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:
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! 

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!


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

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