Monday, October 29, 2012

Taking A Break

Well, not really. ;)
Photo taken from
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.


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! 

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. 

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

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.

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.

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:

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
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,

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.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Read (August 19 - 26, 2012)
Book: Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin
Publication Date: October 4, 2012
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Number of Pages: 360
Genre/s: Young Adult, Dystopia
Source: ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back. - (source)

It was Under the Never Sky all over again.

In all honesty, I was so much looking forward to reading Crewel. I read so many favorable reviews about it and the premise really got my attention that not shortly thereafter I began pining for it. I was expecting a lot of squealing with the likes of "OMG" / "HOLY SHIDOODLES" / "FRAKING FANTASTIC" / "SQUEEEEE!" / "BESTBOOKEVUH!" / "AMAZINGBALLS". But unfortunately, I didn't get what I was expecting.

Sometimes when you read a book and no matter how insanely unlikeable it is when you take into consideration your reading standards, you will still like it or even love it. But there are also times when a book that you should supposed to like or love just fails to capture you. That "thing" that will make or break a book could be a single element or the entirety of the book but when that "thing" is  present, everything will surely work out. 

Just like what happened with Under the Never Sky, I can't seem to pinpoint just when did Crewel start to lose me. It started really well. It was unputdownable, I immediately fell in love with the protagonist, Adelice, I felt a connection with her family, the concept was interesting and the pacing was just right.

However, when it did start to take off, I really had trouble keeping much of the enthusiasm I had when it started. Probably because I didn't think it would turn out the way it did. What am I talking about? Well, Adelice's perpective of the Spinster's coventry was it's not as glamorous as they painted it out to be. I second that. The moment Adelice started living the life of Spinster, I just lost her. 

The bad guys were unbelievably weak. I don't believe she would get away with so much if they weren't so pathetic. Also, I don't care at all with the love triangle. For me, it was unnecessary and it did nothing to help gripped me with the story.

It was highly technical, too. While the concept is intriguing and interesting, I had problems grasping how the weaving and time works. I had a hard time feeling the story because I wasn't able to understand how it works in the first place. In some books, I could get passed that but in Crewel, it seems like I keep being jolted out of its world because I have to stop and think about what I read at times.

However, Albin's delivery of the story is highly commendable. She had in mind a fantastic story and if not for her writing, I would've have liked it much less. Although, I had problems understanding the concept of weaving itself, I love that she didn't bombard the readers with details regarding the world she created in just one blow. She did it piece by piece and I appreciated it. I especially love that it wasn't until the last chapters of the book, that we knew what year the setting was in.

Crewel had a lot of potential. I wouldn't go far as to say it didn't live up to it because in a way it did stand up to its premise. And despite my reservations and quite lukewarm feelings with Crewel, I'm still looking forward to its sequel.

3 1/2 Cupids
A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review.
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