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Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm Thankful For...


Book Addict is hosting a giveaway. To enter you must be a follower and post about a book you are thankful to have read and one book you would be thankful to receive. For more info head here

Photo courtesy of
Wikipedia


As always, I am most thankful for reading the Harry Potter series particularly The Deathly Hallows because it was my favorite. 

"Of course this is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?" -Albus Dumbledore
Photo courtesy of
HarperCollins
I would love to receive Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver. I've heard that it was a good book and would love to read it myself. 

“And this, really, is the story-within-the-story, because if you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the world will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light. But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.”  -from Liesl and Po

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Read from November 4 to
November 5 2010
Book: Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Publication Date: November 6, 2007
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Number of Pages: 335
Genre/s: Young Adult, Dystopia, Adventure

Connor is being Unwound. And he was left with only one choice: to kick-AWOL. AWOL as in absence without leave. The catch is if he could actually pull it off. He talked about this with his only ally, his girlfriend and she promised she’d go with him but she turned her back at the last moment and now Connor has to do it alone. Without anything to lose, he went on with his plan. He met Risa, a former StaHo kid (short for State Home) who similar to him had escaped. He kidnapped Lev, a tithe, along the way too. And now they’re three happy campers embarking on a very dangerous and grim journey and if they fail, they might as well never run away in the first place because one thing’s for sure, they’ll end up on the very place they’re running away from: The Harvest Camp.  


Excerpt: "Of course, if more people had been organ donors, unwinding never would have happened...but people like to keep what's theirs, even after they're dead. It didn't take long for ethics to be crushed by greed. Unwinding became big business, and people let it happen."

Thinking about this made my head hurt in a way it has never hurt before. Like book-induced headache except that it’s a good thing. I wanted to close the book and just get on reading City of Ashes. But if I do that I might as well give myself another whack on the head and surely, that will give my brain cells permission to start a full-fledged rebellion and that won’t do me any good. 

Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad in fact it’s very good in its own way. If you want something new and adventurous and a little unsettling kind of story, well, Unwind fits the bill. But if you want to get that warm, fuzzy feeling then definitely this is not the book you may want to read. But I know every once in a while, and by that I mean people anywhere, everywhere wants to read something original and fresh and see the world in a different angle.

It was my first time to read a dystopian fiction novel. I never got to finish The Forest of Hands and Teeth and now I’m planning to, after I read this book. It was very different. It’s my first time to need to go out of my room and breathe fresh air before I continue flipping the pages but at the same time I can’t put it down. No matter how dreadful and bleak the world Shusterman created, I still want to hear about it and know if there would be a happy ending even if it’s next to impossible. And I think that’s what kept me engrossed in this book. I admit I find it hard to get into the book at first but as I read on I was hooked. Shusterman created a world so real, I might believe him if he says he had actually lived on it and that he actually experienced those things. Or that he was an Unwind himself after all. He made Unwinding sounds so frightening even without describing it yet, and when he did, it was so disturbing and creepy that I had goosebumps. It was like running a freak show depicting live murder only it is legal and acceptable. And I hate that stupid nurse, and I would never ever apply as a nurse on the Harvest Camp even if it’s the last place hiring.

The story is just so gripping, the characters were, I can’t even describe them in words. All I can say is one won’t exist without the other. That proves how well-written this novel was. There were so many twists and turns that at one time you’d be wincing and saying Oh no! And then smiling and shouting Oh yes! And then Oh no! again. It’s maddening. 

Shusterman also made you feel what it’s like for both sides. The side of those who were being Unwound and the side of those who signed those Unwinding orders which is most likely their parents. Even though that didn’t made me feel any sorry for those who tolerate this despicable act, it made me understand even in the smallest way why somehow this act is considered right. I would kill to read what Connor wrote in that long letter of his but I suppose that’s one of the few thing Shusterman wants us, readers, to ponder about. And those storked babies and that twisted thinking that being in the divided state is better than being useless at all? Oh don’t even make me start coz’ I could go on forever. It’s funny how it made me feel somewhat delighted in the world I live in because at least there’d be no chance for me to be Unwind.

I love the ride I was in and I greatly recommend this book to those who want to experience the ride, too and to those who want to read something unique. Or to those who want to take a break to feel-good novel, I'll vouch for this book. It’s creepy and all but it won’t disappoint. I think my long review quite hinted that right? 


Cupid's Verdict:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

W.W.W. Wednesday (Nov 23)

I've been reading and exploring a lot of blogs lately and I discover this wonderful meme by Should Be Reading and I would really like to join in the fun. 

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
So without further ado, here's my first W.W.W. Wednesdays post:
What am I currently reading?
I'm currently devouring the debut novel of Ms. Brodi Ashton, entitled Everneath. It was the first book in the planned trilogy. I am feeling good vibes about this and I know It's too early to say but I think I will be reading the rest of the books in this series. That good? Yes, I just hope Everneath can sustain it.
And look at that awesome cover! I wish I have the real books in my hands. But alas, the release will be until January next year. 

What did I recently finished reading?
I recently finished Hallowed, the second installment in the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand. Pardon the pun, but I'm Hands down with this series. Amazing story, enthralling characters, credible research, gorgeous boys and exemplary execution of the dreaded love triangle.
Recommended? Duh. 

What will I read next?
Plenty to choose from, but I'll go with these 3:

Heard good things about these books. The first one with the uber gorgeous cover named, Incarnate is written by the equally gorgeous author, Jodi Meadows. Don't believe me? Check her Goodreads profile, she even looks good in a cap. Outrageous. The second book is by Rachel McClellan. I read the blurb and the prologue of Fractured Light and I was immediately sold, such is McClellan's power of attraction. And speaking of power, the last but not the least book, Touch of Power is written by the incredibly talented Marie V. Snyder. This amazing woman can write anything and make it stand out. I am definitely looking forward to reading these books. 
So what book interests you? What are your 3 W's? Let's talk about that in the comment section below and please feel free to leave your own W.W.W. Wednesday url as well. Ta-ta for now, see you next Wednesday. :)

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Read (November 3 - 4, 2010)

Book: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Speak
Number of Pages: 234 
Genre/s: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: Bought

A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time. - (source)
“Then the musical instruments appeared. Dad’s snare drum from the house, Henry’s guitar from his car, Adam’s spare guitar from my room. Everyone was jamming together, singing songs: Dad’s songs, Adam’s songs, old Clash songs, old Wipers songs. Teddy was dancing around, the blond of his hair reflecting the golden flames. I remember watching it all and getting that tickling in my chest and thinking to myself: This is what happiness feels like.” - taken from If I Stay 
As Mia contemplates about her decision, readers were taken into a series of flashbacks that show how her life has been. These flashbacks and memories seem to flow from inside Mia to me, the reader. Mia, the girl who felt like she did not belong, is in fact has the love that binds those very important to her. She belongs. She’s meant to be with them, right in the middle. I was so captivated by Mia’s reminiscing that I slowly became part of her family and when she did finally decides what’s best for her, I felt like I would burst with emotion and there’s no way out but to cry.

She also asked: What if every person dying gets to decide whether they stay or go? Physically, you are there lying in bed, broken and bruised but the echo of you is watching everything unfold. How hard it must be to see the people you love wait with worry across the hospital hall? Hearing them talk about you like you’re not there. Seeing them cry and despair. I can’t help but feel Mia’s pain and sadness because I know how she loved her family and how scary it must be to be alone and wake up never to see them again.

Mia and Adam love story is just the way I wish mine would be. Quiet because they communicate in ways no other couples could: in music. It was honest and real. It was not forced, not a given but something that was develop over time. The kind that could last forever. I honestly think that Adam is one of the most unforgettable and sweetest male characters I’ve ever come across in books. Also, Mia and Kim’s friendship was incredibly portrayed. It will really make you realize that family can also be found in friends.

If I Stay is a gripping story of family, friendship and love. Forman has this amazing talent in translating emotions into words that will leave you open and personal with whatever the character is feeling. It was one of my best reads in 2010 and I was rubbed raw by the whole experience, I had tears on my eyes, my heart broke a million times but I will surely go back to this book like what I did today and remember Mia. Touching, poignant and packed-full of emotions, If I Stay will surely stir something in the deepest of your hearts. Just please make sure you have a couple of tissues at the ready.

Cupid's Verdict:

Photobucket
5 Cupids

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Read (November 16 - 18, 2011)
Book: Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Number of Pages: 416
Genre/s: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning. - (source)
“Our purpose on this earth is not a single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There’s only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become. So I say forget about future. Pay attention to now. This moment right now. Let go of expectations. Just be. Then you are free to become something great.” - taken from an uncorrected ARC 
Hallowed started right after where Unearthly ended, in the forest wherein Clara must fulfill her purpose and the fire that has left everything on its path destroyed and charred. Clara failed at her purpose because she followed her heart and by doing that, she had changed everything.

Everything starts to unfold. We’re introduced to the world of White Wings and Black Wings and the eternal war between them, the congregation where all angel-bloods gather and to new angels. Secrets kept were laid out in the open. Clara learned about what she really is, how she and her brother are special even amongst the angel-bloods. And although everything was planned out for her, she still has her free will and she must make the ultimate decision between the guy she loves without any imposition from the boss up above and the guy she is destined to be with. She also knew with another dream that someone she loves dearly will die. And it was all Clara could do to keep herself together and everything else from falling apart. 

What is most commendable about Hallowed was the growth in Clara’s character. Not only did her hair color change (sorry, I just have to say that) but she had shown exceptional strength of character and will beyond all the drama and the big bombs being thrown at her relentlessly. Acceptance and sacrifice were needed and she gave just that.

Then there’s Christian, the great constant in Clara’s exceedingly wobbly life. Oh, I really feel for him! I feel his pain and disappointment every time Clara pushed him away. But still he’s there, not to woo Clara or keep telling her that they belong together but because he wants to let her understand that he will never leave her. Honestly speaking, Christian has more of a presence here than Tucker which I think is Hand’s intention to shed more light into Christian’s side. I just wish that he didn’t left Tucker out of the picture. Tucker does not have much exposure except in Clara’s thought as the super-hot-manly-sweet-guy, which I think did not give him justice because he was more than that. For starters, I seriously think that he’s more virtuous than Clara. For me, he came off in this book as a hormonal, uncomprehending, shallow person who easily gets disoriented and queasy with Clara’s glorious self.  

But with all grumbling aside, deep down I believe, too, that this was all part of Hand’s subtle plan of setting up the distinction between Christian, the boy equivalent of Clara, who compliments her and Tucker, the mere human, who completes her. 

Hallowed is not what I was expecting. Do I mean that in good way? By some means, yes, because Hallowed is in a whole different level than Unearthly. It was darker and more emotional and confined. Like all was happening in a single time frame and the bleak and suffocating atmosphere to it made Hallowed totally realistic and convincing. Also, the concept about God was superbly handled.

But I have to say that I liked Unearthly more. This book is a wonderful read, it was hard to put down, but I still can’t figure out why but there was something about this book that made me read it in a distant, impassive sort of manner. Maybe because even though I find Clara’s resilience admirable and her demeanor immensely different from other clichéd heroines in the YA world, there were times I would love to smack her right in the head and pull her marvelous hair so she can’t stop whining about how unfair her life is. 

All the same, I could still say Hand deliver yet again a strong and remarkable story about angel lore. She again ended Hallowed much like its predecessor Unearthly, with tons of possibilities about where the next book would lean into. It could be about anything: someone’s journey to heaven, or it could be somewhere in Stanford or Italy or Wyoming. Hallowed is greatly recommended and I for one surely can’t wait for the next installment in this captivating series.

Cupid's Verdict:
Photobucket
4 Cupids
A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Random Ramblings (5): Losing Myself and Finding My Voice

Our play was finally over. I personally think we have a big chance of getting into the Top 3 or even the coveted first place. See, it was a tradition for 3rd years to have vaudeville and it’s going on for three years now. The first place is highly sought-after not because of the cash prize since I highly doubt that a measly sum of money will be enough to entice students (which I will not disclose for fear of retribution from the student council or whoever organized this). For me, besides the 50% grade for our literature course, it’s more of the bragging rights. To be the champion of your Junior year vaudeville will never be forgotten long after you graduated. But not to get my hopes too high, I’ll just talk about what happened in the past few days leaving the play out of it.

So Vaudeville aside, I have been truly blessed and thankful because I was given the chance to read an advanced copy of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand. (Thank you HarperCollins and Netgalley. Mwah!) I absolutely loved Unearthly and I can’t get enough of Clara and the angel world but mostly, I missed Tucker. And Christian. If only I can have them both. Sighs.

Anyway, the suspense was killing me so I decided to take it a step further and delay the agony even longer. I decided to clean my stuff and organized the mess that was beginning to build in my dormitory. While I was cleaning, I happened to read one of my journal entries back in 2009. I was into that stuff when I was in my 4th year high school and I carried it on until my first semester in college. And boy was I glad to read it back again. 

[Skim if you must, but skipping is highly recommended ;) PS. If you decided to bear the torture, the journal is written as is. No revisions we’re made. Pardon the grammar.]


Tues, Nov 3, somewhere in the house, 8:41 PM 

Talk about embarrassing! If I have fair skin. I should or could have blush from mortification. But I won’t tell it since it would ruin the mood of the year. Yes, I really should focus on writing because we’re beyond speaking in English class. Not that I really learned or become skilled at it seeing as I only gawked at the professor while she attempted to provide vivacity and verve in our monotonous lecture. Don’t blame us. We’ve been in the campus for almost a day and we’ve just faced the horrors of chemistry class so reasonably, we had given almost all our moral fiber, resilience and stamina. Visualize that in a less dramatic way and you’ll see the point. She drearily continues her lesson and those who still have their grit’s intact participates in class which is sadly only composed of ¼ of our class population. And I’m one of those who didn’t speak at least once. Yeah, I know it’s maddening but I just can’t seem to build my courage to do so. So, imagine my relief when I actually breezed through my impromptu speech. Well, I was held off until the last minute, which meant I’ve been tortured for two days and the rest of the week before I finally deliver my spur-of-the-moment speech. You might say that I should be fully ready for this once in a lifetime moment and I’m not at all jittery but I’m feeling the exact opposite. When my name was finally called, I don’t know if I’ll be relieved or distressed but I chose the former since the butterflies in my stomach begun to morphed into bats and I seriously don’t want to have a severe case of diarrhea before my speech. Feeling all shaky, I stood up and gulp for extra oxygen to defreeze my brain. All the time while I was walking to the box of fate, (that’s the box of questions), I was wishing the topic would not be about politics. Fortunately, my prayers were answered. My question was: What do you appreciate most in English class? That question could be answered honestly or disingenuously. For a change, I picked the latter since I saw the smile of the professor and no way will I spoil her restrained amusement. I should be given extra credits for my heroic deed, right? After a quick help from a genius friend, I prattled on about having been blessed and honored to be able to study in my university. Then I said stuff like (insert mouthing genius friend thoughts) being able to express ourselves. I hoped they did not ponder about it much because genius friend’s idea turned out to be perplexing. I quickly went on with my speech and ended up thanking everyone in class. I think they enjoyed it because they clapped when it’s over which is a rare feat because they never did that on the previous speeches that day. I am clearly bragging now but I am really just contented with myself. Enough of these effronteries (got that word from a book I’m reading. Ha!). I should sleep now. Ciao!

Who’s that girl? I was like this highly animated person talking about something I can’t even remember now. But what mostly struck me was my speaking voice. I don’t recognize myself. I was amused by my 16-year old self but it still felt foreign to me and I don’t why. Then it hit me that maybe I stop connecting with my inner self. I begin to lose that crazy jolly little voice inside my head. The one who notices everything. The one who keeps track of every events no matter how trivial they are. The one who observes and listens all the time. The one who can go from one emotion to the next. It must mean that I am becoming a more mature person but I did not feel any satisfaction at that thought at all. Maybe because I fear that I am losing my innocent side, the carefree side. Time is mostly a factor here. I become super busy with life as I know it. I was sidetracked by studies and the future prospect of my budding career. 

I don’t want to lose that person. Hell, I don’t even want my studies and my hobbies to collide. There’s supposed to be time for everything, for fun and serious stuffs to mesh. But I can’t seem to figure out how I can make them at least compliment each other. And I am seriously contemplating now whether I picked the right career.

But, I will try to find that special place. Between nursing, caring, reading, blogging, and writing is where I think I am most happy. I pray to God that in time, everything will fall in their right places. I just hope that the old, present, and future me will survive the wait.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Random Ramblings: What to Expect?

Photo courtesy of
happyhourmom.com
Since my thoughts are faster than my book-reading capabilities, I decided to have a new addition to my slowly dying blog. It would be called Random Ramblings.

What to expect in Random Ramblings:

1.       It would be random. (rolls eyes) I could be talking about singing turtles in my previous post and dancing pandas in the next. And it could be posted at any day of the week.

2.       It could be about the last movie I watched or about books I love or upcoming movies about books or my FANGIRLING. (there would be a lot of gushing and squealing here) 

3.       It could be composed of entries on my deceased journals. I was trying to resurrect them but I failed so I would just share them and my botched attempt at it, so both of us can be tormented in the process.

4.       It could be about my career: My latest venture in the wild world of perineal care or meeting my future doctor husband. Rest assured all names will be changed or removed as appropriate

5.       But mostly, it would be ridiculous since it’s my senseless thoughts we’re presenting in the open here. And it would be long or short depending on how chaotic my brain was that day.

You've been forewarned.

Q&A with the Bookstruck by Cupid a.k.a Smite Maniac

Photo courtesy of
urbanlegendkampala.com
Who's the New Blogger in the Neighborhood?

Cupid: Good morning fellow BookStrucks. Today we have an interview with the blogger behind the new blog in the neighborhood: Smitten over Books. Let me introduce her first. Sarah is a proud Noypi and a Thomasian. She's currently in her 3rd year in college and taking Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Mostly, her world revolves around NCPs, Case Analysis or Drug Anas. But she still makes time to read and review books out of passion and love for them. Now, she's starting her new blog and hopes to be a successful blogger. Let us all welcome, Ms. Sarah!

Cupid: Good morning! Thank you for spending some time with us, Ms. Sarah. I bet you're sleepy now since it’s already 3:20 AM, but still you allow us this interview.
Sarah: Don't be silly. I can't sleep so it’s ok.

C: So the rumors are true, you are an insomniac.
S: I do not think I am an insomniac. I just have trouble sleeping at night because ideas just cropped out of my head without warning and I can't go back to sleep without jotting them down.

C: Just to be clear, if you are not an insomniac then why are you still awake?
S: I am more of a night person. My father likes to call me an owl.

C: Right. Ok. Let's start first with an easy question. What do you prefer? Coffee, cola, tea or juice?
S: Coffee and I like them cold. I especially like the Dark Mocha Frappucino or Mocha Frappucino of Starbucks. And I am actually expecting one now, where is it?

C: Oh, sorry about that. Here.
S: Better.

C: Let's proceed to the next question, then. What is your greatest fear? And if you would associate them with an animal, what is it and why?
S: I have this intense paranoia with cockroaches. And I would associate them with dogs because like dogs they either a) mark their territory, or b) attack you. They could also sense fears and that would be good as a cue for them to terrorize you. But if you'd think roaches are less intimidating because of their size, you're wrong. They're scarier because they can fly and can land on any part of your body.

C: I could really sense your fear. I, on the other hand, actually like practicing target shooting with cockroaches. Because they make this adorable crunching sound and they explode with all this gooey greenish...
S: Stop! You're making me vomit on my frap.

C: Oops. Got carried away. On to the next question: What is the biggest impact books had given you in a negative way?
S: Hmm.. I think it would be on my eyesight. I have perfect vision before. Now I have 100/100.

C: So do you wear glasses or contacts?
S: Do I really have to answer this? I have both. I wear contacts at school and glasses whenever I’m running late.

C: What color are your contacts?
S: Umm.. Hazel brown. Can we move on now?

C: OK. What made you think of establishing a blog?
S: Now, we are on the real questions. Well, you see I follow and read this wonderful blogs and I can't help but wonder what if I try it? I've been reviewing books since 2009 in Goodreads and I thought it was legit enough to start one.

C: Does reviewing come easily to you or do you also experience what they call writer's block?
S: I have writer's block all the time. What I find hard in reviewing is finding a starting point. But after that, I could pretty much go on. But there are times when it's really bad and I just stare at the screen for hours or I even just close it out of frustration.

C: If reviewing is that hard, why do you still do it?
S: Simply because I love it. I find satisfaction that somehow I was able to share what I love about a certain book and encourage others to read it too.

C: There are many book reviewers out there. What made you think someone will ever read yours?
S: Oh, I also have my doubts. What if nobody reads my reviews? What if nobody stops by? What if I will just be buried down the big pile of blog reviews out there? But then I realized that I still made my blog from scratch and persevere on it and that I think that is reason enough to believe that I am doing this not for prestige or to be noticed but because of my love for books. I also think there are a lot of books to be reviewed and a lot of readers who needs opinions and encouragement to try reading them.

C: What do you think will make you stand-out among the rest in the blogging world?
S: I don't think I will because even in real life I just sort of blend in. But like I said I do know that there are many books waiting to be discovered and read. I think even a simple blogger like me could give recognition that those outstanding obscure books really deserve.

C: I heard your changing your tagline from YA REVIEWS AND MORE to YA REVIEWS AND RANDOM RAMBLINGS OF A BOOKSTRUCK. Why is that?
S: Yes, I'm planning to squeeze the "changing" of my blog header in my schedule. But it will come out in the near future, I hope. I'm changing it because I like to made my blog more interactive, since my mind is spinning faster than I can read, it would really be good to have an outlet. And I think it would make my blog more personal and I kind of like it that way. 


C: So you'll only be reading books in the YA genre?
S: Probably yes. But it really depends on what's available. I absolutely love J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series and you can't really put it in the YA category. So, it'd really depends on my reading mood and preference. I will also give classic books a chance. Books by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien among many others, are waiting to be read and devoured in our generation and I like to be the one to start the trend.

C: What is your favorite book?
S: I have tons of favorite seeing as I've been reading since I can remember. But if I would cite one now I think it would be the Harry Potter series. For more on that you can read my tribute here: The Boy Who Lived, Accept My Heartfelt Gratitude  

C: Are you planning on continuing this blog even after a year without followers?
S: But really, I think if until then I am without followers, I would kill myself and haunt those snobs. Just kidding. As I said before, I am only doing this for my love of books.

C: How many times will you post in a week?
S: It depends on my schedule. If I have tons of paperwork to be submitted, I don't think I'll be able to do even a draft. But I'm planning on scheduling my posts so I could at least still have new posts on my blog.

C: I heard that you’re planning to take medicine after graduating, is that true? How about your blog?
S: I will, I think. I'm pretty steadfast on it ever since I was young. But unfortunately, taking Medicine is too expensive. And there will be a lot of sacrifices made. Like, no reading of books anymore because medical books will replace them. I'll have to spend 10 years more in studying. Then, I'm quite sure I'll be giving up this blog, too. So I really don't know. I am in a happy place right now. I don't want this blog to be the make or break option but we'll see in the future.

C: What is your inspiration to become a doctor?
S: Is this even related to books and blogging?

C: Yes. Just answer the question, please.
S: OK. Well, I never planned on becoming a nurse. I just want to be a doctor. It's my dream. I watch plenty of Grey's Anatomy, too and I really think surgeons are cool. I want to be a neurosurgeon, by the way.

C: Nice choice. I want to be a pathologist. You know like those in the movie, Pathology.
S: You're a pervert, Cupid!

C: (laughs maniacally) Any suggestions or advices for fellow newbies in the blogging world like you?
S: Do not give up. Do what you love. Follow your guts. Dream big. Aspire more. Be hungry for learning. I believe the time will come when we will be at par or even as big as those bloggers we look up to. And while you're at the dreaming stage why don't you help me achieve mine and follow me via Google Account and/or subscribe via email? :)

C: Shameless plugging. Really, Sarah you're making me think you're not serious about this.
S: I need all the help and inspiration I can get, Cupid. Thank you very much.

C: And that's all for our first interview with Sarah, the blogger behind Smitten over Books (When Cupid Struck): Books Reviews and Random Ramblings of a Bookstruck. If you want to know more, such as if she likes banana over apples or what she thinks of public urinals and how can they ever be useful, just comment below and I'll get back to you with another segment of Q&A with the Bookstruck by Cupid a.k.a Smite Maniac.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Boy Who Lived, Accept My Heartfelt Gratitude














Beth Revis is generously hosting a very big giveaway. You just have to write about  what book you are most thankful for. For more info head here. Good luck! :)


Photo courtesy of
ecmmmeee.deviantart.com
I've been into reading since I could remember. My school library has this wide array of books, which I am very grateful for. I mostly read R.L Stine's Goosebumps, Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley and Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew. They were really entertaining. But they were limited, after I devoured what was available, I stopped reading and I contented myself with playing outside, like kids my age. Then one day, a friend brought this heavy looking book on class and started telling us what it was about. I was curious, it was a very thick book you see. I read the blurb, it's about a wizard, a young boy who went to a magical school. Although it piqued my interest, it was not sufficient to encourage me to read it, mostly because I was used to reading books with female leads. But then the next week, three or four of my classmates has the same book. I was definitely intrigued now, and when I can't resist anymore I borrowed it.

And I know from that day forward, I had discovered one of the most amazing book I will ever have the chance to read. Harry Potter introduced me to a world of witchcraft and wizardry, where kids ride trains to attend a boarding school, wear robes to class, learn spells and potions, and keep owls, frogs and rats as pets. As the series progressed, not only my spell vocabulary heightened but I started investing in each and every character. I began to understand the true meaning of loyalty and bravery. I realized that sometimes sacrifices are made for those we love even if it would cost our lives. And it made me believe that greed and evil will never triumph because nothing will ever be greater than the power of love.

Photo courtesy of
absoluteastronomy.com
I grew up with these books and watched the movies when it was adapted to the theaters. I cried when the book ended and cried again when the final movie installment was shown in the silver screen, not out of disappointment but because I will surely miss it. But I also know the legacy of these books will never end because time and again we will relive the stories we have loved and reminisced why these books affected our lives the way it did. 

I thank you, J.K Rowling for the brilliance you have shown in the very pages of these books. We have been very blessed to be able to take part in the realm of your imagination and ingenuity. You are indeed one of the best authors in the literary world. Harry Potter has served its purpose. It has touch the hearts of millions of readers around the world and I certainly believe that it will continue doing so for the many years and centuries to come. Truly, the lightning has struck and the Boy Who Lived will live in our hearts forever.

Random Ramblings (4): The Freddy Kreuger of my Blogging Dreams

Photo Courtesy of brutalashell.com
I will not be around in the coming days. Which I believe is not a good idea because as you can see I am just starting my blog. Apparently, I pick the wrong month to start one. *headdesk*

So what am I griping about now? Well, my semestral break is ending. *sniffs* I hardly felt it since out of the 4 week-long vacation, I only got a week to actually have it  to myself. But classes will start tomorrow whether I like it or not. I even tried scrounging for McGonagall's Time Turner to no avail. After much groveling, begging and howling, she threatened to turn me into a cockroach so I relented. Now, I really have to pack my things and leave.*wails* 

What's the big deal, you ask? Well, if you must know, my dormitory has no internet/wifi connection. I  understand that's for our own good so we could focus on our studies but I think if I concentrate any harder I'll explode into tiny pieces of me and then finally our neighbor's dog will have something to be happy about. (yeah, the dog hates me probably because I sing in the shower every time)

We also have this play which will make everybody busy this week including moi so I really don't know if  I could finish all my books in my currently-reading shelf, let alone review. But I will try to the very best of my ability to fit it into my jam-packed schedule. Even if it kills me. 

Plus, my classes is up to Saturday (really, we have classes 6 times a week!) so I'll be stuck in my dorm until then. I also have this strong feeling that my Sunday will be used up for the play practices. I am having an anxiety attack right now just thinking about it.

If my future follower (Ha! I wish) is reading this please hang on there. I'll be scheduling some of my reviews to come out during my absence. I feel wretched to be declaring hiatus this early but I will be coming back soon whenever I can. Just so you know, my heart is breaking and I feel like my baby is being taken away. I only give birth to this blog for a week but I feel like I'm losing a very good friend. For realz.

Please, baby blog do survive without me, will ya?  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Random Ramblings (3): Whoever You Are

Before I post another review. I'd really like to share this quote I've received by email. It really expresses what I'm feeling right now. And maybe whoever you are out there, you'll be able to relate with this too.

"Whoever you are, there is some younger person who thinks you are perfect. There is some work that will never be done if you don't do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill." - Jacob Braude

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my friends who might or might not be reading this. You made all the efforts and hard work really worth it. You're praises and commendations just makes my heart melt and simply encouraged me to do more and write more. You are incredible, guys. I really really really love you with all my heart.

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Read (January 9 - 12 2011)

Book: Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms #1) by Kristin Cashore
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Number of Pages: 471
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Bought

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.


When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. - (source)
“And now I’m wondering,” he said, “how it is you don’t realize your eyes ensnare me, just as mine do you. I can’t explain it, Katsa, but you shouldn’t let it embarrass you. For we’re both overtaken by the same—foolishness.” - taken from Graceling
A Graceling is a person with Graced. Being Graced is like having an exceptional talent. But it does not only refer to singing or dancing, it could be that you are Graced with holding your breath for 30 mins without dying or killing like in the case of Katsa, the heroine of the story. You can also distinguish a Graced from an Ungraced by his or her eye color. If it’s two different eye colors, then voila you’ve spotted a Graceling.

A Graceling if deemed worthy will serve under the king’s order whether they like it or not. Katsa is feared for she is Graced with killing and is used as a striking hand to punish the people who defies the king. However, Katsa is not the monster the people think she is and despises doing the king’s order. She even created the Council to help the oppressed and their latest mission was to save the father of the King of Lienid. But even as they completed the mission, they have still no clue as to who is the mastermind beyond the kidnapping, and as she continues to unravel the mystery, Katsa found herself in the middle of everything she had not foreseen. It is changing her and challenging every bit of her surviving skills.

One thing I immediately noticed was the unique names. Katsa, Prince Greening Grandemalion, Grandfather Tealiff and Bitterblue. Is there a trend for names like this? Maybe I should change my name to Kiki or C2? What dya’ think?

Anyway, the story is strong, fresh and engaging. I actually finish the book in one-sitting. ‘Twas that amazing!

Katsa was described as a fighter who is unbeatable and unconquerable, she even have to control her strength on her sparring sessions. She’s invincible and self-sufficient. But Cashore being cunning that she is, created someone, a one-eyed king, who can matched Katsa not by strength but by something more powerful and evil.

The love story was awesome. I find myself loving every character and investing on each of them. Prince Greening Grandemalion aka Po was just so charming and funny that even if he uses wildcat (blah) as a term of endearment, I immediately rooted for him. And Katsa is not your typical heroine. She’s no damsel in distress. She can do her stuff, carry her own, and sacrifice even if it meant breaking her heart. I just love their banter and sweet moments. 

There’s just this one chapter (Chapter 20) where my eyes were threatening to fall out of their sockets and I can feel my blood rushing into my brain. It’s my least favorite chapter and I wish it to be non-existing but I realized that it was needed. It’s an essential piece to what I guess Cashore is trying to build. She’s attaching Katsa and Po and simultaneously engrossing the readers to their relationship, and if she also planned to have her readers heartbroken and feel wretched in the succeeding chapters, then she’d definitely succeeded. She’s a very wise lady, I say. The element of surprise was greatly executed, too. I dunno if it was me being too engrossed that I did not saw it coming. I was completely blindsided and I applaud her for that. 

Reading Graceling was like a breath of fresh air. The pacing is just right; the character building was great. Cashore is as of now enlisted as one of my favorite authors and knowing that this is her debut novel, I am surely looking forward for more books from her in the future. She made my first book this year very worth it! This is definitely a must-read people!

Cupid's Verdict:
Photobucket
5 Cupids

Friday, November 4, 2011

Random Ramblings (2): Finally!

Being a newbie in Blogger is very frustrating because I had to make my blog from scratch. Mostly, everything I have designed came from the super Internet. And I now give HTML a new meaning which is Hell to the Mega Level. No surprise there, because it made me want to detached my brain and present it to my professor back in High School, you know just to end the torture and all. 

I had to learn photo editing, too. It kept me mostly awake all day, my mom even asked if I even sleep at all. Of course I deny her accusations, despite evidences to the contrary that is my enormous eye bags and red eyes. But it was insanely addictive. Once you know how to do a task, you'll want to try another. Frustrating and addictive, what a combination.

I also develop this obsession about pretty blogs. I admire and envy them (well, mostly envy) and I have this urge to steal them. I don't know if it's me being a dummy but I have to look at them at least every hour while I'm making my own page. And whenever I look back at my work, it makes me want to cry.  

Nevertheless, after about 3 days of tinkering here on Blogger, I finally made a decent enough page. Woohoo! I'm so proud of myself. I could say that my semestral break has been productive. I know I still have a lot to learn but I'm feeling like an expert right now. 

That's my evil-slash-intimidatory stare. Want to argue with me?

Before I end this I would like to thank every blog and site that helped me build my page. Thank you so much to Tricks for New BloggersSpice Up Your Blog, Kevin and Amanda, Shabby Blogs, and many others. Please do check them out if you need tips on how to make your blog even beautiful. 

Now on to reviewing, I'll be posting a review later. Do check it out. But before I forget again, let me introduced you to the cat who won BEST IN COSTUME and CREATIVITY AWARDEE last Halloween Party: 

Belated Happy Halloween! Can I eat your brain?
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