Wednesday, May 28, 2014

There Will Come A Time (Carrie Arcos) -- Book Review + GIVEAWAY!

 There Will Come a Time Blog Tour

There Will Come a Time 

Mark knows grief. Ever since the accident that killed his twin sister, Grace, the only time he feels at peace is when he visits the bridge on which she died. Comfort is fleeting, but it’s almost within reach when he’s standing on the wrong side of the suicide bars. Almost.

Grace’s best friend, Hanna, says she understands what he’s going through. But she doesn’t. She can’t. It’s not just the enormity of his loss. As her twin, Mark should have known Grace as well as he knows himself. Yet when he reads her journal, it’s as if he didn’t know her at all.

As a way to remember Grace, Hanna convinces Mark to complete Grace’s bucket list from her journal. Mark’s sadness, anger, and his growing feelings for Hannah threaten to overwhelm him. But Mark can’t back out. He made a promise to honor Grace—and it’s his one chance to set things right.

I initially read this book without knowing that Mark is actually a half-Filipino character. And so when I figured that one out, it became an added bonus since even just by the first 2 to 3 pages, the book will already be able to get your attention--which I think is very important to make sure that one keeps on reading a story. The author was able to inject things about a Filipino community and some Filipino traditions without being O.A. or without making that the whole focus of the story.

THERE WILL COME A TIME is poignant, smart and creatively written. It's a story that has many layers to it. For one, it's a story about dealing with one's death. Mark was truly devastated by the sudden death of his twin sister, Grace. I think the author did really, really great in captivating the emotions that are needed to make this book effective. 

It's also a story about family. How one family tries to mend the broken pieces that were torn apart by one's death. It's great to see a non-stereotypical family where in the step-parent is not considered a nuisance and where in the step-parent is actually really nice instead of just pretending to be nice. It's great to read a story that would let you understand that while not all families are the same, it's not really a problem. It's also a story of how sometimes, you have no idea about what the people around you really think about and what they really feel. 

Then it's also about the lines between friendship and love. What makes this story realistic is the fact that teen feelings are really being discussed. How they could be naive or "crazy" sometimes, and how they choose to deal with the people in their lives.

But the most important aspect of this story, in my opinion, is that it's about forgiveness. More often than not, our lives are marred by the fact that we often find it hard to forgive. And oftentimes, it's ourselves that we need to forgive more than anyone or anything else, and yet, we fail to do so. That aspect of one's character is well-played in THERE WILL COME A TIME. 

Oh, and another thing about this book: I love it because I love lists and there's a lot of those in here. And in line with that, I'll create my own list...


1. Go Sky-diving. I'm a scaredy-cat sometimes but why not? I've always had a thing about wanting to skydive ever since I could remember.

2. Walk around naked all the time. No, not a perv or whatever but is seriously just hate the heat so...

3. Have a huge, huge, room-like huge fridge full of foooooood. BECAUSE FOOD DUH

4. Travel the world and not come back to Manila for a long, long, long time.

So there. Read THERE WILL COME A TIME because you surely won't regret it.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

E. Lockhart - We Were Liars: Book Review

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Rating: 4.5/5 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


AHHHHHH! I just have so many, many, many feeeeeelssssss about this one. 

Let me elaborate: First, I really had so much expectations for this book so I was so excited when it was released and that I could finally read it. I love mystery and stories that feature "crazy" but beautiful people/families, so it's no surprise that I wanted to read this one. The first couple of chapters do I put this...they didn't really hook me or held me to the book the way they would except (or maybe it was the lack of sleep that did that) and THANK HEAVENS I went on reading (which I barely do when I feel lazy about a book already; I've very little tolerance some days) as it's probably one of the best decisions I made lately.

Anyway, once I went on and got past the slow couple of first chapters, my god. This book totally hooked me already. I couldn't put it down and I couldn't stop reading anymore because I wanted to find out who did what, what happened, and who's this or that (I'm sorry it's so vague but it's true: You HAVE to read this book to find out the whats and whos and whatever else there is). The beauty of this book lies in its mystery: How it captivates the audience and gets you thinking; how you think you know what's going to happen and then you'd figure out that you actually don't.

The characterization was good, imagery was good...It's the kind of story that you just would love to read because it lets you feel like you're part of the story in a way. I like the fact that some of my guesses were wrong--I hate it when a story gives away all the clues when in fact, the reader should be blown away 'til the very last page. And that's what this story did to me, actually: Down to the very last page, my emotions got played--and were just all over the place.

I cannot even talk about the last few chapters because I feel like I might spoil all the fun for you. But it's...Ah there's just no word for it. It's just...It's what it is and it's great and crazy and your heart and mind will just be all over the place. 

WE WERE LIARS is a story that would not leave your thoughts for a while, that's for sure. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Wendy Wunder - The Museum of Intangible Things: Book Review

Title: The Museum of Intangible Things
Author: Wendy Wunder
Rating: 3/5

Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).

Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.

As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity,insouciancekarma, and even happiness.

An unforgettable read from the acclaimed author of The Probability of MiraclesThe Museum of Intangible Things sparkles with the humor and heartbreak of true friendship and first love.


I can now understand why some people say that this is a WEIRD book. But let me talk about it first.
Well, the cover's really  PRETTY. That's one of the reasons why I took hold of this book, in the first place. Plus, I like the whole road trip idea so I thought, hey this is going to be awesome. 

It's not actually a bad book; in fact, it was pretty interesting especially if you can find the patience to go on reading it after the first couple of chapters or so. It's important for a book to really be able to grab its readers firsthand so that they'd go on reading it. This one kind of lacked that so if you're not that interested then you might not go on once you feel like, "What in the world am I reading?"

But after that, if you actually go on and read it, you'll realize that it's actually good in its own way. I like how it talks about truths and how people often perceive truth differently; we all see lives with our own set of eyes and sometimes, we don't look at it the same way that somebody else does. This book delves into that--and the pain of being a person whom people do not believe in. 

This book also talks about the struggles of teenagers who have not been parented well, or who want a taste of the world with their own hands. It talks about wanting to break free and wanting to feel all the emotions that one needs to feel. I think the author wanted people to think about the story in their own way and to actually peel it layer by layer to see what's inside.

It's a heartbreaking book, in  a way, especially because even if it's weird as weird can be, there are times when you'd feel for the characters and you'd actually wish that they get their happy endings. (No it's not a love story, but then again you'd have to read for yourself).

This story is a diamond in the rough. Read it all the way through so you'd understand why I said so. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kiera Cass-The One : Book Review

Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

Aaaaaaand it's finally here! Kiera Cass' "The One", the last of "The Selection" trilogy was released this week and I have so.much.feeeeeels.

First up, the cover: It's so GORGEOUS, I just spent so much time looking at it. Just look at that lovely cover, I couldn't even stress it enough. You can see more of it in this book trailer: (One of the reasons why I bought this book is because of the gorgeous cover...tee-hee)

You know, I was torn between giving this 3 or 4 stars but I decided on 4 because the book was able to tug at my heartstrings, and to me, that's really important. I was torn because, somehow, I thought the book was not going to live up to my expectations and there were times when I felt like, the author could have pushed for more...and then came the latter parts and my expectations were fulfilled (plus there were shockers, too).

So, let's see...Only 4 girls are left in the palace: Celeste, Elise, Kriss and of course, America.They're all fighting so hard for Maxon's affection, but of course, they have different motives and those motives are depicted in this installment. You'll get to know more about the ladies: their dreams and fears, hopes and ambitions and what makes them tick, and ohmygod, you'll seriously just feel for them.I'd have to say that I liked how the characters matured in this book because it reminds you that hey, people change

And then there's Maxon and Aspen, two men who are vying for America's heart.Their feelings are also depicted better in this book than the others so that's good.

"Break my heart. Break it a million times. It was only yours to break, anyway."

Queen Amberly. Oh yes, there's so much that I want to know more about her and I guess we'll all just have to wait for "The Queen", the author's very own prequel for Amberly for that.

King Clarkson. Doesn't he really have a heart? (Or maybe, the author will have another book for that, too...)

And there were really quite a lot of shockers. There were deaths that broke me, and would've broken me more if the orchestration was better, but I guess the way the author wrote about the deaths is also a way of keeping the book light--and loyal to its premise. 

So, yeah, there were certain questions that weren't answered, for me, but all in all, THE ONE was good. I think the reason why so many girls like this series in particular is because most of us (and I'm one of those) have all these fairytale dreams in mind. We all want a modern fairytale. We all want to feel like princesses, we all want our own prince charmings, we all want to be given the chance to live our dreams. And THE ONE (and its predecessors) are great examples of books that speak to the princess that lives inside of us.

THE ONE was bittersweet: It's a story that encapsulates hope and love, and at the same time, makes you realize the reality that even though you get to love a lot of people, and even though those people may stay in your heart, there really only has to be THE ONE.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Janus Silang Book Signing--May 10, 3PM, Adarna House Showroom

Hi guys! JANUS SILANG book signing will be held on Saturday, May 10 at the Adarna House Showroom, 109 Scout Fernandez cor Scourt Torillo Street, QC!

If you're going to attend the event, you'd get to hear a talk conducted by the author, Edgar Calabia Samar, and get your copy of the book signed by him, you can actually buy the book for less than it's original price! Instead of paying P175, you can have JANUS SILANG at ang TIYANAK NG TABON for only P140! So, why not, right?

What is JANUS SILANG AT ANG TIYANAK NG TABON? Read the blurb below.

Kuwento ni Edgar Calabia Samar
Inilimbag ng Adarna House, Inc. (2014)
Tungkol sa Aklat/Blurb
Sa tournament ng TALA Online sa bayan ng Balanga, namatay ang lahat ng manlalaro maliban kay Janus. Sunod-sunod pa ang naging kaso ng pagkamatay ng mga kabataan sa computer shops sai ba’t ibang panig ng bansa. Kinontak si Janus ng nagpakilalang Joey, isa rin umano sa mga nakaligtas sa paglalaro ng TALA na gaya niya. Hindi inasahan ni Janus ang mga matutuklasan niya mula rito na mag-uugnay sa kanya sa misteryo ng kinahuhumalingan niyang RPG—at sa alamat ng Tiyanak mula sa Tábon!

Tungkol sa Manunulat
Si Edgar Calabia Samar ay ipinanganak sa Lungsod San Pablo at nakapagsulat na ng dalawang nobela, ang Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog (2009) at Sa Kasunod ng 909 (2012). Itong Janus Sílang series ang una niyang kathang YA. Nagtuturo siya ngayon ng Panitikan at Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Ateneo de Manila University. Mahigit sampung taon na ang nakararaan nang una siyang makakilala ng isang Púsong.

*Maaaring i-like sa FB ang Janus Sílang Series sa Maaari ring i-follow si Edgar Calabia Samar sa @ecsamar sa Twitter. Bisitahin ang para sa iba pang akda ni Samar.

You can also read my review of the said book HERE! See you guys on Saturday! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Young and Scambitious 2: Properly Scandalous--Book Review

Young and Scambitious 2: Properly Scandalous

Get the book for only $0.99 on Smashwords

Some thieves get away with it, and appear to live the rest of their lives in comfort and luxury. But not without meeting twenty-something society brats Jane del Mundo and Gabriel Grande first. Jane and Gabriel are not in the business of apprehending them though, but in recovering what has been stolen, in very specific amounts.

How are society girl Elizabeth Madrid and young actress Truffles Marquez connected? Not in any way Truffles is aware of, until a government official with a very specific crush unwittingly becomes the next mark for Jane and the gang. 

Ahh, it's finally here! Properly Scandalous is the second installment in the "Young and Scambitious" series created by Mina V. Esguerra. The author was kind enough to send an ARC a few weeks back and today's the big release day and yey!

First up: The cover is TO DIE FOR. Who'd think that a Pinay author wrote this? See, this is one example of how diverse books can be (re: #weneeddiversebooks tag) and makes one realize that, hey, not only foreign authors can come up with concepts like this--and covers as gorgeous as this. (Tania Arpa worked on the cover and Nio Manzano was in charge of photographing the beautiful Alexandra Lapa) 

I enjoyed Young and Scambitious, but not as much as I enjoyed this one. Jane has gotten more sass and the story I think is really just beginning to get better. I'm a very big fan of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, LA Candy, Starstruck (Lauren Conrad), and Private (Kate Brian) and this reminds me of all those in a way because of deviousness + stealth + craziness and beautiful people and beautiful places. What's great about this one though is that it's set in our very own Manila--in all its glitzy and crazy glamour.

This is a fun and easy read. Everyone needs something light to read every once in a while and this is one of those books. But, though it's a light read, it's actually quite witty and smart--and would definitely make you say, "wait a minute, what's going on?" BUT that makes the book so much more fun than it already is.

I'm a big fan of mystery mixed with fashion and people who do not have their heads screwed on straight (haha). What?! It makes reading enjoyable, doesn't it? The author was able to make use of realistic situations and add a dose of craziness into it (sorry for saying crazy so many times, but it is a craaaay story which makes it really awesome).

If you want something fun to read and would like to get to know more about the hip and fashionable but stealthy people in the Scambitious world, go read this one NOW. It's only $0.99--such a total steal! 

Now the waiting starts for the next book...