Tuesday, August 29, 2017

ARC AUGUST WRAP-UP!


The end of this amazing read-a-thon is here! Out of the 13 ARCs I was planning to read, I only read 3. Then I DNF-ed 4. (Total of 7) The start was going so smoothly but after my third book, reading slump hit me. It didn't go away until the last week of August which was a busy week for me. So no more chance to catch up aaaaah! Fail!

Here are the books I have successfully finished and reviewed!

Lucky in Love is such a promising novel but it lacked real feelings, it absolutely felt flat. I wished hard that I'd enjoy it but I weren't lucky this time. Too bad.


That Thing We Call a Heart is a story of discoveries you'll gladly follow along with. Enjoyable yet heartbreaking at times, this book knows it's ways to the heart.

The Secret History of Us is a story of losing and finding; of forgetting and remembering; of endings and beginnings. This one captured my heart and it is such a source of hope for those who are feeling empty and alone.


I knew from the start that I was just being ambitious but at least I know now that I would have surpassed the books I set if only I fought hard HAHA damn reading slump! I enjoyed this one so much so next year, I will join again!
How many books did you read for the challenge?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

REVIEW: THE SECRET HISTORY OF US BY JESSI KIRBY.

Title: The Secret History of Us
Author: Jessi Kirby
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: August 1st 2017 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:
A near drowning…a coma for days…and then…

Olivia wakes up to realize she doesn’t remember. Not just the accident—but anything from the last four years. Not high school. Not Matt, the guy who is apparently her boyfriend. Not the reason she and Jules are no longer friends. Nothing.

That’s when it hits her—the accident may not have taken her life, but it took something just as vital: her memory. The harder she tires to remember things, the foggier everything gets, and figuring out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was.

But then there’s Walker. The guy who saved her. The one who broke her ribs pumping life back into her lungs. The hardened boy who keeps his distance despite Olivia’s attempts to thank him.

With her feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t even remember living.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

The Secret History of Us is my first ever Jessi Kirby book and I am so happy and grateful that I was given a physical ARC. Been meaning to read her Things We Know by Heart for some time now but didn't have the time to read back then. I decided to pickup The Secret History of Us instead because the synopsis is promising and that it is the most recent book. I am happy to report that it did not let me down.

Walking up from coma left Olivia disoriented. She couldn't remember. Then it was revealed that has amnesia, the last 4-5 years of her life she couldn't remember. She's trying to learn to accept her new reality but it's sometimes overwhelming for her. Matt claims that they have been in love for a while but Olivia couldn't remember. She pushes herself to remember Matt, her bestfriend Paige and her family but she just can't. But she couldn't shake this connection she feels for Walker - the guy who saved her from the accident.

This story is so heavy that at times I needed to put it down to breathe. I cannot imagine how hard it is for someone to go through this, to almost die, to lose their memory. Walking this journey with Olivia, I can feel her emotions and struggles. What I absolutely adored in this story is how love finds its way back to you. It's like the movie The Vow all over again!

The Secret History of Us is a story of losing and finding; of forgetting and remembering; of endings and beginnings. This one captured my heart and it is such a source of hope for those who are feeling empty and alone.

Thank you HarperCollins International Sales for the physical galley!

"Because that's the worse. That's worse than growing apart, or falling out of love, or even lying. Being with someone because you feel guilty is worse."

Saturday, August 26, 2017

REVIEW: THAT THING WE CALL A HEART BY SHEBA KARIM.

Title: That Thing We Call a Heart
Author: Sheba Karim
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: May 9th 2017 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary

Synopsis:
Shabnam Qureshi is a funny, imaginative Pakistani-American teen attending a tony private school in suburban New Jersey. When her feisty best friend, Farah, starts wearing the headscarf without even consulting her, it begins to unravel their friendship. After telling a huge lie about a tragedy that happened to her family during the Partition of India in 1947, Shabnam is ready for high school to end. She faces a summer of boredom and regret, but she has a plan: Get through the summer. Get to college. Don’t look back. Begin anew.

Everything changes when she meets Jamie, who scores her a job at his aunt’s pie shack, and meets her there every afternoon. Shabnam begins to see Jamie and herself like the rose and the nightingale of classic Urdu poetry, which, according to her father, is the ultimate language of desire. Jamie finds Shabnam fascinating—her curls, her culture, her awkwardness. Shabnam finds herself falling in love, but Farah finds Jamie worrying.

With Farah’s help, Shabnam uncovers the truth about Jamie, about herself, and what really happened during Partition. As she rebuilds her friendship with Farah and grows closer to her parents, Shabnam learns powerful lessons about the importance of love, in all of its forms.

Featuring complex, Muslim-American characters who defy conventional stereotypes and set against a backdrop of Radiohead’s music and the evocative metaphors of Urdu poetry, THAT THING WE CALL A HEART is a honest, moving story of a young woman's explorations of first love, sexuality, desire, self-worth, her relationship with her parents, the value of friendship, and what it means to be true.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
HarperCollins
That Thing We Call a Heart is a book I absolutely enjoyed. Here I was able to meet two amazing Muslim-American characters who have one thing in common: their friendship. Shabnam is the hopeless romantic in the duo while Farah is the rational and more adventurous one. What I adored in these two characters was the friendship dynamics we don't get to always see in books. How Shabnam felt excluded when Farah decided to wear a headscarf while Farah felt rejected by bestfriend because of her decision. I don't encounter these things all the time and it's amazing to feel enlighted about how other cultures value their traditions. Their friendship was bridged by their love for each other and I am so glad they made their differences work for them.

The book showcases a glimpse of how rich Pakistani culture is. One part of it is the Urdu Poems! They are so beautiful I kept reading the verses over and over. It isn't just romantic but the depth/technicalities of it are breathtaking. But it truly broke my heart when Shabnam made one but only to find out that the person didn't deserve it. Because damn, that was a knife in the heart. I was also starting to fall in love with Jamie in this story because his character was so well-intentioned at first. But sometimes, even being well-intentioned is just a facade.

The family dynamics also had me hooked. Shabnam's dad is the type who could care less (he's just really not that good in expressing himself) and the mother is the sentimental type and cares too much (which is what moms do). I hated how Shabnam treated her mother because Muslim or not, it was just an awful thing to scream at your mom. But she tried to make up for it and I am absolutely touched by how little things started changing for them at the end.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a story of discoveries you'll gladly follow along with. Enjoyable yet heartbreaking at times, this book knows it's ways to the heart.

Thank you so much, HarperCollins International Sales for the ARC!

"It's easy when you're climbing something. Don't look down, or even too far ahead. Focus on where you are in that moment."

Friday, August 25, 2017

REVIEW: LUCKY IN LOVE BY KASIE WEST.

Title: Lucky in Love
Author: Kasie West
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: July 25th 2017 by Scholastic
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Pages: 333
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:
Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

When I read The Distance Between Us in 2013, I remember I wasn't really that much swooning over it (but my review is raving lol maybe I chose to highlight only the positive ones. Who knows.) There's something about the writing that didn't quite sit well with me. And it happened again in Lucky in Love.

Maybe West and I aren't meant to be.

The gist of Lucky in Love is, Maddie won fifty million dollars in the lottery and rejected the only boy who cared for her because she thought he was only after her money. It was such an intiguing plot but I was underwhelmed. If I won the lottery, I would feel various emotions at once. I guess you would, too. But I didn't understand how I couldn't connect to Maddie at this point. I wasn't really impressed by how she reacted. It felt so flat to me, actually. I couldn't wrap my mind around how calm she was. Or maybe she wasn't but I didn't feel it at all.

Seth Nguyen is my favorite in this book. He's so DREAMY, caring, thoughtful and sweet. I hated how he was treated at the end. He deserved better. He deserved better than Maddie.

Lucky in Love is such a promising novel but it lacked real feelings, it absolutely felt flat. I wished hard that I'd enjoy it but I weren't lucky this time. Too bad.

Thank you so much, Scholastic Philippines, for the ARC!

"We make our own luck."
"Magic cannot be explained. It can only be experienced."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

BOOKISH HAVEN: THE BOOK STOP IN BGC.


Ever since I heard of The Book Stop PH Project, I couldn't get it off my head. As a bookworm myself, checking out a pop-up library locally is a a must-do. I think that projects like this would not only be beneficial to sharing the love for books but also for those people who wanted to get a headstart in to reading. I am all for this! So last Sunday, August 20, after one hundred years of putting it off, I have finally visited the one in BCG with bookish friends.


It wasn't the number one agenda of that day but we happen to be within the area and decided to drop by. It was both exciting and saddening at the same time. Saddening in a sense that it was raining that week so some books got wet, some parts of the pop-up library were damaged and it wasn't as pleasing to the eye as I expected it would be, at that time. The books were so disorganized and it was a truly heartbreaking view for someone with slight OCD like me. But my excitement exceeded the sadness because BOOKS ARE SO ACCESSIBLE AND YOU HAVE TO DO IS TO LEAVE A BOOK SO YOU CAN TAKE ONE! OR YOU COULD JUST DONATE!! I have few boxes of extra books at home that I don't have plans on reading anymore so The Book Stop Shop is the best place to donate books to!

L-R: JM from The Book Freak Revelations, Me, Hazel from Stay Bookish and Eunice from The Nerdy Talks Book Blog
Most of the books I saw from the shop were self-help books and few classics. But my friend Eunice spotted some YA titles from the same shop but during their stop in Ayala Triangle. I am planning on going back and bringing a box of YA books so I am hoping my schedule would free up some time in the next coming weeks. You could also donate and drop by! You can follow them on their Facebook page and get updates on their next stops!


WHAT DO YOU THINK OF PROJECTS LIKE THIS? SHOULD WE HAVE MORE AROUND?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER BY LEIGH BARDUGO.

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: DC Icons #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: August 29th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by the Publisher
Pages: 384
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis:
She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
ISBN: 978-0-399-54973-1

I was sent an advance copy of Wonder Woman: Warbringer back in May and I couldn't contain my happiness. It is one of my Most Anticipated Titles this year but I didn't devour it right away. I read it right after I watched Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and it was the perfect time to read it. I was still super hungover with the movie that I was hoping to cure it with another dose of awesomeness which is Leigh Bardugo but it only gotten worse. I NEED MORE. I. NEED. MORE.


I have everything I need in this book! I fell deeply inlove with the book not only because of Diana, the kickass plot or Queen Leigh but because of how diverse the characters are. And most importantly, they have been given equal amounts of 'airtime' (pagetime? exposure?) to really expound their parts in the story. It was amazing to see that this book didn't just revolve around Diana but with the rest of the crew. Also, I'm floored that we have a superb friendship in this book, Diana and Alia are the perfect BFFs! Leigh just knew how to empower women and that doesn't always need to have THAT romance in it. NIM IS MY FAVORITE!!


There's now way I could give justice to how hilarious and fabulous this book is. Leigh proved that she's not only an NYT Bestselling Author but she could be THE NYT Bestselling Author. Wonder Woman: Warbringer gave me what I hoped and more. This one speaks volumes. I cannot believe I'm this lucky to have read another bestseller in advance! Truly unputdownable, astounding, brilliant!!!!


Thank you so much, Penguin Random House Global for the ARC!

"Sister in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LET'S TALK BOOKISH: THE PHILIPPINE READERS AND WRITERS FESTIVAL 2017 PANEL TALK.

Hello there again, guys! I am so excited (well, this year I am ninety-seven percent nervous; last year it was just ninety!) to share with you all that my blogger friends


and I will be in a panel on August 27. Our panel will kick off at 5PM and will end around 6:30ish. This will be at the Namayan Room, Raffles! Our panel is right after Pierce Brown's event so please do drop by!

This year, we will be discussing: Diversity, Cultural Representation, Bookish Disputes not limited to Authors Behaving Badly, Bloggers Behaving Badly, Book Shaming, Bullying and a lot more hot, sensitive and IMPORTANT topics! So I really am hoping to see you all there! This is our second year at the event so if you missed us last year, this is another chance to come say hi? PLEASE?


I am so thankful to have been invited again and I hope we'll all leave the panel more educated and happy! I will also bring some ARCs for lucky attendees! SEE YOU!!!

Thank you National Bookstore and their sponsors for hosting this amazing event and for inviting us!
 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#GODSGRAVEPHBLOGTOUR SIGN-UP FORM!!!

Last year when I hosted the #NeverNightPHBlogTour, it was such a disaster I don't want to even think about it. But I truly appreciate the active participants who did their best to do their part. I committed that I won't let that happen again. So this year, I was given another set of ARCs to tour (weeeeeeeh!) and I am opening up the form for those people who want to be a part of this:



I will only have 5 participants for this tour to avoid unncessary dramas and I will be absolutely picky this time. I originally plan to get 15 people but we will see. If you have read Nevernight and loved it, come sign-up!


Thank you, Harper Voyager UK for the copies!

Monday, August 7, 2017

AUGUST RELEASES I AM EXCITED FOR!


I really don't know what's happening but OMG it's August already? Woooow. Few more weeks and we will be in the BER months! Woooohooo! I cannot wait for Christmas to be honest! But here are the books I am most looking forward to reading!


August 29th 2017 by HarperTeen

August 8th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

And the Best Book of 2017 Title Holder for me is this amazing, amazing book! I was given the chace to read it early and OMGGGG, I loved it to bits and I will post my review anytime this week!


August 29th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers

Thank you so much, Penguin Random House International for my Warbringer ARC!

What titles are you excited for this month?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ARC AUGUST STARTS NOW!


Hellewwww beautiful people! I am so excited to participate in this year's #ARCAugust hosted by the lovely ladies over at Read. Sleep. Repeat.This reading activity motivats me to get through my (high-prio) review galleys! The fact that we're like, a huge group, reading together makes me so happy I couldn't wait to get started! I sucked so much at reading the last few months so this month, I have a very ambitious TBR. Look:


I read 7 out of 16 (pictured):

- Whenever I'm with You by Lydia Sharp -3-star review
- Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts Saga #2) by Colleen Oakes -5-star review
- Poison's Kiss (Poison's Kiss #1) by Breeana Shields -5-star review
- 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac -5-star review
- Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia -5-star review
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1) by Leigh Bardugo -5-star GR review
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao -5-star GR review


Review galleys I need to finish:

- Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Stopped at page 60)
- Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton (Stoped at page 65)
- The Wonder of Us by Kim Culbertson (Stopped at page 190)
- The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (Stopped at page 200)
- That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim
- Keys to the City by Lisa Schroeder
- Dark Breaks the Dawn (Untitled Duology #1) by Sara B. Larson
- The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby
- Lucky in Love by Kasie West
- Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown (Stopped at page 160/eARC/not pictured)
- The Color Project by Sierra Abrams (Currently reading/eARC/not pictured)
- #famous by Jilly Gagnon (stopped at page 130/eARC/not pictured)

I know these are a lot especially for a slow reader like me. But I will really try to power through these and hopefully I could atleast read 3-5 books from the titles left unread in my 2017 ARCs stack. I want to be a 'success story' by the end of August haha!

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