Monday, December 24, 2012

BOOK BLURB: Every Day


Every DayEvery Day by David Levithan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

In his New York Times bestselling novel, David Levithan introduces readers to what Entertainment Weekly calls a "wise, wildly unique" love story about A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life.

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. 

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

With his new novel, David Levithan, bestselling co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.


***

Date Read: September 29, 2012

Can I just say that I am extremely distraught after reading Every Day? Not in a bad way, of course. Wow! I cannot express clearly how I feel about A after that ending, which was beautiful but was heart-breaking at the same time.

I'll start with the ending... I find the ending very satisfying and beautiful, relationship-wise. I didn't know how their relationship would play out eventually. I didn't know how they would resolve their issues, but the ending David Levithan gave was enough for me to feel content with the story. Even though I still had some questions about A, I guess I the book made me believe that some questions are better off unanswered. :) Some people might not like the ending that much, but I really did. If I you're the kind of person who easily tears up, you'll probably be crying after reading this. And to the very admirable A, I salute you!

What I also like about the book was how insightful it was. It gave me glimpses of the lives of different people with different personal issues. That's one of the things that kept me going. I was curious who's the next person to be inhabited by A.

Now, as much as I want to say I love every moment of the book, I can't. Because I didn't. At first, I had issues with A's feelings and personality. But that went away after a few chapters. I was also struggling a bit with the first few chapters because I can't seem to get into my reading mode (I guess that's just me, not the book. Hahahaha...)

Amazing book! Recommended to everyone. :D


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BOOK BLURB: Before I Fall

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

***

Date Read: September 10, 2012

Sam Kingston and her friends are the popular girls in school and they get away with most of the things they do. They skip classes, make fun of people, etc... the usual bitchy stuff. Yes, they are definitely annoying and frustrating to the point that you'd want to hit each one of them on their heads. But when Sam dies one night and wakes up on the same day for the next seven days, she eventually gets a better look of everything around her.

Simple words cannot describe how I feel about this book. If you have ever read any of my rants about books, I usually say that a great book makes you feel a lot of things. And yes, I felt so many different emotions while reading Before I Fall. I felt annoyed, a little disgusted, pity, sorrow, and a bit of thrill. It made me furious at some point, but eventually, it touched my heart and I know it will leave a mark there. But most of all, I felt the love - the love for family, the love for friends and finding the love from someone who's really worth it.

The story, I think, is realistic (or atleast close to reality). I really find the idea of waking up for seven days on the last day of your life intriguing (not really the word I'm aiming for). Somehow, it makes you think of the possibility of that idea. What if that's how death or dying really works out? You repeat your last day over and over again until realization and acceptance hits you. Generally, it's not a depressing story about life and death (which I thought it was before). For me, I guess it's about  how you come to see yourself through others. It's hard to explain, but I guess that's how a great book leaves you - at a loss for words. :)

Before I end this simple pseudo-review, I just need to say that I love Kent! *I don't know if the succeeding sentences will count as a spoiler. Please just read with caution. Hahahaha...* He is such a wonderful guy and I kinda hate Sam for ignoring him all those years. But atleast her real senses came back and she finally sees Kent for the first time in years. I always get those tingles in my stomach when Kent and Sam have their moments. Awww...:)

There! So much love for Before I Fall. I felt satified with everything. It started and ended just right. FIVE MAGNIFICENT STARS! :)

*By the way, I love the seventh day! :)

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BOOK BLURB: Wanderlove

Author: Kirsten Hubbard 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 338
Date Published: March 13, 2012
First Published: March 8, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Goodreads:

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.


*** 
My Thoughts:
(Date Read: September 6, 2012)
A few of the reasons why I really enjoyed and loved Wanderlove:
1. The Setting. That's number one for me. The way the story was told, it's like you've been transported instantly to Central America, feeling like a backpacker yourself.

BOOK BLURB: My Life Next Door


My Life Next DoorMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.


***

Date Read: September 1, 2012

I decided to be bold and give My Life Next Door FIVE STARS!! :D This is probably just because of the reading hangover, but the who cares? We all experience that sometimes.

Let me get back to my point: I LOVE every word and every moment of this book. Yes, I may be overreacting which might be another effect of the book/reading hangover. My feelings might change after a few weeks. But right now, I'm totally overwhelmed by my admiration for this book.

My Life Next Door is basically about family, friends, love and life. It started out light and funny, progressed and got a little rough, which really makes you hold on to it and continue reading. I've felt so many different emotions while reading this and I know that's a good thing. :)

There are a lot of things to love about this book. Aside from the plot, some the characters are hard to get off your head. Some of the ones that I really like are:

(1) George and Patsy are one of my favorites - the walking encyclopedia boy, or in George's case, the walking Discovery Channel and the baby who has a breast preference and who's first word is boob. They are like little disasters waiting to happen, but because they are cute little toddlers, they get away with it.
(2) Andy and bada** Alice!!
(3) Tim!!!
(4) Jase and Sam (of course!)

The Garretts, in general, are the ones I really love. Although they are quite noisy chaotic because of their number, they are a family. And there's nothing better than a family that stays together and loves each other. Awwwww!

Now, Jase and Sam! How perfect!? Their relationship wasn't hurried or forced at all. It went slow and steady. There were a lot of make-out sessions, but please don't blame them. They are normal hormonal teenagers. Hahahahaha! It was cute and simple but you can feel the tingles all over. It just makes you wanna sigh and think about them. Individually, they are both wonderful people. But Jase is just too good to be true. He is just too nice, and extremely loving to his family, and he's handsome, and he can fix things and... Oh I remember! He is a fictional character. hahahaha!

The ending was cute, but I wasn't really satisfied with it. I thought there were some things that still needs to be told or elaborated. But yeah, it was more than okay, but not to the best I've read.

I would type more things about the book, but I'm afraid I might spoil those who haven't read it yet. So I guess it will end here. :)

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BOOK BLURB: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Number of Pages: 390
Date Published: January 3, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction / Retelling

Goodreads:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.


My Thoughts:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

BOOK BLURB: Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1)

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.


***

Date Read: August 29, 2012

Whew! Finally! After 21 days of struggling to finish the book, I'm finally done with Beautiful Creatures. Now don't get me wrong. It took me 3 weeks to finish not because it wasn't good or anything like that. I was just really busy and Beautiful Creatures wasn't the kind of book that gets you all distracted from your work. It didn't meet my expectations, thus, leaving me a bit disappointed.

To be honest, I felt detached from the story and the characters while reading this. I just couldn't make sense of it at first. I felt like the book/story was supposed to be dark and mysterious, but it wasn't as dark and mysterious as I hoped it would be. I didn't even feel the spark between Ethan and Lena's relationship. It's like they didn't have enough chemistry together. Their relationship was a bit hurried, I think. It was like Ethan saying, "I want something different. The new girl is different. Now, I want her to be my girlfriend."

I didn't like Ethan that much. And Lena, too. I didn't like Gatlin. (Ugh! All the thoughts that are coming out are negative thoughts. Sorry!)

Sorry if my thoughts about the book turned out like that. There had been a lot of great reviews for this book and I guess I got carried away. I raised my expectations high and look where it got me.

I actually debated whether to give this book a two or three rating. I settled with three because there were still some parts that got me entertained.

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BOOK BLURB: The Selection (The Selection #1)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


***

Date Read: August 25, 2012

The Selection had to be one of my fastest YA reads to date. And I really tried not to get the criticisms about the book get in my head and cloud my judgements. I don't know if I successfully did it, but here goes nothing.

As most of us know, there had been an issue about the book/author. I don't remember much, but I set that aside when I read this. Thankfully, The Selection wasn't bad. I actually liked it. No, I did not squirm in delight when there were romantic moments. But it was enough to grab my interest and keep me reading.

America didn't annoy me like what other readers/reviewers experienced. What bothers me, really, is the fact that it was so obvious she was different from all the other girls. It was like being rubbed on your face that she stood out, that she's special. And to top it off, she's completely oblivious to this. Hahahaha...

I know it doesn't really make sense comparing this to the Hunger Games, but there were parts that America's situation reminded me of Katniss - the makeover, the new environment they are temporary living in, her liking for the delicacies, the interviews, the televised programs. It was like the Hunger Games all over again. Hahahaha... Well, not really. Just those parts. It felt a bit unoriginal.

Now, let's go to our boys, the ex-boyfriend, Aspen, and the crowned prince, Maxon (By the way, how do pronounce Maxon's name? Is it like Mey-son or Max-son?). Oh no! Who is she going to pick? Her ex-boyfriend who she still loves or the prince who she's starting to develop feelings for? (Please note the hint of sarcasm. Hahahaha!) As usual, I always choose who I'm rooting for. And I'm going for Aspen all the way. Why? Because I always go for the guys with dark hair. (Hahahaha... That's a stupid answer.)

In a more serious note, I didn't like the part when she was like cheating on both of them. It felt like America kissed one of them because she can't have the other at the moment, or because she's mad. And vice versa. But, whatever. I'm still rooting for Aspen, even though the book didn't quite picture him enough and was mostly about Maxon's niceness.

You can't have a story without the people wanting to bring down the main character. And here, we have the typical b*tchy elite girl who's used to get everything she wants. Somehow, I didn't feel much of her presence as the villain among the girls. Mainly because America's almost always preoccupied with her own issues to pay attention to her. Yes, she had her mean and devilish moments, but I guess I was expecting more from her, like I want her to really be despicable. (wow! How weird is that?)

So there!! I think that's all I can type write now. I tried and finished. Yay me! Hahahaha... 3.5 stars for The Selection. Since I'm feeling incredibly nice today, I'm going to click the 4th star instead of the 3rd. And I have to hand it to the book. It had me gripped on to it the whole day. :)

Oh! One more thing... I really loved how the importance of family was shown in some parts of the book. That families, no matter what, stick together and accept each other for whatever each do. *sighs* There! Bye! :)

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BOOK BLURB: Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1)


Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

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.


***

Date Read: August 6, 2012

Pushing the Limits wasn't what I expected it to be. I thought I wouldn't like it that much, but oh boy!! Was I mistaken. I didn't see that coming.

The story revolves around the lives of Noah and Echo (strange name but you'll get used to it and eventually, you'll start to like it), told in alternating point of views. Both of them have messed up family and social lives. Both of them experienced loss and grief. Both of them never expected fate to bring them together in one of their roughest times. That even though they are somehow worlds apart, they managed to reach out to one another and touch each other's lives.

My blurb!!! I really don't  know what to say. The book kept me reading 'til after midnight (that's one good sign) and I really did like it. I love the Romeo/Juliet thing going on. I love the characters as well especially Noah. Hahahahaha.. (yeah!! bad boy but really nice and sweet inside... my favorite)

So, all in all, 4 starssssss :) Thanks Ms. McGarry.

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BOOK BLURB: Among the Nameless Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #0.5)

Among the Nameless Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #0.5)Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Before Kai joined the Cloud Fleet, he wandered… AMONG THE NAMELESS STARS

Four years before the events of FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS, the servant Kai left the North Estate, the only home he’d ever known, and Elliot North, the only girl he ever loved, in search of a better life. But the journey was not an easy one.

Featuring narrow escapes, thrilling boat races and at least one deadly volcanic wasteland.


***

Date Read: July 30, 2012

Among the Nameless Stars is said to be the "prequel" to For Darkness Shows the Stars. I, personally, wouldn't call it a prequel because it didn't really happen before everything else in the book. Maybe just a filler story. (hahahaha.. stupid ideas interrupting my train of thought.)

Anyway, as I've expected, I love this story because:

(1) Kai still writes letters or thinks of writing letters to Elliot, even though he keeps telling himself not to. I always love people sending letters (or just writing) to each other. For me, it's one of the sincerest ways a person can express how he or she feels. Kai and Elliot's letters really reaches out to the readers and captures them until they can't get enough it. This story is no different. Although Kai held a grudge against Elliot, he always made it clear in his unsent letters that he still cares for her. It's hard to explain, but there's something about guys who writes beautiful letters.

(2) We get a taste of Kai's life after he left the North Estate. How he struggled and fought to survive. How he met Andromeda and Donovan and the Innovations. It wasn't a good experience but it wasn't the worst as compared to what other Posts experienced. He had a lot of bad times but he stayed strong. He realized how lucky he was but still he wanted more, and he strived hard to get what he wanted. I just didn't like the part when he wanted to succeed because he wanted Elliot to regret her decision of not coming with him. But later on, that wasn't the case anymore.

My rating may be a little biased because I've read this after reading For Darkness Shows the Stars. My judgement may be a bit clouded by how I felt for FDSTS, so I might not point out other things that got me concerned in this story. But who cares? Hahahaha..

Oh wait! I think I forgot something. I would have liked it better if it also revealed their journey as the Cloud Fleet up until the time he becomes Captain Malakai Wentforth. That's all. :)

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BOOK BLURB: For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars #1)

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's persuasion, "For Darkness Shows the Stars" is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.


***

Date Read: July 29, 2012

I do not know if I'm going to feel sad or happy that I haven't read Persuasion by Jane Austen yet. All I know, as of the moment, is that I extremely love this dystopian book inspired by an Austen classic. My thoughts and feelings shall be poured out after our exam later.

** frustrating exam over, UPDATE **


For me, there are three major types of reading experiences. First, you start to read the book and at some point, you just lose the enthusiasm to finish it. Second, you start to read a book and you like it enough to finish it. And the third, from the moment you started reading the book, you wouldn't want to let go of it. The third one is my favorite, and that's how I felt reading For Darkness Shows the Stars.

For Darkness Shows the Stars is a dystopian story inspired by a classic book by Jane Austen. After reading the book, I don't know if I should feel sorry for myself that I haven't read Jane Austen's Persuasion yet. Or if I should feel glad that I could marvel Diana Peterfreund's work by the book itself and not as a comparison to the Austen classic. Maybe I should feel both, or maybe neither. *shrugs* But what matters, really, is the fact that I sacrificed my "study time" just so I could read this and it was worth it (maybe not, if I failed the exam. Hahahaha.) My expectations were set high and not a moment was a disappointment.

One of the things I really liked about the book was the "years ago" chapters which showed Elliot and Kai's exchange of letters. In those letters, you saw how they grew up, how they matured and how their relationship bloomed. You really saw the change in them through their letters. From the petty child talk they exchanged, it became a more serious and secretive conversation that only the two of them shared.

Another thing I loved about the book was its realism and how it really held my emotions within its pages. It's amazing how the book can send your stomach in overdrive with only words. Not only that, the characters have the ability to make you really like them. They weren't perfect, physically, mentally or emotionally. They were made real.

I love a lot of things in this book, but I don't know how to put them in words that would do justice to what I feel. Maybe I'll just end it there. Whether I've read Persuasion or not, I'm sure I'd still love this book. It got me hooked from the moment I started reading it and still got me thinking about it days later. Book hangover, some people may call it. But it is, without a doubt, reading experience number three.

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teepee J

Friday, December 21, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Holiday Book Giveaway by Lindsay Cummings

This is basically a copy of Lindsay Cummings blog post about her  holiday giveaway :)


REQUIEM releases March 5, 2013 from HarperCollins
UNRAVEL ME Releases Feb 5, 2013 from HarperCollins
SHARDS AND ASHES releases Feb 19, 2013 from HarperCollins
These are all books from my publisher, Harper. These books totally influenced my writing of THE MURDER COMPLEX, and so, to give back, I'm spreading the word before their 2013 releases!! :) 

GIVEAWAY
I have ONE advanced reader copy of REQUIEM and UNRAVEL ME , an ARC of SHARDS&ASHES up for grabs, and because yall hit 5k entries, I have a SIGNED COPY OF DIVERGENT. Get it super early! Trust me...these books both rock so much!! :)
To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter form below! 3 winners, 1 book each! 
good luck you guys! There's lots of opportunities to gain extra entries, and if you tweet every day, you get even more! :)

Here's the LINK :)



teepee J

Thursday, December 20, 2012

GIVEAWAY: 2013 Releases International Giveaway (3 Winners!)

The year is almost over and 2013 is just around the corner. In a few days, one year will come to a close and another will begin. So.. what do I want for 2013...?? MORE BOOKS!!!

There's a giveaway happening at BOOKISH where there will be 3 winners who'll get a chance to pick a book of their choice from any of the 2013 releases. How awesome is that? So head on to BOOKISH to enter :)

*edit*

oooh!!! There's another giveaway going on on her blog. The winner will get a box of books, 10 picks!!! :)) here's the link :

If It Fits It Ships [10 books of choice GIVEAWAY]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MOVIE MADNESS: Pitch Perfect (2012) + Christmas Break

Advance Merry Christmas everybody (or to anyone reading this). It is officially the start of my Christmas break! Yahoooooooo!!! I have a week and approximately 6 days until classes start again, and I am going to make the most out of my unsupervised days!! hahahahahaha!!! Well, my idea of fun is just simple - movies and books. What? Disappointed? No parties? No getaways? Hahahahaha... Sorry, that's not really my thing. I'm more of a home girl :).

Anyway, I just finished a book last night (Lost in Time by Melissa dela Cruz), and I think I'm going t start reading another later (Showtime by Chloe Kayne). I plan on reading a lot of books this Christmas break. Wish me luck! :)

Also, I have just recently watched PITCH PERFECT.

Rotten Tomatoes:

Beca (Anna Kendrick) is that girl who'd rather listen to what's coming out of her headphones than what's coming out of you. Arriving at her new college, she finds herself not right for any clique but somehow is muscled into one that she never would have picked on her own: alongside mean girls, sweet girls and weird girls whose only thing in common is how good they sound when they sing together, in the new out-loud comedy Pitch Perfect. When Beca takes this acoustic singing group out of their world of traditional arrangements and perfect harmonies into all-new mash-ups, they fight to climb their way to the top of the cutthroat world of college a cappella. This could wind up either the coolest thing they'll ever do or the most insane, and it will probably be a little of both.


***



I liked the movie. It is funny and the songs were covered wonderfully. I love musicals and the movie reached my expectations. The blending of voices and their song choices were great. It definitely focused on the musical aspect of the movie. Musical in a sense that they are singing because they are required to sing, for a competition, not the musical wherein the songs tell the story. I like it both ways. The focus on music made the plot a  bit bland, though. Nothing goes on much with the story. No deep emotions or drama or even romance. It was okay, for the plot part. Not really very remarkable.


What I also liked about the movie is Anna Kendrick. She seems to be gaining popularity nowadays. She had a lot of projects this year, and though I haven't seen a lot of her movies, I think I can say that she already played a lot of different/diversified roles. From Twilight, to Up In The Air, to Pitch Perfect. I didn't even know she can sing.

So there!!! I think their songs are going to be stuck in my head for a few days. If you ever watch it, I hope you would like it.

And another thing... I love this song.. SUPER LSS with it.




teepee J

BOOK BLURB: Pandemonium (Delirium #2)

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push,
push,
push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.


***

Date Read: June 11, 2012

Reaction while reading the last two pages: "OH MY GAAAAAWD!" (while pulling my hair)

Initial reaction after reading: "F*CK!!!" (I don't swear a lot. I promise. But that's just what I felt saying/screaming after reading the last word in the book.)

I would have given this book FIVE STARS just for blowing my mind off at the end. But all in all, Pandemonium's 375 pages seemed to drag on and felt longer than Delirium's 480. I liked it a lot, even though I read it with less enthusiasm and excitement, but equal anticipation, than Delirium.

Well, the only downside I could think of is that the second book introduced a "Then and Now" way of reading, with the past (after Lena ran away from Portland) and present alternating chapter after chapter. At first, I found it a bit difficult getting into my reading mode because it's a little hard for me to recall some of the events from previous chapters of a different setting (and because it's new to me). But as I read on, it became easier. The "Now" chapters are far more interesting than the "Then" chapters. Maybe that's why they alternated the chapters, to keep the readers going.

The second book is quite at the opposite end of the first one -- new characters, new setting, etc... A new Lena emerges. The story is more action-packed and more intriguing as you continue nearing the end. What interests me the most, though, is Julian.

If you have been scouring the internet for Pandemonium reviews or other related things, it may not be a surprise to you that there's a new guy in the scene. In Delirium, after her escape, Lena has been shattered and heartbroken because Alex got left behind, got caught between the cruel hands of the government. Then, in Pandemonium, her path gets tangled with the Mayor's son Julian. (That's it. No more spoiling.)

Julian? Alex? I love Alex! But let me tell you this: I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO CONFUSED IN MY WHOLE BOOK-READING LIFE! Usually, there's always a certain guy I am rooting for in love triangles and I stick with that guy 'til the end. But Julian and Alex? Urghhh!

Aside from that, I like how Lena grew in Pandemonium. She's stronger and tougher, and in a way, more independent and smarter. Lena has renewed herself as she tried to bury her past. She has new found friends and a new life.

To sum it all up, I guess the book deserves five stars. But you know, I'm a little devil inside (sometimes), so I'll give it 4.5. The beginning of the book was okay. Nothing really happened much. Some fighting, action, and romance in the middle, then, BOOM! IT ENDS WITH A BLOW. :)

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teepee J

BOOK BLURB: Hana (Delirium #1.5)

Hana (Delirium, #1.5)Hana by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Lauren Oliver's riveting, original digital story set in the world of her New York Times bestseller Delirium.

The summer before they're supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.

But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will come to understand scenes from Delirium through Hana's perspective. Hana is a touching and revealing look at a life-changing and tumultuous summer.


***

Date Read: June 7, 2012

Lena and Hana's friendship once drifted apart. Both of them pulled to the opposite ends of the road by their conflicting beliefs. We knew how Lena felt about that, and this book told us how Hana felt.

Hana is said to be prettier and bubblier than Lena. She's the carefree rule-breaker, the risk-taker, the girl who goes to underground parties and listens to illegal music. She hates the feeling of being watched and monitored all the time. She wants to feel free and to fly high. She's the exact opposite of Lena, who's afraid of breaking the rules and is very eager to get cured immediately. But beneath her eccentric personality lies her true self.

The story showed how scared and vulnerable she was. I actually felt sorry for her, though there were times I felt a little annoyed that her hormones were completely screwed up. Hahahaha.. Or maybe not. I like how she and Lena ended up. They're still best friends, but something has changed.

And this line...
"I'm sorry, Lena."
...this broke my heart. :(

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teepee J

BOOK BLURB: Free Four: Tobias Tells the Story (Divergent #1.5)

FREE FOUR: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 43
Date Published: April 23, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia

Goodreads:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth retells a pivotal Divergent scene (chapter 13) from Tobias's point of view. This thirteen-page scene reveals unknown facts and fascinating details about Four's character, his past, his own initiation, and his thoughts about new Dauntless initiate Tris Prior.

***
My Thoughts:

BOOK BLURB: Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


***

Date Read: June 6, 2012

...home isn't a place. It's a person. And we're finally home.

A sweet story set in the city of love, Paris. Now who wouldn't want that? Aside from the ups and downs of Anna Oliphant and Etienne St. Claire's story of family, friendship and love, the book magically transports the reader to one of the most romantic cities on the face of the planet. Paris was magnificently explored by the readers through this book.

Maybe I'll just stop now. I'm not even admiring how wonderful the book is. I'm admiring the beauty of Paris. Hahahaha... I suck! :)

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teepee J

BOOK BLURB: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.


***

Date Read: June 1, 2012

I am very disappointed with myself after reading this book. I really am.

The Fault In Our Stars is about a life of a teenage cancer patient, Hazel, who meets and eventually gets deeply attached to Augustus Waters. Their story is both compelling and heart-wrenching at the same time. You'll feel bad for both of them, but I think the sense of pride and admiration will overpower it. They're strong like that.

The book didn't disappoint me. I loved the humor, the honesty (eventhough it is a bit hurtful), the sincerity of the characters, etc... I even like the big words and complicated sentences in the book that I barely understand. Maybe my mental capacity has reached its limit and can't process those things.

Anyway, the entirety of the book got me on a tight grip that sometimes, I really felt what they felt. The only problem is, myself. I'm the disappointment. I don't feel enough, I guess. The book was like this object that triggered tears, cause most readers did cry, but I didn't. I felt like it, but I didn't.

*can't keep my thoughts together.

Come to think of it, the story is a bit simple. But it's unique in a way that it's sweet, sincere, sensibly humoruos, tragically beautiful, and painfully honest. :)

** My thoughts aren't well-organized today because (1) I just finished a brilliant book and I can't stop thinking about it and (2) it's 2am and I think I'm sleepy.

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teepee J

BOOK BLURB: Insurgent (Divergent #2)


Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 525
Date Published: May 1, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia

Goodreads:


One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian DIVERGENT series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.


***
My Thoughts:

BOOK BLURB: Delirium (Delirium #1)


Delirium (Delirium, #1)Delirium by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

THEY SAY that the cure for Love will make me happy and safeforever. And I've always believed them. Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now, I'd rather be infected
with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.


***

Date Read: May 19, 2012

I'm still finding the right words to describe how I felt after reading this book. I actually thought I wouldn't like it that much. I thought it will be just some sappy story about love. But it wasn't. I think it's much more than that. And there were a lot of things in the book that actually got me thinking hard. It really got me, the plot and the characters and all the other stuff in between. Now, I guess I have to admit that my first impression was definitely wrong. I loved it. It's a smart book.

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teepee J

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