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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Greetings + Winner Announcement

Hi everyone! Merry Christmas! How's the holidays going for you? In the Philippines, Christmas is pretty crazy mainly because it's the time of the year for everyone in the family to get together and celebrate. This year, our Christmas is a little quiet and hot but the important thing is it's peaceful and we get to spend quality time with each other.

This day also marks the end of my blogoversary giveaway and I've already contacted the winner. So who's the lucky one? It's... *drumrolls*



Congratulations! I've sent an email and I'm just waiting for the confirmation. Thank you for everyone who entered. You made my 1st ever blogoversary special. Thank you, thank you so much!

Now let's get back to the festivities, shall we? Ho, ho, ho. ;)


Monday, December 10, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Image from ralphtherobot.com

So here I am again. I can't believe I have neglected my blog for almost 3 weeks straight now. And I can't believe I am going to write this type of post again. I thought I am going to have time to finally blog again because our schedule is not as crazy as before. But again, I was wrong. 

Just last Wednesday to Friday, we had our retreat. Then on Sunday, we had our Grad Pic. I am graduating soon! I am so excited for that end goal, I keep forgetting about the remaining days I have at college. So I decided to take a step back yet again in blogging to try to spend more time out there. It's just that I keep my head buried in books all the time, not that it's a bad thing, but I will try to tone it down this time. 

I don't know when I'll be back. Maybe next week, after Christmas, next year. I just don't want to push myself into committing to a definite time I am fairly certain I couldn't follow. The thing about me is the more I try to schedule stuff in advance, the more I deviate from it and procrastinate. That's why I think I'll work as I go. :)

My blogoversary giveaway is still ongoing by the way and I'd post long overdue reviews soon but I can't comment or reply to comments as much as before. 

That's it, I guess. I'll be back indefinitely. But I think the more important thing is, I'll be back. Until then, folks. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (13): Just One Day



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Book: Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Junevile

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon! - From Goodreads

Ever heard of If I Stay? Where She Went? Those two are my most favorite books ever and they're both written by no other than Gayle Forman. So it's kind of implied that I'm dying to read more of her works. I just know I'd love them as much if not more.

What are you waiting on?
Leave your link down below so I can check yours out.

P.S. Want to win a copy of this book? You SHOULD really head here. ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (12): Crash


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Book: Crash (Vision #1) by Lisa McMann
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of four books from the New York Timesbestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping series from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality. - From Goodreads

Ever since I read the Wake Trilogy, I promise I read anything McMann's write. Crash looks incredibly intriguing. I know McMann and I bet this book will be one heck of a thrilling ride. I simply cannot wait!

What are you waiting on?
Leave your link down below so I can check yours out.

P.S. Want to win a copy of this book? You SHOULD really head here. ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Renegade by J.A. Souders

Read from November 9, 2012 to
November 13, 2012
Book: Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles #1) by J.A. Souders
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Number of Pages: 364
Genre/s: Young Adult, Dystopia

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.
But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. 
Her memories have been altered. 
Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. 
And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.
Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all. - From Goodreads

I've been hearing quite a buzz for Renegade long before I finally succumbed and requested it via Netgalley. I'm really glad I did because I would have surely regret it if I haven't. 

If I would have to describe Renegade in one word it would be unconventional. It's unlike anything I've ever read before. It feels different. It reads different. I knew from the moment guns were mentioned, I was in trouble.

I'm not the kind of reader who rereads synopsis every time I start a book; I just dive right in. So my preconception of Renegade was it's a fairy tale or mythological retelling slash dystopian of some sort. While Renegade proved me wrong cause it wasn't any kind of retelling in the slightest, it was so much more. My surprise could be attributed to its cover. I mean look at that cover! It's gorgeous, yes, but it's another pretty girl in the cover. It's so unassuming and honestly it felt generic but from the very first page up to the last, I could definitely say that cover worked as an advantage to this novel. 

I really liked the pacing of the novel as well. Never was there a dull or dragging moment. Plot-wise, it's almost...quirky, setting its own unique brand of storytelling cause it seeps into you and it makes you feel bewildered and unsure of what you're really reading. When events started unraveling and I got a sense of what was really happening, the memory loss, the turrets suddenly blasting people off like targets from a carnival, DNAs swiped from the system, unCoupling licenses revoked, mandatory Festival attendance; the seemingly neat and immaculate system begun to feel very chaotic. The very structure of their world while rigid and unyielding to anything short of perfect and subservient was cracked from the core.

We are all Mother’s children. It is a privilege to show her our ultimate obedience to her laws.—engraved on a pillar in the Square, Sector Two

The charm of Renegade basically comes down to Evie. She's so bad-ass, it hurts. The meek girl went from defiant, to violent; intent on getting out. It's like the perfect character growth. I like my heroine likeable even without the help of her love interest and someone who can kick people's behind. She literally stumps Gavin presence in the process. I'm like Gavin who? And the villain in this story, goodness. Souders knows how to get in people's skin, doesn't she? Mother is like the perfect villain. With just enough background to somehow give justice in her actions, well, at least in a villain point of view. She's heartless, manipulative, and cold. Most of all, she's everywhere. 

Renegade manages to stand out from the rest of what I've read this year mainly because it's every bit unpredictable. It seemed like the first half of the book started in a different world then the second half felt like an action movie then the last half seemed like a horror movie slash thriller. It went from tame to gory. It defied all expectations. Just when it's becoming too easy, Souders would begin dropping bombs too keep you at the edge of your seat. 

Also once you realized those little hints along the way, it'd make you just whistle with appreciation with how she handled everything stealthily and sneakily. She savored planting them and when you set one off, everything else just explodes in your face. I think aside from being an author, Souders is a bombranger cause when she chucks one, she doesn't miss.

It takes one girl, a supposedly daft and docile girl, and one banged-up Surface Dweller to get things going and once it started it won't stop. The perfect formula, I daresay. 


Cupid's Verdict:
Photobucket
4 Cupids
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Owl Post (4)

Today's Owl Post entry will be dedicated to my awesome experience at the National Book Store Warehouse Sale. I think all my Filipino friends and readers would be able to relate to this. ;) 

So last Thursday, November 15, my friend and I went to the 1st day of sale. The place was packed-full of people and even though we arrived early in the afternoon, the payment line was already long. It was hot and chaotic but the place was filled with this kind of energy that would make you really giddy and excited. People were milling around and books were everywhere. Some were kind of ''harassing'' NBS staffs who were carrying boxes filled with new books to display so they could immediately get their hands on whatever books were there inside. It's like the zombie apocalypse just substitute brains for books.

Whoever this lady in blue is, thank you for being my muse. :P

There were no push carts available anymore so we have to literally haul our books in makeshift boxes so we could carry them around. After about 3 hours of shopping and lining up in the payment counter, my friend and I were dirty and sweaty all over. And then we have to commute home with the box.

This box was so heavy! But thinking that it's filled with good stuffs made it somehow lighter. 
We were exhausted but it was really worth it. Up to 80% off on books and school materials! It was like heaven for someone like me. 

The outcome of the book sale conquest.

Minus the school stuffs, I spent just around P 750 ($18) on books. I took home 7 hardbacks, 1 audiobook and 1 paperback, all in good condition!


The breakdown: 

~Brisingr by Christopher Paolini (Audiobook) -- from P 2015 ($49) to 200 ($4.8)
~Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin -- from P 515 ($12.5) to 50 ($1.2)
~Lucky Breaks by Susan Patron -- from P 615 ($15) to 100 ($2.4)
~Firebirds Soaring (Anthology) -- from P 785 ($19) to P 75 ($1.8)
~The Necromancer by Michael Scot -- from P 625 ($15.2) to P 75 ($1.8)
~Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr -- from P 645 ($15.7) to P 50 ($1.2)
~Passing Strange by Daniel Waters -- from P 615 ($15) to 50 ($1.2)
~Stop in the Name of Pants! by Louise Rennison -- from P 569 ($13.8) to P 50 ($1.2)
~Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? -- from P 615 ($15) to P 100 ($2.4)



Look at these new beauties! I went home very satisfied indeed! :D By the way guys, you could still make it to the sale. Today is the last day and it will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM. Seriously, you have to go. For more details click here

So what books did you get this week?
Leave your link on your own book haul post down below!

P.S. I have a giveaway going on. Everyone is welcome to enter.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin

Read from August 8, 2012
to August 9, 2012
Book: Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy by Nikki Loftin
Publication Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Number of Pages: 304
Genre/s: Middle Grade

When Lorelei's old school mysteriously burns down, a new one appears practically overnight: Splendid Academy. Rock-climbing walls on the playground and golden bowls of candy on every desk? Gourmet meals in the cafeteria, served by waiters? Optional homework and two recess periods a day? It's every kids's dream.

But Lorelei and her new friend Andrew are pretty sure it's too good to be true. Together they uncover a sinister mystery, one with their teacher, the beautiful Ms. Morrigan, at the very center.

Then Andrew disappears. Lorelei has to save him, even if that means facing a past she'd like to forget – and taking on a teacher who's a real witch.

What Lorelei and Andrew discover chills their bones – and might even pick them clean! - From Goodreads
''Use your imagination, Lorelei, and your whole life can be a fairy tale."

I've read Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy back in August. I know my review is splendidly late and my memory of the details in this book are blurry at most, but I could tell you that Sinister Sweetness is a unique, entertaining read.

Actually, what stuck to me was the sand. Oh, of course the never ending Skittles supplies and any candy imaginable was quite sumptuous and heavenly to think about but what I most remember was the part wherein Lorelei and Andrew ate the sand. Well, not exactly like that but they did eat the sand.

OK, we're not getting anywhere. In all honesty, I would've incredibly enjoyed Sinister Sweetness if I've read it when I was a kid. Growing up as a strange kid, I loved everything chilly and spooky. I craved to  read about witches, ghosts, and creepy entities. So really, this book would just be right up my alley. I know that's not fair since it's an MG book and I knew what I'm getting myself into but there are some MG books around that cater to both kids and adults-who-are-still-hang-up-on-reading-kids-book (like me!) . Basically, while this book would be enjoyable for adults, too, I think kids would devour this up more. 

Sinister Sweetness doesn't shy away from being dark and creepy at times. Lorelei is an adorable kid although she's branded as quite the troublemaker and she carry this guilt inside of her that makes her a bit edgy. In the end though, her true character shined through.  

Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy doesn't just boast a gorgeous cover and one of the most longest and intriguing title I've ever seen but it speaks volume about forgiveness and finding your true self in the most dreadful situations. This is Loftin's debut novel and I'm definitely looking forward to her future works, MG or not.

I'm still hang up on this though: I can't believe that another type of almond in wrong mixtures and doses could produce cyanide, a deadly poison. But thanks for the heads-up, Nikki! 

Photobucket
4 Cupids
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (11): The Archived


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Book: The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption. - From Goodreads

YOU GUYS! This book is going to be so big next year. I'm telling you. I can feel it in my bones. This book is like a firework waiting to explode. I happen to read a sneak peek in Netgalley, thanks to Hyperion and it's so gooood. For full coverage, you should click here.

It feels like torture because we have to wait til' January to read this. *stares in space*

What are you waiting on?
Leave your link down below so I can check yours out.

P.S. Want to WIN a pre-order of this book? Chase.......this. ;) 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

Read from October 3 2012
to October 12, 2012 
Book: The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Number of Pages: 586
Genre/s: Young Adult, Mythology

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close— the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare... - From Goodreads

"Being a hero doesn't mean you're invincible. It just means that you're brave enough to stand up and do what's needed."

Rick Riordan did it again, folks. He did it again.

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he keeps coming up with these kind of stories. He keeps on going, churning, cracking; I'm afraid he's never going to stop. My poor, poor emotions. *sniffs*

In this latest installment, seven demigods must accomplished a seemingly impossible task to save Rome from the evil awakening of Gaea and follow the mark of Athena. But it wasn't going to be easy. As always, they have to faced gazillions of monsters, trick creepy and sinister gods, and withstand deadly plots left and right.

These demigods coming from two opposing camps must work together in order to decode the prophecy and survive what it entails. Working together? Sounds peachy, right? But if there's anything peachy in The Mark of Athena, it would've only come out of Piper's cornucopia. First of all, their adventure didn't get off to the right start. The plan was to come to the Roman camp, make peace, and ask for their assistance in the upcoming confrontation with the forces of Gaea but it was a disaster. Now aside from running away from tracking eagles and angry Roman demigods, they must now discover a way to amend the old quarrel that's deeply rooted between the Romans and the Greeks as well as defeat their ultimate foe.

What I liked most about The Mark of Athena is the growing friendship between the demigods from different camps. It's good to see the group start to become more. At first their relationships were a little bit rusty; they're only allies and they only help each other to survive another challenge. But little by little, secrets were shared and trusts were gained.

It's also so endearing to see how the characters came to terms with their limitations and how they have to be extra resourceful to outwit their crazy, easily distracted enemies. It was a test of character in the most grueling of situations. These "monsterly" and "godly" circumstances weren't the only things they have to face because the real challenge was from within. They have to overcome their inner fears, doubts and vulnerabilities. In the process, they discovered more about themselves and realized where their strengths lay and what it truly meant. Seeing these seemingly indestructible demigods go through this made what they're going through more realistic and relatable.

The Mark of Athena was a bit on the romantic side, too, what with everyone pairing off. Also, the little stand-off between Percy and Jason was very cool to watch. Both are leaders and carry great responsibilities but we were made more aware of their stark differences. I've always been Team Percy basically because he's way cooler (oops! sorry to Jason shippers). Jason is a little uptight, quiet, and broody. Percy has this unwavering knack in scoffing at monsters that showed both his boldness and foolishness. The "spark of friendship" between the two of them while expected was a surprise to see. 

True to his way of writing, Riordan didn't fail to disappoint. Riordan's carefree, comical writing was like a breath of fresh sea air. It was a welcome deviation from the books I'm currently into now. Without a doubt, most of the funny moments came from Percy and Leo.

In The Mark of Athena, Percy, Annabeth, Leo, Jason, Piper, Hazel and Frank will embark in their most adventurous journey yet. This is another epic installment coming from one of my most favorite author in the world. I salute you, Riordan. Now please go work on the next installment. I shall hibernate until Fall 2013.

Cupid's Verdict:

Monday, November 5, 2012

1st Blogoversary Celebration + Giveaway

I celebrated my 1st ever blogoversay last November 1 to November 4, 2012. Those days signifies the hours I spent on creating my blog before my 1st ever REAL post went live. I can't believe I made it this far. It's always been said that the book blogging community is like a family and I could attest to that. I met new people, incredible, fantastic people and gained new friends across the world just because we share the same love and interest. To me, that is priceless and I am forever thankful for this community who accepted and welcome newbies like us.

I have also discovered a lot of gems I wouldn't even know exist. I squealed and swoon over hot fictional guys. My book buying which wasn't really a problem before has now actually taking over my life. 

I've changed, too. I mean, I will always be a book sniffer and a book ninja. The 99% increase in my spam emails isn't the only evidence of this change but my reading has exponentially evolved into something I'm still trying to adapt to. I don't only read for me now.  But even though blogging is one heck of a commitment and I had my fair share of book slumps which I never even have experienced before and mini-breaks that takes weeks, something always brings me back. I think I don't have to spell that out, right? ;)

Because of all you I would've never reach this milestone. Thank you so much.

WOOOOOO. The cheesefest is oooooon! This is kind of getting toxic so let me end that there. On to the giveaway business don't ya think? 

I'm particularly excited about next year book releases. You have no idea how much I'm planning on saving up just so I could snag those books. Now, I'm giving you a chance to win 1 book from 11 of my most anticipated January book release next year. It's going to be a preorder giveaway! Doesn't that sound great? YEAAAAH!

THE BIG 11

These are stand-alone novels so you guys don't have to worry about having read or rereading the previous installment/s.



***

These are second installments. Others enjoyed the first books tremendously and they were well-written but somehow they didn't work for me. But I'm still excited to read what happens next and maybe this time I will love them.


***

I love the Unearthly series so much. I just know Boundless is going to be spectacular. Whilst Boundless is the end of a series, The Archived will be the start of another one. I haven't read Legend yet but I will before Prodigy comes out. Both The Archived and Prodigy are making waves this early. *waggles eyebrows*

 

This is strictly a PRE-ORDER GIVEAWAY meaning you can only choose from the choices above. Only ONE entry is mandatory but there are additional entries to increase your chances of winning. All books are linked up to Goodreads for your perusing. This giveaway is open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your country. Enter away and good luck! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Keep Rocking! :D

Monday, October 29, 2012

Taking A Break

Well, not really. ;)
Photo taken from remoteoutposts.blogspot.com
This topic is actually kind of moot since I've been MIA since last week. I just want to make it more formal so that everyone can be assured that I'm still alive. 

Just last Sunday, my mom went ballistic and hacked my Facebook account so she could get a hold of me since by her mommy instinct I was in trouble which is not really the case. At all. I've just been asleep in my dormitory bed dreaming about something particularly important when I was still in REM sleep. Bottom line, I woke up finding everyone looking for me like I'm some kind of abducted person. 

Not that any of you care about that drama but yes, I'm really taking a break. My wide schedule was apparently not wide enough and we, graduating students, have been really busy sharping our minds these past weeks. There was no reading done but I am really going to catch up. I am going to read till I drop. Pinky swear!

I know this post has gone for far too long and I'm really eager on starting my reading marathon so I guess it's tata for now. I'll be back sometime in November to celebrate my blogoversary! I am so excited!! Can you feel it?! EEEEEP!

Also, I am praying for everyone who will be on Hurricane Sandy's path. Stay dry and safe everyone. Stack up on books, too. I promise it'll be of great help. I know. ;)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Owl Post (3)

Meme created by Brodie of Eleusinian Mysteries.
Inspired by In My Mailbox by Kristi of The Story Siren.
Hi ya guys! I AM BACK! And with my return comes the long overdue Owl Post. I haven't done one since last September. *gasp* 

This month's Owl Post is pretty tame compared with the previous one since I've been on a self-implemented Book Buying Ban mostly because I'm broke although I bend it just a teeny bit. ;) But I could say my owl was still quite happy about this.

Latter-Half of September

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna. I've preordered this even before its release but it took another month before it got here. Last Wednesday, I finally finished it. I could definitely say it's worth the wait. 

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer. I won this from a STORM blog tour before hosted by Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries and 8 other bloggers. I also won the first one, Storm and the ebook, Elemental. Spark was published just last August and as usual, I got it super later than that. Heh.  

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzch. Got this one from the Book Sale. I managed to read a few chapters and it's gory and bloody. I love it! Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. I really squealed over this one. This was from the Book Sale, too. Everyone I know loved this and I'm looking forward to reading this myself.

September 27

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. This is the new book by the Queen. I begged my parents so hard to buy me a copy of this and I have to preorder it to avail the 30% off the price because if not, I don't think I'm going to afford it. I think my charm-o-meter had been reset to 0 again due to the intense sweet-talking. But none of it matter in the end. Hmp. I've been reading this slowly and honestly, it's not the book I usually read and enjoy. Was it worth all that money? Let me get back to you on that. 

Oh yeaah. The book bag was part of the promotional marketing for the book like the Queen's name is not enough for people to buy it just because. There's also a gift card and a letter coming from the local bookstore explaining about the sudden decrease in the pricing which was quite controversial but that's actually a different story for another day.


October

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I bought  these books because I haven't started yet on my Classics Reading Challenge. Now I'm prepared and ready to start anytime, I'm just waiting for the inspiration to entice me to pick them up. 

Ravens by George Dawes Green. This was pretty pricey coming from the Book Sale but when I read the blurb at the back of the book, I was sold. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I just have to read this. That is all.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. You have no idea how much I have anticipated for this. It actually set my final exam results on fire because instead of studying, I read this. It actually took me so long to finish it because every now and then I have to pause for awhile so I could rest my hand. It hurt from trying not to crease the spine. Being a book ninja sucks especially when you're reading a thick paperback!

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I bought these two because they're so cheap and both sound promising! 

E-galleys
I always forget about them so I decided that instead of including all the missed ones, I'm just going to include the recent ones.








Thank you to Harlequin, Flux Books, St. Martin's Press, Simon & Schuster, Stoke Books, ABRAMS, Andrea K. Hösth, and Coscom Entertainment. Thank you of course to Netgalley as well! 

How about you guys? What books did you haul this weekend/month? 
Don't forget to leave your links on the comment section below 
with your own Book Haul posts! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Read from July 22, 2012
to August 8, 2012
Book: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Number of Pages: 384
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.
Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. - From Goodreads

"I love you enough to never make you choose."

Pushing the Limits surprised me. It was an emotional journey all throughout and I loved every second of it.

Both coming from a troubled, imperfect life, Noah and Echo have a lot of issues. But in an unexpected turn of events, they crossed each others path and they couldn't deny the sudden, intense attraction they felt for each other. 

Boy, I wasn't expecting this book to be heavy. It was a can full of issues and predicaments that I am entirely in awe of McGarry for really making it work. It wasn't dreary, galling nor was it ever dragging. It was drama with all the perks. I think most of what I truly loved from Pushing the Limits was the characters. The main and supporting characters were fully rounded. They were solidly developed and they were utterly real. 

Noah and Echo had an amazing chemistry together. Suffering from great losses, they were pretty messed up but together they brought each other alive. I loved seeing them grow and accept what had happened to them. It was like watching a withered rose bloom again. The scars would of course stay with them for a very long time even forever but they gave each other hope. That everything would be alright as long they're together. It was I think one of the main reasons why they completely compliment each other. 

Hooking me right from the first page, Pushing the Limits is one of my favorite contemporary read this year. I must say I found myself sniffling and feeling this tightness in my throat. McGarry had created a novel that would surely stir something in our hearts. It broke my heart in many different moments and just so you know, I'm still quite on the mending phase. 

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4 1/2 Cupids

An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Read (October 3 - 7 2012)

Book: Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Number of Pages: 304
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley

And girl created boy…

In the beginning, there was an apple—

And then there was a car crash, a horrible injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker’s head clears a strange boy named Solo is rushing her to her mother’s research facility. There, under the best care available, Eve is left alone to heal.

Just when Eve thinks she will die—not from her injuries, but from boredom—her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect... won’t he? - (source)

“It's the fate of all creators: They fall in love with their creations.” - taken from an uncorrected ARC 
Eve and Adam is a tricky book to judge. If I have read it back then, I'd surely enjoy it more. Much more.

In a way, Eve and Adam is a fluffy read for me. It almost seemed like it doesn't take itself too seriously and I really appreciated that. I had my first few laughs just a few pages in, a rare feat I guess, what with the types of book I'm reading now. So that's a really pleasant surprise.

Evening, or E.V. to Aislin or Eve to Solo, is the daughter of Terra Spiker, the owner of the Spiker Biotech. Her mother is a force to reckon with and everyone is incredibly afraid of her. Evening has been in a terrible accident and that's where he meets Solo. The boy with the blue eyes and a surfer's hair and with whom she feels strangely attracted to. But Evening isn't really normal nor is Solo who is intent to bring Terra Spiker and her corporation down.

So before we all go through this, can someone please tell me who's EmmaRose in the synopsis? Did I somehow miss this while I was reading because for all I know, Eve's mother is called Terra. OK, now that's out of the way let me continue.

There's something missing with Eve and Adam. Like something's off and I'm still trying to figure what exactly is it. It's funny and entertaining; the concept is intriguing. I just don't understand what stopped me from enjoying and loving this fully. Maybe the "carefreeness" of the writing backfired or the villains were somehow laughable and pathetic. The villains were indeed pretty pathetic which I guess is how the authors intended them to be, but I really didn't dig it so much. Eve is an OK protagonist as well but I didn't really like her as much as Solo and Aislin. 

I'm excited to see more of Adam though. Not because he's hotness-personified or traffic-stopping or jaw-dropping or cab-hailingly gorgeous but because I want to learn more about him and I want to know if he will grow to be an ordinary human boy. Oh now that sounds like Pinnochio. But perhaps, I just want to see more of Aislin in action. She could be jarringly likeable. 

Cupid's Verdict:
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2 1/2 Cupids
A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Read from August 26, 2012
to September 30, 2012
Book: Breathe (Breathe #1) by Sarah Crossan
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow 
Number of Pages: 400
Genre/s: Young Adult, Dystopia

Inhale. Exhale. 
Breathe. 
Breathe. 
Breathe . . .
The world is dead. 
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

Alina
has been stealing for a long time. She's a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she's never been caught before. If she's careful, it'll be easy. If she's careful.

Quinn
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it's also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn't every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

Bea
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they'd planned a trip together, the two of them, and she'd hoped he'd discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days' worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to? - From Goodreads


The main draw of Breathe was its synopsis. It was intriguing and I think dystopian fans would eat it up or at least put this book on their radar. I know I did. And while I wasn't really engrossed by the story, Breathe has its moments.

The first and the last part of the book were the ones I really liked. Narrated by three characters; a rebel, an Auxiliary and a Premium, it made the storytelling more diverse. But there were plenty of lull moments and it didn't help that I felt that I read this type of dystopian a thousand times before. I want something new, something that would make me think and feel. Maybe that's also the reason why although I have a short-term memory when it comes to names, Alina, Bea and Quinn would be forgotten extra fast. They're not just very memorable. 

What a harsh thing to say, no? But the thing is Crossan has a way with words and timing. At times when I feel like I'm reading just for the sake of reading and finishing the book, she comes up with something and it's like getting doused with a cold water in the face. She has a way of pulling the readers back to her story again, to make them more invested into it. There was also this quite touching scene with Quinn's father that had me aww-ing a little. 

Overall, I believe Breathe would be enjoyable for a lot of readers who are into dystopian. It didn't really work for me but I'm still definitely watching out for Crossan's future works.

Cupid's Verdict:
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An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Edelweiss

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Random Ramblings (21): Getting Right on Track

Hey guys! Some of you might have noticed how sporadic is my presence here on the blog. I've been in and out and mostly just posting prescheduled reviews. It's even hard to keep up with my Owl Posts and Waiting on Wednesday memes. I think the same could be said with my Twitter activities, although when I'm there, I'm really there. If you know what I mean. ;)

I am very much happy to announced that my schedule has cleared up for much of the foreseeable future. The requirements had let up and we graduating seniors will be in for chill times. Oh I didn't jinx it, did I?

Anyways, for those of you guys who want to know what I have been doing this past few months, it was the THESIS. Me and my thesis-mates we're neck-deep in our thesis revisions and just last Thursday, we had our thesis defense. We got a merittisimus guys. The highest grade. I think I have the right to brag a little because I almost lost my marbles before that fateful day. That was like the highlight of my week until I watched The Perks of Being A Wallflower which is superbly adapted and all kinds of amazing. A must-watch!

Image from crushable.com
PERCY JACKSON and HERMIONE GRANGER FTW!
Also, I have been catching up on my TV series just so I could be in sync with the onslaught of the latest new episodes this Fall. I've been heavily reading as well and there's a building pile of books I have yet to review.

I am also using Feedcat now. For those of you who haven't heard about the Feedburner issue, all I can understand is it's not going to be as reliable as before. However as long as its working, I'm not going to remove it but the Feedcat is here to stay. So for those of you awesome bookstrucks who want to follow that way, I'm gonna send you virtual cookies and hugs. The Feedcat is on the sidebar BTW. 

Photo by evi_vintage on Flickr
Pick your cupcake. Thank you for being awesome!
That's it guys. I am very sorry for this quite lengthy post. I guess I missed writing one! See ya guys around! 

Much love,
Sarah

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (10): The Darkest Minds

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Book: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have been cursed with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby has spent nearly half her life desperately trying to hide the fact that she’s outwitted the camp’s sorting system—that she isn’t powerless, or safe. She’s one of the dangerous ones… and everyone knows what happens to them.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of teens who escaped their own camp, pursued along the way by terrifying bounty hunters. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close to him. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Before the end, Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living. - Goodreads

I am pretty sure I will be in for a ride when I get the chance to read this. It looks like it's full of adventure with a dash of romance, perhaps? Ruby sure has a tough life ahead of her and I am definitely excited to know more and learn the details. ;)

What are you waiting on?
Leave your link down below so I can check yours out.
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