Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year-End Reflection: My Resolutions and Accomplishments

Note: There's an awesome announcement at the end of this post. 

Look at how tired I was.
2011 has been an eventful year for me. I'm on my 3rd year in college which means more exposure to clinical settings and tons of additional workloads. Then I started blogging last November 2011 and now I’m entering another year and celebrating 3-months in the blogging world.

Although I just started, I’m not unfamiliar to reviewing and blogging. I have been reviewing since 2009(my first reviews were horrible, Ack!) on Goodreads and I have been following and reading blogs far, far back. Making my own blog held my interest for a time but I felt like I was not yet ready to start one.

Then out of the blue while visiting a blog, I thought of Smitten over Books. I was so excited because I think it was the sign for me to go build my blog. Thinking it would be easy, I made an account on Blogger.  I could never be more mistaken.  

Pulling Hair Syndrome
Signing up was easy but creating your own blog from scratch was one heck of a job. It requires a lot of time and effort, tears and a few loose hair just to get one running. But what a blast it was. It’s fun to have your own little corner in the big world of fiction, where you can say everything you want and share your love for books.  Meeting new bloggers and talking with my long-loved bloggers is enough payment for the hardships I’ve encountered.

Hardships. Too strong a word for a 2-month old blogger. But I kid you not when I say I struggled. A lot. What with all the workloads in school, paper works to be submitted, reports to be done, I just couldn’t squeeze enough time to read and review books and then post them here. Plus, I have to figure out HTML by myself. My mortal nemesis since High School.

**Lady Gaga cat version
But here I am now nearing 100 followers(I'm actually 1 person away from reaching it, major cliffhanger of the year!) with 106 followers on GFC, with 128/5 subscribers on RSS/email and feeling much like Lady Gaga. I squealed with delight every time somebody comments on my post or share it with others. I almost killed myself by holding my breath too long when my favorite bloggers visited my blog. And that my friend, I realized is the joy in blogging. You meet new friends, talk with other fellow readers and bloggers and share your passion. That’s more than a humbly blogger like me could ask.

I also discovered that the blogging world is a very welcoming and supportive community. They would help without you even asking and I've never felt so accepted in my life. As cliched as this may sound, I feel like I really belong here. Yes, I have wonderful friends at school but I never had that one friend that I could really talk incessantly about my latest read. But now I have so many friends who share the same passion as mine. I could never be more happy.

So what better way to keep blogging as fun this coming year than to make a blogging resolution. Here's mine:
Kidding! Even these kittehs have their own resolutions:
**Hear, hear!
**She should go for Option B,
don't you think?

Now here are my 2012 blogging resolutions. For realz:

1. I will try to post at least thrice a week. (I hope!)
2. I will read more books.(I hope 2x)
3. I will write a review right after I finish a book. (Heh)
4. I will connect more with other bloggers. (Win!)
5. I will not procrastinate. (*silence*)

I still have a lot to learn. But knowing that someone out there is watching my progress and cheering me on just makes the process so worth it. Now it’s time to hear your blogging story. What's your blogging resolutions for 2012? Feel free to share a link of your post about your own Year-End Reflections in the comment section below. Happy New Year and may we have another fun blogging year ahead! :)

Now for the announcement: Watch out for a very fabulous giveaway dedicated to all my awesome followers. Oh, that's you! Yeah, you! :D

**Pictures are taken from the world wide web.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Follow Friday # 1

Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. This week's featured bloggers are Kristin Can Read and Ex Libris.

Question of the Week:  
The New Year is here -- and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

I think this is a very nice question for my first ever Follow Friday post. Personally, I don't do a New Year's resolution list because I just tend to break them and look the other way when I did. :)

But here's my New Year's blogging resolutions:

1. I'm trying to add a post slider/feature slider on my blog but it's really hard. Everytime I try to do one, it looks like a giant box of nothingness. So I'd really try to make it work this 2012.
2. I'll comment more. I make it a point that when someone visited my blog and leave a comment, I'd reply as fast as I can. I'll keep doing this and visit more blogs.

And I think that's all. I'm proud of my blog the way it is and I'll keep it that way. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year!

Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Covers

For the last day of this fabulous 5-day long recap by Inkcrush, the theme is: Top 10 Fave covers picked from my 2011 book read.
Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards
created by Inkcrush
Without further ado, these are My Top Ten Best Covers:

10. Fractured Light

9. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
8. The Son of Neptune

7. Hallowed

6. Across The Universe
5. Wither 

4. A Certain Slant of Light

3. Unearthly
2. Everneath
1. Incarnate

And that's it for this 5-day long Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards courtesy of Nomes from Inkcrush. If you made your own list, feel free to share it and leave a link below the comment section. Happy New Year! :)

Just in case you missed the previous posts:
-Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Books
-Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Characters
-Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Scenes
-Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Random

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Random

We're on Day 4 and today's theme is:
Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards
created by Inkcrush

1. Fave first sentence: "It was too soon."  from Everneath by Brodi Ashton

For some reason, that first sentence resounded the most too me this year.

2. Fave book title: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I think the title perfectly describes the book.

3. Fave reading experience: Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan

I was all in when I read this. I find myself laughing, swooning and getting scared all at the same time.

4. Book with the most sensual weather (made you shiver/sweat): Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Especially the part wherein Katsa was in the mountains and there's snow everywhere. 

5. Most embarrassing book coverEnchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

This book deserves a gorgeous cover. I mean, look at that gargoyle. Ugh.

6. Can’t believe you waited this long to read the book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Yes, I've been living under the rock all these years.

7. Book you'd give your mum to read: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

My mom loved to read when she was younger, and Just Listen would definitely get her back on the reading track.

8. Book you'd give your dad to read: The Missing by Chris Mooney

I've never seen my Dad read but if I'll give him a book, I think he will go for the thriller type.

9. Book you'd like to give your past-self to read: Angus Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

This book was extremely hilarious. I can see my past self worshiping Georgia and mirroring her craziness.

10. Book that lived up to or superseded the hype: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Everything about this book is excellent so it's no surprise many have fallen in love with this book.

11. Book you stayed the latest to finish: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

This book was addicting. It started slowly at first and then went full blast on the later half.

12. Book you were dying to get your hands on the most: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

From the moment I read the synopsis of this book, I was sold. Plus, Melina Marchetta is one of my favorite authors.

13. Fattest brick of a book you read (by page count): Feed by Mira Grant
Page Count: 583 pages. Every page was worth it.

14. Killer cliffhanger award: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Best cliffhanger ever although the ending did killed me a bit.


Your turn! :) Share your own list and leave a link down below. And stay tuned tomorrow for the Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Covers.

Just in case you missed the previous posts, you can see them again here:
-Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Books
-Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Characters
-Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Scenes

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Giveaway Alert!: New Year Giveaway by Jelly Loves Books

Pam of Jelly Loves Books is hosting a New Year Giveaway. :) 

To enter you simply have to be a follower on her blog via GFC or NetworkedBlogs. This giveaway will run from December 28, 2011 to January 18, 2012 and is open to Philippine residents only. Click here to enter. Good luck!

Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Scenes

We're on Day 3 and the award category for this day is:
Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards
created by Inkcrush

Honestly, I had trouble finding the best parts of the books I chose for some of the categories. And I think I strained my brain a bit, so yes, I do sucked at taking notes. I'll really make it a habit next year.

1. Best first chapter: Across The Universe by Beth Revis

When I've read the first chapter, I knew Across The Universe would be awesome. Here's the last few paragraphs from Chapter 1.

"I am ice.

But if I’m ice, how am I conscious? I was supposed to be asleep;(...)People have been cryo frozen before me, and none of them were conscious. The mind is frozen; it cannot be awake or aware.(...)

Maybe I’m dreaming now. I’ve dreamt a lifetime in a thirty-minute nap. Maybe I’m still in that space between frozen and not, and this is all a dream. Maybe we haven’t left Earth yet. Maybe I’m still in that limbo year before the ship launches, and I’m stuck, trapped in a dream I can’t wake from.

Maybe I’ve still got three hundred and one years stretching out before me. 

Maybe I’m not even asleep yet. Not all the way.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I only know one thing for certain.

I want my year back."

2. Best climax: Feed by Mira Grant

When the climax came, I was clutching my heart like I was the one shot. Oh my God, I almost... No, that's not a spoiler. Just don't think about it too much.

3. Best ending: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

The ending was sweet. No spoilers, though. So that's all I can say.

4. Best plot twist/revelation: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

If you've read my Day 2 post, you'd know how I was shocked by the turn-out of Evanjalin's character in Finnikin of the Rock. I really didn't see it coming. And the plot twist at the end of Deadline just blew my head off. I think I was staring at the book with disbelief for about an hour. No kidding!

5. Scariest/most disturbing scene: The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith

Everything about The Marbury Lens was really disturbing but what really did get me was the part where Jack was kidnapped. Really creepy.

6. Steamiest scene: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

I can't give an excerpt because it's too vivid and has adult content. :)

7. Best swoon-worthy moment: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Etienne and Anna's telephone conversation! While I was reading it I think I have this huge grin plastered across my face the whole time. It's so sweet. 

"...It's more like... I miss this. This warmth over the telephone. Is it possible for home to be a person not a place? 

Bridgette used to be home to me. Maybe St. Clair is my new home. 

I mull this over as our voices grow tired and we stop talking. We just keep each other company. My breath. His breath. My breath. His breath.

I could never tell him, but it's true.

This is home. The two of us." -Chapter 29

8. Most hilarious scene: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

I've just re-read the email conversation between Etienne and Anna from Anna and The French Kiss and it just doesn't fail to crack me up.

And from Angus, Thongs is the part where Georgia almost shaved half her eyebrow by accident.

As well as this part:
Wednesday, December 2nd. 

8:30 a.m. 
Dashing out of the house, Jas and I almost fell into Mark, waiting by the corner. Jas (big pal) said she had to run to her house first and she would see me at school. I went a bit red and walked on with him walking beside me. He said, "Have you got a boyfriend?" 
I was speechless. What is the right answer to that question? I tell you what the right answer is... a lie, that's the right answer. So I said, "I've just come out of a heavy thing and I'm giving myself a bit of space." 
He looked at me. He really did have the biggest gob [mouth:] I have ever seen. "So is that no?" 
And I just stood there and then this really weird thing happened... he touched my breast!!! I don't mean he ripped my blouse off, he just rested his hand on the front of my breast. Just for a second, before he turned and went off to school. 

12:30 p.m. 
What does it mean when a boy rests his hand on your breast? Does it mean he has a megahorn? Or was his hand just tired? 

4:30 p.m. 
Why am I even thinking about this? No sign of Mark (the breast molester) when I got home, thank goodness. 

4:45 p.m. 
Still, you would think if a boy rests his hand on your breast he might bother to see you sometime. 

9. Most heart-breaking/tear-jerker moment: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Let me share 3 of my favorite quotes.

"But still, I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I'll get through today." 

“You know, I thought about that a lot these last couple of years," She says in a choked voice. "About who was there for you. Who held your hand while you grieved for all that you'd lost?”

But I’d do it again. I know that now. I’d make that promise a thousand times over and lose her a thousand times over to have heard her play last night or to see her in the morning sunlight. Or even without that. Just to know that she’s somewhere out there. Alive."

And that's it for Day 3. Have your own 2011 Book Recap? Share it by commenting and leaving a link down below. :) And stay tuned tomorrow for the Faves of TwentyEleven Book Awards: The Random

Just in case you missed the previous posts, you can read them again here:

Announcement: Team Katniss Twitter Party + Giveaway!

In the spirit of the YA Tournament of Heroines hosted by the YA Sisterhood, I'm all pumped up for this Friday, 30th of December clash between Katniss(Hunger Games) and Alex(Half-blood). Who am I cheering on? Katniss Everdeen! Oh yes, she's been one of my girls in this Heroine Tourney and I am so happy to see she's pushing through to the 3rd round.

So the lovely, Penelope from The Reading Fever (Katniss' advocate) has asked me along with 3 other bloggers to announce this very exciting party for all of us Team Katniss. 

That's exactly 1 hour before the voting opens. Let's all unite Team Katniss and deliver yet again another successful win for Katniss! 

Now for the giveaway(Hosted by Penelope)

Glass Pendants!
For a bigger image, click here.
Pretties, aren't they?  I like the one with the blazing fire best!
These are also made by Penelope herself, cool no? Some will be given during the Team Katniss Twitter party next week but you can pick your choice now of one pendant by entering

You can also show your support by adding this wonderful buttons and banners on your own blog and by changing your Twitter/blog background for the maximum blackout effect. ;)

Get the code.

Get the code.

Get the code.

Get the code.

Twitter/blog background:
Get the code.

For more info about this awesome Team Katniss Blackout, head here

Let's rock it Team Katniss! See you this Thursday! :)
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