Tuesday, February 27, 2018

REVIEW: THE WRATH AND THE DAWN BY RENEE AHDIEH.

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Edition: Hardbound
Publication: May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Pages: 404
Genre: Retelling, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
ISBN: 0399171614 (ISBN13: 9780399171611)

My heart just cannot fucking handle all the emotions The Wrath and the Dawn gave me. It's astonishingly good that I cannot - for the love of me - wrap my mind around how fucking extraordinary this book is! I hate myself so much for waiting this long to get into it but also proud of that I picked it up at my own pacing. I am also trying my best not to capslock for intensity but damn, I'm gonna fail right about now BECAUSE TWATD WAS FREAKING SOLID PUNCH IN THE GUT!

Shahrzad plans to kill the monster that murdered her best friend. Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, marries and kills his bride by hanging each dawn. In order to avenge her best friend's death and stop the killings, she volunteered to be his bride. She knew she only had a day to live but Shahrzad being the clever person she is, made way for her death to be postponed for a day. She tells the King a story and ended it in a cliffhanger so she could continue the story the next day. And the next. She has to kill the Caliph and she has to do it fast. But unbelievable turn of events occurred and she's now faced with dilemma: the monster isn't the monster she thought he was and very much conflicted with her feelings.

I felt strings of emotions I never knew I am capable of feeling. I don't even know how to summarize this without spoiling but guuuuuuuuuuys, TWATD is definitely one of the best YA Fantasies I have ever read in my life! HANDS DOWN THE MOST THRILLING EVER! I know I've used "left me on edge" before so let me rephrase this as "made me shut the book and take a breather" kinda book! Ahdieh surely knows how to build up scenes and is confident to know exactly where to drop the bombs! Her writing is music to me and gosh, I was shrieking and giggling and crying and it was all wonderful. The story was certainly bloody and dark and I want more.

I have nothing but praises for this story. It legit made me fall in love with it. The absolute perfection of each character (HI, KHALID MI BABY LOVES), how blood weaves its way to love and how love produces magic, how each chapter holds so much anticipation and action? OUT OF THIS WORLD KIND OF GOOD! Aware of all the feels even, I am at a loss for words, really.

I heard that it's inspired by Thousand and One Arabian Nights but I haven't read that one yet. So the best way I could describe this is Beauty and the Beast-ish x 1000000 of amazing feels. Khalid has a very dark past but he's not a jerk at all and didn't use it as an excuse to be a jerk. He's very much to swoon for. He's interesting to the core, charming, passionate and self-less. Most especially, he's a true leader.

Khalid took me by surprise a lot and Shahrzad was simply mesmerizing! A beautiful queen indeed. She knows how to come out of situations she hasn't anticipated and she's very clever! She's stubborn and doesn't let anyone own her plus, she carries herself pretty well. She's not afraid to admit if she's hurt or if she wronged people. She's brave to have accepted her vulnerability and wise enough to have used her weaknesses as her strengths. I loved how her character developed and the progress of her relationship with her husband was perfectly executed.

ALSO, I CRIED LIKE A BABY AT PAGE 350. MY GOSH.

The Wrath and the Dawn is currently sitting at Number 1 in my Best Books of 2018. Thrilling and intense, it isn't that so hard to fall in love with this book! Absolutely enchanting and perfectly intoxicating!

"Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky."
"You have a beautiful laugh. Like the promise of tomorrow."
"There is no one I would rather see the sunrise with than you."
"I know love is fragile. And loving someone like you is near impossible. Like holding something shattered through a raging sandstorm. If you want her to love you, shelter her from that storm…And make certain that storm isn’t you."

Friday, February 16, 2018

BIG BAD WOLF PH BOOK SALE 2018.


Big Bad Wolf Book Sale originated in Malaysia back in 2009 and it is their first time here in the Philippines. There are over two million books on sale plus admission is free! They will also be open 24 hours a day from today til the 25th. As a  huge lover of books, it's definitely a book sale I wouldn't pass up on.


Lucky enough, my bookstagrammer/blogger friend Eunice of @nerdytalksbookblog got an Exclusive Preview Pass which is good for two and she tagged me along last night! Just got home a few hours back and I did enjoy being with my bookish friend.


World Trade Center in Pasay City is huge (and thankfully, near me) and I was instantly overwhelmed with books from different genres in different editions! Of course, first aisle I visited was the Young Adult annnnnnnnd




I was honestly *slightly* disappointed. Okay, hear me out. I am a hardbound collector and I actually didn't know what to expect so when I saw that most YA titles are old and majority are paperbacks, I felt just.. sad. I frequently see most of those titles in our local Book Sale Store and I don't know, maybe I was just subconsciously comparing it to the previous sale I went to.. they didn't have the titles I was looking for and everything was kinda a mess (books in the same series are scattered in different aisles and such) so yeah, I was sad. Buuuuuut if book formats you don't really mind and that you badly just want to get a hold of books, this sale is for you!



They didn't have much of YA variety to choose from and I also didn't find poetry books but they have good selection of Romance and Children's. I love their Non-Fiction and Art selections!

I saw some bookish friends - Gela and Gavin - and thankfully, I didn't forget to take a photo! Gavin toured me and he knows where to find which! Absolutely impressive! Thanks, Gavin!


Book prices range from (from what I actually saw ehehe) 190-230, boxed sets are roughly around 700-900. Cashiers are all so efficient despite the long lines! Most of the staff are approachable and accomodating! The ones I got are 230 each and I am quite happy with my haul. Who am I to complain when I have new books?

As usual, I filled my cart first and then sorted them out. Was only supposed to get 4 but I couldn't... I just had to get these! And like I said, I am pretty happy with these! Hahaha loooook


- Flawed (Flawed #1) by Cecelia Ahern
- The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan
- The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace #1) by Erin Bow
- Soundless by Richelle Mead
- Wolf by Wolf (Wolf By Wolf #1) by Ryan Graudin

I would understand if some people get disappointed but don't let that discourage you! Go grab that opportunity to experience this book sale (that some proceeds would go to Gawad Kalinga) and enjoy! My overall experience wasn't so bad actually!

What day will you go?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

REVIEW: THE TRAITOR'S GAME BY JENNIFER NIELSEN.

Title: The Traitor's Game
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: The Traitor's Game #1
Edition: Paperback
Publication: February 27th 2018 by Scholastic
Source: ARC provided by the published
Pages: 400
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:
Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won't stop her from being drawn back into her father's palace politics. He's the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well -- and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.

The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what -- and who -- it is they're fighting for.

Jennifer A. Nielsen introduces us to an unforgettable new heroine in this epic tale of treachery and intrigue, love and deceit.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

My first book for February 2018 is done and I am glad it's The Traitor's Game by Jennifer Nielsen. I missed fantasy so much and this book quite satisfied the need. It took me a while to finish because WHAT IS BUSY LIFE and some parts just stopped picking up the pace plus there were lines that made me a little bit uncomfortable so I needed to pause. The reading experience was pleasant but I just didn't go crazy about it.

Kestra is a Dallisor - household name and enemy to all. Her father serves the evil Lord Endrick, as if being a Dallisor isn't enough. She was in exile for three year after a group of rebels kidnapped her but her father summons her for a fixed marriage. Her carriage was ambushed and her trusted trainer Darrow was held captive. The Coracks are known to be brutal and in order to save Darrow, she has to play their games. Or will she play them?

I read Jennifer's The False Prince and absolutely loved it. Jen has this amazing spin when it comes to treachery/deception of characters so The Traitor's Game really screamed JEN. But there were just too much plot twists. It is really a good thing because the story won't let you sit properly but there were parts I started getting confused. And this also made easily predict what's really up. Unraveling the mysteries with the characters wasn't that thrilling anymore and I strongly felt I was kinda let down. The revelations/discoveries of secrets was timely in the beginning then it went haywire on the latter part.

Kestra's character was also annoying most of the time. She's such a clever and tough girl but her inner monologues were too much. There were times I can barely tolerate her. But there is definitely character arc and I bet she's going to be way better in Book 2.

Lastly, I don't understand the romance part (though I am glad there's no love triangle *knock on wood). Everything took place within four days, they hated each other, they are enemies by blood then oh so suddenly, the sexual tension was that much?? Good thing Simon's good nature complimented Kestra's. Or else, I would have DNFed this haha

Though both books kinda have the same theme,
The Traitor's Game didn't top my love for The False Prince. I wish it were smoother. Just because it's a title I would not recommend in a heartbeat, doesn't mean it isn't good. Would absolutely pick up Book 2 and hope for the best.

Thank you so so much for the galley, Scholastic Asia-Philippines!

"You are ripping at my heart, Kes. Every time I reach out and you pull back. Every time you offer a smile to someone who's not me. When you doubt me, or mistrust me, or hide your secrets away, it's like a claw that shreds me from within. When we're together, I forget how to breathe, but whne we're apart, I realize you've become my air. I want you to take a risk, but take it with me. Risk yourself with me."
"Life doesn't give us what we want. It gives us what we need and asks what we will do with it."

Friday, February 9, 2018

#BOOKBINGEBAZAAR 2018 SHOPPING RECAP.


I got homea few hours ago from Megatrade Hall in SM Megamall, which is so far away from my place. I attended National Bookstore's most amazing book sale to date ever, today! It's the first day of #BookBingeBazaar Sale and OMGGGGGGGGG! IT WAS CRAZY -- CRAZY GOOD!



I was supposed to be there by 10am but I think I arrived at 11? There were so many book lovers there, all ages, and it was so fascinating to see how Filipinos love reading. This sale to be honest, is one of the best sales NBS has ever had and the titles are omg mind-blowing! I was so overwhelmed with how much new ones are in there! YA, paperback or hardbound, new or old, are all priced 175php (less than 4$) so I grabbed everything I want!



The NBS space in Mega Trade Haull is quite huge and I think I circled the entire thing 4x just to double check if I missed any books I want. Hohoho

I was also able to see my friends JB, Hazel of Stay Bookish, Lyra of Deviantly Deviant and JM of The Bookfreak Revelations. (Wasn't able to take selfies with JM and Danica!! Hiiiii) I am most excited for you guys to see Hazel's haul because how does 'one huge cart full of books' sound to you?



I didn't get most of the priority titles I came there for like Lady Midnight, City of Bones, PPL or Conjuring of Light hardbounds but I sure did bag the fall-back titles in my list! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!


Like this one!! I WENT CRAZY WHEN I SAW THIS IN LYRA'S CART AND THANK YOU HAZEL FOR GIVING ME THE EXTRA COPY YOU FOUND HUHUHUHUHU OMG THANK YOU BOOKISH LORDS BECAUSE AAAAAAH BEEN WANTING THIS BOOK FOR SOOOOOO LONG NOW I CRYYYYY GDGDGDGDG


After sorting my cart, I left all these because ya girl had to stick to her budget haha kinda sad not being able to get them all but my happiness exceeds my sadness because damn it, When Dimple Met Rishi is e v e r y t h i n g


So here is the hauuuuul!!!! There is a theme in here if you haven't noticed yet and I am letting you also know that I saw that ARC in there so I got it thinking it might just be a mistake that it got mixed or something. I don't want other online book sellers getting it. So I am really hoping it's the only one because it shouldn't be there to begin with.

- Ensnared (Splintered #3) by A.G. Howard
- The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
- Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
- Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
- Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
- Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
- Shine by Lauren Myracle
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Thank you, National Bookstore, for this wonderful sale! My bookish heart is filled and my bookish shopping craving is satisfied! More of this, please! HAHAHA MWAAAAAH

DID YOU GO TODAY OR WILL YOU GO THIS WEEKEND? Let me see your haul!

Monday, January 22, 2018

BOOKISH HAVEN: A VISIT TO MT. CLOUD BOOKSHOP.


When I first saw and heard Mt. Cloud from Kevin's post a few years back, it immediately became a personal goal to visit. There's just this magical pull from Indie Bookstores that a visit is a must. Luckily, I had the chance to revisit Baguio (currently drafting while in transit to Manila) and the first order of business is to locate it.


Most cab drivers weren't familiar with Mt. Cloud but they know Casa Vallejo by heart. Mt. Cloud is just there, sitting calmly in the middle of a busy area and it's honestly easy to find. I took a bunch of photos first before I entered the store and honestly, I wasn't expecting anything. I just let the store blow me away and it diiiiiiiiid!


Mt. Cloud Book Shop houses Filipino Authors and Artists. Every single corner has illustrations, accessories, bookmarks etc made by Filipinos and every shelf space carries Filipino blood. Well, that's based on what I saw! Seeing the books friends wrote and artist's talent in painting/drawing just made me feel so damn proud of being a Filipino! Not only Filipinos are courageous and brave but we are also amazingly talented and Mt. Cloud made sure they display that for everyone to see.

Made it!
Children's corner and some amazing crafts!
Look at that! Stairway to Heaven!

View from the second floor/loft
More books! I saw Romance Class books here!
Look at my happy face! I couldn't help not to pose for a pic! Mt. Cloud is just an amazing bookstore and it is absolutely worth visiting!
And now the haul --

Here you go! I saw a few more Romance Class titles that I've been eying for a while but I don't wanna hoard just yet so I got the ones on top of my list slash I cannot find in Manila hehehe! So lucky also I stumbled upon these illustrated Filipino themed post cards because I am kind of obsessed with post cards lately. And I gotta have the Mt. Cloud stickers for my bujo!


Mt. Cloud Book Shop sure has such cozy and warm ambiance that would immediately make one feel at home. They have well stocked shelves and it is exciting to see books by friends. Visiting Mt. Cloud is definitely one of the highlights of this short trip!
Have you been to Mt. Cloud?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

REVIEW: POISON'S CAGE BY BREEANA SHIELDS.

Title: Poison's Cage
Author: Breeana Shields
Series: Poison's Kiss #2
Edition: Paperback
Publication: January 16th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
Pages: 336
Category: Mythology, Romance, Fantasy

Synopsis:

A single kiss could kill. A single secret could save the kingdom.

Iyla and Marinda have killed many men together: Iyla as the seductress, Marinda as the final, poisonous kiss. Now they understand who the real enemy is—the Snake King—and together they can take him down. Both girls have felt as though they were living a lie in the past, so moving into the King's palace and pretending to serve him isn't as difficult as it sounds. But when you're a spy, even secrets between friends are dangerous. And each girl has something—or someone—to lose. Does every secret, every lie, bring them closer to the truth or . . . to a trap?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
ISBN13: 9781101937860

WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS HEHE
I just finished reading the last page of Poison's Cage and woooooooowsa, I am blown away. This is waaaay better than the first book and absolutely the perfect ending for a duology! I was kinda hoping there's a third book but I am absolutely satisfied with how things wrapped up! It was truly an amazing read!

Poison's Cage let me walk along side Iyla and Marinda in their quest to destroy the Nagaraja. The story is told from their alternating perspectives and it is so fascinating to be able to see everything from both sides. Iyla is such a tough cookie but her longing for Marinda's affection, her resentments towards what she lost and the emptiness of being an just option have all dawned in her and it's relatable in ways I can't even pinpoint. Her struggles of choose between her own life or Marinda's gave me such conflict as well but her loyalty and love for her friend outweigh any doubts. Shields gave Iyla's story redemption and hope that I thought it would end there, but she gave her love, true love in fact, that made me so happy! Iyla deserves so much more and indeed, it was even beyond what I expected. And I think I might have fallen in love with Fazel's lightness and sincere character. They balance each other well. One rejects kindness like a reflex and one gives kindness without reservation.

Marinda grew up so much in this installment. Her doubts and assumptions are all obvious throughout the story but it made her so real, so raw, that her pain pinches my heart. However, the good in her triumphs in situations she can easily kill. Despite the agony she just went through (OMG, THIS PART FELT LIKE I'VE BROKEN A BONE OR SOMETHING BECAUSE UGH EXCRUCIATING PAIN), she remained hopeful and unafraid to love the people around her.

The twists and turns of the story just floored me. Some parts can be easily predicted but Shields have so many things up on her sleeve apparently. The mythology has been nothing but richer and she owned this story, backed up by her research and love for the Hindu, Buddhist and Indian mythologies. I've never used this phrase in a while but believe me when I say this is mind-blowing!

There's no perfect ending for Poison's Kiss than Poison's Cage. Fast-paced, mythology-rich and exquisite character arcs, this book lands a spot in my Best Books of 2018, no doubt! It was beautifully written and I want more books like this in my life and in yours, too!

Thank you, Penguin Random House International, for the galley!

"But I learned a long time ago that tears are thieves of power."
"I need him to fall for me-at least enough to loosen his lips and dislodge his secrets. And I can't do that if I let myself be charmed by his easy laugh. By the way his skin feels like velvet against mine."
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