighty questions about page flags since last year. I like being asked about blogging, reading and what-bookish-nots so I decided to basically put up one post to answer all of it. Took a while to do this but FINALLY I HAD THE TIME! Hopefully, this post would clear up confusions about book tabbing or page flagging. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to do this, just go with it! (and am not some pro on this or something because there is no such thing. teehee)
Question 01: What are book tabs?
Well, book tabs or page flags are these small, rectangular-ish pieces of paper that are used to mark book pages. These can be plain ones, colored, translucent with color or some are with designs. I believe that the most popular is the Post-It brand. But you can still find different designed page tabs from various craft or online stores.

Here are some of mine.
Question 02: What, why, how and when do you tab?
I started book tabbing a long time ago, back in high school. I used to do this on my History and Science text books. With novels, I usually go hard on Contemporaries and High-fantasies. I tab so I could basically remember where to go back to, specifically scenes that are either hilarious, swoony, heartbreaking or where the main plot twist happened. Whenever I see the title, I also tab it because I just got accustomed to it. I feel like screaming " I FOUND IT!". The majority of my tabs though are quotes or lines that speak so much to me.
Question 03: What brands of book tabs do you use and where do you buy them?
I used to buy Post-It page flags but this brand is just ridiculously expensive so I opted for the transparent ones. These tabs are easier to pull from the base, you can still read the letters through because duh, it's transparent wahaha and they are way cheaper. These translucent flags are the only ones I use now, I stopped using the colored paper because it doesn't stick well enough. There are also these designed flags that I collect (well, I never intended to) but never use. I think those are good for snail mailing or journaling. I buy wherever, like from local bookstores, online shops on Facebook or other craft stores, most of the time though, I buy them from Divisoria (mall locally).
Question 04: Do you remove them after you've read a book?
No, I do not. I don't want to waste it because I spent time putting those tabs in and I like my books tabbed. Unless I am going to sell the book, that's the only time I do.

One of my fave quotes from Heir of Fire.
Question 05: Is there any particular way you tab? What does each color represent?
Since I am OCD, the flags that I used in the past usually matches the color of the cover, example is my Heir of Fire copy. I used green and yellow. But then I couldn't find any RED flags to match my red books so I stopped doing that. Recently, I am into rainbow tabs. No, no particular color representation. I just use the tabs I assigned (yes, I do assign tabs) to the current book I am reading.
Question 06: Could you teach me how to do this?
There is really no rules in doing this. I mean, book tabbing is easy and fun but if you are intimidated, don't be because you won't damage the book. Just tab the parts you feel like you will need to cite back in your review. I guess that's the first thing to try. Eventually, you'd be comfortable with it and believe me, books also look loved when tabbed! Authors such as Tahereh Mafi, Robyn Schneider and Colleen Hoover were kind of amazed when they saw my books massacred with page flags so go try it!
Question 07: Does the page flags not damage the book?
Depends. I learned from THIS brand that there are tabs which bleed. I never used/bought anything like this after. So far, with the ones I've used, I haven't found any damages *yet*. I am very careful with my books so I am confident that nothing would get damaged.

Some of my tabbed books.
I answered the top seven questions out of eighty. These questions have been sitting in my inbox quite a while and I apologize if it took so long for me to answer. I hope these ones help you out. If you have anything to add, feel free to comment!

Do you tab your books, too?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

STACKING THE SHELVES (76): THE NO LOVE ALLOWED BOOK LAUNCH 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.

Two weeks ago, I attended Kate Evangelista's NO LOVE ALLOWED Book Launch event. Will post recap soon! I met up with my blogger friends and of course bought some pre-loved and brand new books. This is just going to be a quick post since I am on my way to the bookstore to pickup some hard bounds! Awesome book signings are coming our way, PH peeps!


BOUGHT:
🔼 Habang Wala Pa Sila: Mga Tula ng Pag-ibig by Juan Miguel Severo *signed
🔼 Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
🔼 No Love Allowed (Dodge Cove #1) by Kate Evangelista *signed
🔼 This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

GIFTED:
🔼 The Break-Up Artist (Break-Up Artist #1) by Philip Siegel *ARC

Thanks to the following:
Leia of Nothing But Reviews, Amaterasu Reads, Kate Evangelista and of course,
National Bookstore!
Happy weekend, you guys!

Friday, May 13, 2016

REVIEW: QUEEN OF HEARTS BY COLLEEN OAKES.

Title: Queen of Hearts
Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC gifted by Kai of Amaterasu Reads
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance

Synopsis:

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

I finished reading Queen of Hearts in less than ten hours and it was actually just a quick read. I flew quickly through its pages because the pacing was right and I cannot put it down because I needed answers. I wanted to get these questions in my head resolved as soon as possible but this book just basically left me hanging. I need book two because not knowing anything is driving me insane!

I've had my fair share of retelling disappointments in the past and it is seldom I find one that actually delivers. This one practically surprised me. I didn't like most of its bland parts but I didn't mind? Maybe because I loved how the twists are owned by the author despite of this being an Alice in Wonderland retelling. I sensed Oakes in this novel. I loved how Dinah, our Queen of Hearts, has been presented as our heroine in this side of the story. Maybe that's one reason why I loved this, I've been wanting to read a back story of villains. Not that am tired of reading about our princesses but sometimes, I want to know our evil queens deeper, like Maleficent and Regina from Once Upon a Time TV series. It gives a kick to the entirety of the novel because at least I get to understand the WHYS of their characters. Most of the time, I fall in love with the antagonists because of their history, character development and how other people twisted their minds and heart. Morbid as it may sound, but I like my antagonists that way.

Princess of Wonderland, Dinah, appeared to be weak in the beginning and surely, a whinny brat but I guess her rage and grief helped her become what she is at the end of book 1. She was developed in a tough way because of her endless resentment and then fought against those who belittled her. What I truly do not understand is why her father treats her with so much rage from the depths of his hellish heart. That one wasn't crossed out in this novel so understand why I am eager to read book 2. I would also like to know who the hell is Faina Baker. I mean, this story tickles your curiosity to an extent that borders in frustration and awe.

Oakes gave me a kind of romance that also borders in failure and success. I feel like this is going to be on the downside of things since it was obviously unrequited. It might add up to the list of why Dinah's heart is full of hate. But I can wait to see what's gonna be the outcome of this all in the next books. Wardley might have a change of heart or Dinah might meet someone new. Who knows. So the torturous waiting begins.

Overall, this retelling of Alice in Wonderland lived up to my expectations. Splintered set the bar quite high but sure enough, Queen of Hearts filled me with so much anticipation for the sequel. THAT ending was freaking brutal. Queen of Hearts might have molded more questions than answers, but I believe a good story allows you to fonder and wonder.

Thank you so much Kai of Amaterasu Reads for the ARC!

"My fight to live does not begin now. I have been fighting all my life, I just didn't know it."
"She was learning as quickly that what was right and what must happen weren't always the same thing."

Saturday, May 7, 2016

STACKING THE SHELVES (75): THE KUNGFU PANDA 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. How are things? Been terribly busy last month and things have been absolutely crazy that I almost went hiatus on the blog! Add the freaking fact that it is freaking summer here and it is freaking hot hot hooooot. The heat is seriously stressing me out. I know most of you are wishing you have summer all the time instead of snow but would you still want summer if the heat index is almost sixty degrees celsius? It is freaking insane. I think summer is trying to fry my brain.

Anyway, I received some June 2016 galleys from HarperCollins a few weeks ago. I was supposed to post this 2 Saturdays back but I got lazy. Nonetheless, here they are:




Looks like these titles are standalone novels! Oh, yaaaas!

Thank you so so much, HarperCollins International for these beautiful galleys! Can't wait to dive in!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

MAY 2016 RELEASE PICKS.


I have picked only four titles for this month's new releases (here's the list). These are my top picks because there are about 40 YA books hitting shelves this month so I had to narrow down the choices. Am pretty much stoked to get these ones because aside from the lovely covers, come on guys, I think most of us are eagerly thrilled for ACOMAF!


🔼 The Square Root of Summer (3rd) 🔼
🔼 Queen of Hearts (3rd) 🔼


🔼 The Crown's Game (17th)🔼
🔼 A Court of Mist and Fury (3rd) 🔼

I think my picks for this month are all equally fantastic! Can't wait to start reading all these! Thank you Harpercollins for The Crown's Game and Amaterasu Reads for Queen of Hearts!

What titles are you most excited about this month?
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