Friday, September 30, 2016

SEPTEMBER 2016 WRAP UP + BOOK OF THE MONTH.


It was just September 1 5 minutes ago, right? Why is 2016 in a hurry? Anyway, I've only read 3 books this month (ugh I suck) and was able to review all 3 (yay). Nothing much happened this month aside from meeting Morgan Matson - which by the way I haven't recapped yet (ugh I suck suck) - and unboxing my 5th-ish BookOutlet haul - which I still haven't posted yet (ughhhhhh triple suckage).

September 01 - My picks for this month's releases.
September 06 - Review of A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith.
September 09 - Recap of Blogger Tea Party hosted by Penguin Random House.
September 14 - Review of An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. (ELIAS MY LOVE)
September 17 - August Book Haul!
September 27 - EMPIRE OF FREAKING STORMS BY SARAH THE HEARTBREAKER MAAS REVIEW.




SEPTEMBER BOOK OF THE MONTH
"Empire of Storms rattled the universe." - Kate @ TBB
There is only going to be one Book of the Month because ugh, Empire of Storms guys! No other reason but CELAENA SARDOTHIEN.

Let's get it on, October!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

REVIEW: EMPIRE OF STORMS BY SARAH MAAS.

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Edition: Hardcover
Publication: September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Bought from Fullybooked
Pages: whooping 704!
Genre: High Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:
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 who 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?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

YOU CAN'T SURVIVE THIS, YOU JUST CAN'T.

There is no way for me to review this book the format I want to because I would really want to keep the spoilers to myself so kindly buy the book and devour it right away so we can talk. I need some support group because I am still way broken and I need to get this pain off my chest. Please. Send help.

Empire of Storms - up until I think around four hundred pages in - was terribly slow. I kid you not, I was tempted to stop reading and just pick it up someday when I have the patience and time. But this is SJM so there is no reason for me to NOT read it right away. I took my time, read word per word, and finished it then I DIED. Man, SJM was born to kill us fictionally. Empire of Storms just killed me and I don't know how to return to life anymore.

The the first thing I can say about EoS is SJM surely knows how to craft romance. The blossoming romancesesses (for plurality haha because there are plenty of ships I cannot wait to sail woohooo) are developed all throughout the series and if you have read ToG until EoS, you would now what I am saying. The characters grew up and developed perfectly and they were given ample amount of time to mature which for me, prepared them for such SWOONY commitments. Some ships took my breath away while some just literally made me squeak! These OTPs didn't happen intentionally or else I would sense they were forced but they did not so I am a happy camper here! The romance didn't only target the sexy times but help build trust, confidence and individuality between the characters. (Damn, I can't even name them!! But if you have been seeing some fan arts all over social media, you would now. And if you haven't read this series, AVOID THEM for they are beautiful arts but also major spoilers.)

World building and plotting (aside from character development) are SJM's forte and I give her that. However, I just find it annoying that in Empire of Storms, shallow things happened and were revealed that practically produced catastrophic results. These things could have been avoided.
A.) Instead of resting in order for Celaena and the rest of her court to regain strength/replenish powers, they all went batshit lustful and released their body heat in the most absolute despicable incomprehensible time!! Daaaaaaam! They could have waited until the storm has calmed but they just couldn't help themselves, could they?
B.) I love the quotes about stars but what is up with stars?
C.) Have you noticed that some parts felt like ACOMAF-ish? Mind-blown.
D.) Damn you to the realm you are in to the edge of your stupid soul Elena for being too selfish! I mean what the fuck is wrong with this character, all she had to do was ask but is she fucking stoned or something because she assumed she knows things, maintained her 'all-knowing' attitude, fucked up bigtime and let someone else pay for her mistakes. THE NERVE!!! DUH IN YOUR FACE ELENA DUUUUUUH! Grrr.

Let me catch my breath.

Just one minute more.

Okay.

Anyway, the pacing picked up past four hundred pages and at this point, I tell you, you wouldn't be able to put it down anymore because things are happening so fast you can't cope! I was originally going to rate it four stars but then the ending had such impeccable impact which deserves another star. My anxiety didn't calm the fuck down until an hour after I finished reading because I was always on the lookout because gurl, I have no idea who would SJM kill! Action scenes are one page after the other so I needed to be focused because who knows, SJM might have beheaded one of my fave characters at the back of the fight for all I know! I wanted to see every little detail and gurrrrrrl I'll tell you right now, THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT COULD HAVE PREPARED ME FOR WHAT SARAH MAAS DID IN THIS BOOK. NOTHING!! SO MUCH PAIN AND BLOOD AND HEARTACHE AND TEARS and respect and love - just tremendously emotional last two hundred pages and I still couldn't accept how well-thought this has been. Seriously. The feels just kept on flowing and there is no stopping it.

Empire of Storms rattled the universe.

"The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers."
"There was no force in any world that could keep her contained."
"Do not be afraid of what makes you shine brightly."
"It was all borrowed time anyway."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

STACKING THE SHELVES (84): THE AUGUST 2016 COLLECTIVE BOOK 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.
The last haul I posted here was back in July and I have acquired quite a few titles since then. This is me playing catch-up because I haven't been posting anything since I just got well from a 2-week sickation! These books I got from different sources and I ugh grabby, grabby hands, can't wait to read them all!


BOUGHT:
Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini (from Kai of Amaterasu Reads)
Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers (Kai bought this for me from Fullybooked's Mid Year Sale)
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab (Got this from Powerbooks' Power Sale 2016)
Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Got this from Book Sale Store)
Twilight (Twilight #1) by Stephenie Meyer (Got this from Book Sale Store)
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover (Got this from Fullybooked)

GIFTED:
Change Places with Me by Lois Metzger (The author emailed me and offered to send in a signed copy of this one! Eeeeep! So grateful!)

FOR REVIEW:
Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff (US) (Requested from St. Martins then they sent it to my US addy in CA)
Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff (UK) (Unsolicited copy! Eeeeep!)

THANK YOU SO MUCH KAI, FULLYBOOKED, POWERBOOKS, BOOKSALE STORE, LOIS METZGER, ST. MARTINS AND HARPER VOYAGER UK!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

REVIEW: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES BY SABAA TAHIR.

Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Series: An Ember in the Ashes #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: February 9th 2016 by Razorbill
Source: Finished paperback copy provided by the publisher
Pages: 446
Genre: High fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

I wasn't prepared for the brutality of this book! The Hunger Games would definitely shy away from An Ember in the Ashes! It is THAT brutal!

Loopholes, you guys. It is all about loopholes. I love that this story explored the loopholes or else, Laia would have been killed the moment she steps in to Blackcliff. I mean guys, Blackcliff is a school for assassins and Laia is just too weak to survive there. Without these loopholes, I really doubt she'd make it.

The Commandant is a cruel bitch (ugh, I want to put this bitch in a grinder or kill her with chainsaw haha), the cadets are trained to kill and are rapists, MC's situation is just as fucked up as their society's status and then just because of a sketch book, Darin's taken somewhere to be tortured. Laia is all alone without money or anything, she's not made for any of this and them kaboooom, she seeks the Resistance. Nope, she isn't lucky at all but she survives because of the loopholes. How can she possibly breakout his brother in prison when she couldn't even fight for herself, right? She's weak because she's made that way initially but as you go along the story, she develops not into an assassin but into someone she has to be - brave and hopeful. These loopholes in their lives make her surpass these life-threatening situations and escape these violent people and I love how she slowly realizes she can think and what Pops taught her are all useful in given dilemmas. She uses all the advantages she could get in order to see her mission through no matter if her life is at stake (both stupid and brave). I mean she has this eye to every small openings and she grabs them and most of the time, she gets what she wants. What I only disliked about her is her "confusion" to whom she likes most. I have nothing against love triangles but in An Ember in the Ashes, I just can't take that she had the guts to even glimpse at this part when she has to basically prioritize her brother. Oh and guys, this is only a 400 plus-page book but it would feel like you are not making a dent to what you are reading. The beginning was so brutally slow, kind of picked up in the middle then dragged its ass down again until the end. (But it will put you on the edge of your seat!)

Speaking of love triangles, I totally enjoyed the triangle between Hel, Elias and Laia (this is not even a spoiler because once you meet Hel, you'd know haha). I mean, it isn't every day we get to see this and thank the skies for Tahir for making this one enjoyable! I lovedddddd it to bits! And guys, I love Elias. I do, I absolutely do. Not just because he's the best in what he does or that Martial slash assassin vibe or that oozing appeal but because he's vulnerable. Ironic, right? Loving someone because of his vulnerability? I fell for him the way he's ready to just forget his training and everything he owns in exchange for freedom, that he remembers his kills and those memories are all associated with pain in his heart and that Blackcliff didn't completely destroy his soul. He's all these labels attached to him but his true weakness is his heart. I love you, Elias Venturias. I luuurve you you sexy vulnerable but kickass assassin you.

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!

Thank you so much Penguin Random House for the review copy!

"Life is made of so many moments that mean nothing. Then one day, a single moment comes along to define every second that comes after. Such moments are tests of courage, of strength."
"There are two kinds of guilt. The kind that's a burden and the kind that gives you purpose. Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It's damaged but it's there. Don't let them take it from you."

Friday, September 9, 2016

WHEN THERE'S TEA, THERE'S BLOGGER PARTY!

BOOKISH EVENT: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE GLOBAL TEAM'S BLOGGER TEA PARTY.
This is my first time trying this graphic text thingy as a header of the blog post and well, I am cringing because ugh OCD but I love making it! The blog needs a little breather from the flowerish headers and this is another reason for me to stock up on photos! Weeeeh for photo ops/BTS!

Anyway, last August 29 (Monday), I attended *cue screaming* Penguin Random House's Blogger Tea Party at Bizu in Greenbelt! Well, it's shocking that I had a hard time searching for the darn place (booo Google Maps!) so I arrived 15 minutes late and to be honest, my normal office attire wasn't made for the place. (I should have been a little bit presentable because my office clothes are combo of pants, shirts, sneakers) BUT HOLY MACARON I FINALLY MET CHRISTINE SWEDOWSKY AFTER FOUR YEARS OF WORKING WITH HER!!! Christine is my first ever contact (back from her previous company) and we go way back, like 2012. I was so thrilled when I got invited in this party because I've been wanting to meet her! Epppppp!!


Christine is so bubbly and she even told us she finally experienced riding a tricycle! She's all smiles and very approachable. JM and the other kept pitching Nicola Yoon and I was all JAY KRISTOFF JAY KRISTOFF JAY KRISTOFFFF! I met not only Christine but Jennifer Javier which is a PRH rep! Guys, she's so elegant! Honey Peralta, another lovely PRH rep, was there too and I loved how she asked questions about blogging, Snap Chat (I never used this app so am clueless), the panel prior the tea party and a lot more bookish things. Honey made me feel an important part of the bookish community because she asked like she needed my answers? You know? That feeling? I wasn't able to talk much to Jennifer because she's at the other end of the table.


I also met new bloggers because of this Tea Party! I met Nicka of Read by Nicka, Beatrice of Beatrice Learns to Read and Jasmine of Jasmine Pearl Reads! Jhed of When Books Defy Gravity, Camelle of Home of A Book Blogger, JM of Book Freak Revelations, Hazel of Stay Bookish and Kai of Ammaterasu Reads are all old friends of mine and aaaaah, so happy to see them all!


Group photo with these lovely peeps! Can't thank them enough for making me a part of this amazing meet-up!


Honey and Jennifer
With Christine

Aside from treating us yummy food, PRH Global Team gifted us these books! I wasn't able to take a photo of the Penguin Tote. The Peculiar Tote, movie poster and pins I hosted a giveaway for on Twitter! Such thrilling gift pack from the team! That Unforgiven copy is signeeeeed (JDHSUIYDUAHSDKJAHDFJKH!!!!) plus 2017 galleys!! *CUE SHRIEKING!!!!!*


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) by Ransom Riggs (Movie Tie-In cover)
Unforgiven (Fallen #5) by Lauren Kate (SIGNEDDDDDD!!!!!!)
10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac
Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Poison's Kiss (Poison's Kiss #1) by Breeana Shields
▴ Penguin Tote
▴ Peculiar Tote
▴ Peculiar Movie Poster
▴ Peculiar buttons

Thank you ever so much bloggers, Honey, Jennifer. Christine and PRH Global Team for making this happen! So happy to met you all!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

REVIEW: A SENSE OF THE INFINITE BY HILARY SMITH.

Title: A Sense of the Infinite
Author: Hilary T. Smith
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: May 19th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 400
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

Synopsis:
By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship, the weight of secrets, and the healing power of nature.

It's senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn't prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe's new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she's been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it hard to eat or even breathe.

But most especially, she isn't prepared to lose Noe.

For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don't involve Annabeth. Without Noe's constant companionship, Annabeth's world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she's really meant to be—with her best friend or without.

Hilary T. Smith's second novel is a gorgeously written meditation on identity, loss, and the bonds of friendship.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:


What a waste of reading time. I am really sorry but nothing in this book made me rethink of my rating or even slightly appreciate it. I was given a clingy and whiny type of character as if Noe is the only person ever existed, like Annabeth's life would only run by Noe's affirmation and that the only missing aspect in this story is Annabeth making a shrine for Noe. It would have been a nice story about friendship but naaaah, it made me feel disgusted for some reason. Disgusted that Annabeth allowed Noe to treat her that way and allowed her life to mirror what only Noe would approve of. I actually forgot much of what happened to this book. All I remember is the characters sucked one hundred percent of the time.

A Sense of the Infinite is a kind of read you would want to wish you can unread it. If only possible.

Thank you so much HarperCollins International for the galley!


"No quote. Meh."

Thursday, September 1, 2016

SEPTEMBER 2016 RELEASE PICKS.


MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU GUUUUYS! I know Halloween and Thanksgiving are arriving first but MY FAVORITE SEASON IS HEREEEE! HOHO MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

I also love all the awesome titles going to hit shelves this month but I gotta to trim my picks down to four! Liking all the books are fun and easy but buying them all isnt. Here are my top 4 picks! OMG EMPIRE OF STORMSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS





What titles are you looking forward to getting this month?