Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April Wrap-Up!

Four months! :)

I have been "seriously" blogging for four months now, and I think I deserve a little pat on the shoulder for surviving this long. Hahahaha... But honestly, I'm sooooo happy I have lasted four months in the blog world, and I hope I stay longer.

There had been unexpected change of plans this April... But I tried to update whenever I can. So, here it goes...

FIRST:
The books I have read in April.

It has been a slow April for me. I only read four books and one short story. Should I mention that I was kind of busy? 



The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones International Trailer

Because of all the stress from school and all the work that needs to be done, my fangirl powers have diminished. I am sorry to say that I was not informed that they will be releasing the international trailer this Tuesday. I just randomly logged in on facebook to check on my messages, and what did I find?  The new trailer! But hey, at least I found out about it.


So, first thought: This is not a new trailer. These are clips from the previous 2 trailers that is just put into a  bit of sequence video and called it the "international trailer."

Maybe that's a bit true, but there are some additional scenes, you know... One noticeable addition is Simon's scene saying how he was the one always there for Clary and not him (Jace). I can't say I like this new trailer, but I don't hate it either. Neutral.

Thoughts? Comments?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BOOK BLURB: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)

A Shade Of Vampire by Bella Forrest
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads:

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?


***

Date Published: December 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition, 152 pages
Date Read: April 27, 2013
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Contrary to my pathetic excuse that I've had enough of vampire books already, I still read A Shade of Vampire with hopes that it will be at least good and different. And to my surprise, I liked A Shade of Vampire more than I thought I would.

Bella Forrest's interpretation of the vampire race is fresh and quite different from the others I've read or seen. And her words provided a vivid picture of what her vampire world would look like. The Shade, for instance, is one of the unique elements of the story that makes A Shade of Vampire stand out a little from the rest. Instead of living and blending in with humans, vampires here (or at least vampires under the Novaks) are closed off and separated from the real world, though they may occasionally come out of their sanctuary. Plus, I have not noticed that they have the ability to compel humans to do their bidding, which is a common thing for vampire stories nowadays. But the "drink my blood so your wounds would heal" is there, which kind of reminds me of The Vampire Diaries.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday (2)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme
hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!


QUESTION:
Is there a song that reminds you of a book? Or vice versa? What is the song & the book?

**********

Sorry, but I can't think of any song that reminds me of a book or vice versa... So this may seem a little too movie-ish and literal, but every time I hear Decode by Paramore, I am always reminded of Twilight.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Bane Chronicles: What Really Happened in Peru

Cassandra Clare, along with her author friends Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan, has teamed up to create a spin-off (sort of) of her The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. This centers around the life and adventures of the famous warlock, Magnus Bane, known to be one of the favorites from the two shadowhunter series. The synopsis/blurb from goodreads says every possible brief detail about The Bane Chronicles. Here it goes...

******



Goodreads:

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices know that Magnus Bane is banned from Peru—and now they can find out why. One of ten adventures in The Bane Chronicles.

There are good reasons Peru is off-limits to Magnus Bane. Follow Magnus’s Peruvian escapades as he drags his fellow warlocks Ragnor Fell and Catarina Loss into trouble, learns several instruments (which he plays shockingly), dances (which he does shockingly), and disgraces his host nation by doing something unspeakable to the Nazca Lines.

This standalone e-only short story illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality populates the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series. This story in The Bane Chronicles, What Really Happened in Peru, is written by Sarah Rees Brennan and Cassandra Clare.


***

Date Read: April 20, 2013
Rating: 3 Stars
"short thoughts..."

For those who are really fond of Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices, this might be a little disappointing. It succeeded with its easy humor and we got a glimpse of how deep Magnus can be when family or mortal love is mentioned. But the fact that it did not bring much satisfaction after reading the ebook really sucked.

Reaction upon finishing the book: "That was it!?", "What really happened in Peru? Nothing of great importance.", "Aaaaah! I hope this gets better."

A bit disappointing, but I still love Magnus. (view spoiler)[ It was not his fault that the reason was not disclosed by the High Council of Peruvian Warlocks.  (hide spoiler)]

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stacking The Shelves (1)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

*******

Bought:

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Requiem by Lauren Oliver

I know that these two highly anticipated books have been released last month, and I have been regularly visiting the book store for the past weeks just to check if they are already in stock. My visits always were tragic due to the unavailability of the books. Unfortunately, Clockwork Princess just arrived last Saturday (Requiem came in just a few days after its release). And because I had promised myself that I would buy these two books together... here I am, possibly the only fan to have bought the books a month after the release date. And I still haven't read them

Here are the books - still wrapped in plastic, never been flipped or opened.

Received: 

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest (ebook received for review)
What Really Happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare (ebook received from a friend)

Four books for me this week. How about you?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday (1)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme
hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!


QUESTION:
If you could hang out with any author (living), who would it be and what would you want to do?

**********

This a very tough question for a girl with a lot of favorite authors. But if I ever get a chance to hang out with any author, I would have Melissa dela Cruz at the top of the list. Why? Mainly because she's a Filipina author making a big name not just in the United States, but internationally. Plus, I love her Blue Bloods series.

I would probably freak out first if I do get to meet Melissa dela Cruz, then proceed to fangirl mode after I get over the fact that I am going to hang out with her. I am going to ask her a lot of questions about her books, her secrets to success, how she juggles her personal life and her busy work, etc... We could hang out at her place and eat Filipino food, sing Filipino songs and be proud we're both Filipinos. Maybe we can invite Ally Carter (they're friends, right?) over after, and talk about their hot fiction guys and their awesome female leads, and we could have a girl's night.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Divergent Book 3 Title, Announced!

Finally! The question every Divergent fan has been asking has now been answered.

What will be the title of the third Divergent book?

There have been many guesses of what the title will be, a few of which were sort of believable, and some were funny (referring to DETERGENT). But no need to fret people, for Veronica Roth herself announced the third book's title in the "epic as a book trailer" video below.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

BOOK BLURB: This Lullaby

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads:

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

***

Date Read: April 11, 2013
Rating: 3.5 Stars


Going straight to the point and making this as brief as possible, I liked the This Lullaby. It's my first Sarah Dessen book and, as mentioned by most of the reviews I have read, it will not be the last. I enjoyed flipping through the pages and finding out how a cynical girl who does not believe in love will be changed by the overly enthusiastic and optimistic musician. The characters were okay, pretty normal and nice to read about, though not really exceptionally different from most YA characters I have come to read. But they were good, in terms of fitting with the story and developing throughout the book. Maybe not all of them, but Remy at least (Well duh! She's the main character). Her mother has been one of the shocking revelations of the story. Ah, the wisdom of mothers. Bow! As for book the story, it was a little clich├ęd and predictable, but nonetheless, it went well. I was not really affected that much by Remy and Dexter's romantic encounters. It was funny and sweet, but that was just about it. All in all, one great chunk of thoughts put together in a story that will make you ponder on some things about love and taking chances. 3.5 Stars! :)

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

BOOK BLURB: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads:

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy--jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother's death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls' academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order. A Great and Terrible Beauty is an impressive first book in what should prove to be a fascinating trilogy.
***

Date Read: April 9, 2013
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I truly believe that this could have been better. Honestly, it was good. I was completely engrossed by the latter half of the book. But the problem is it's quite hard to get yourself into the book. First of all, Gemma Doyle is not one of the best protagonists around. Even her friends were hard to predict at first. Then, the intentions become a little more obvious and by the end, it got a bit confusing. And I do agree with the reviews I have read, about poor character development. Gemma Doyle from page one is not really far from the Gemma Doyle by the end of the book. Also, I don't know if it was just me, but I really found it hard to picture India and London in the year 1891. Yes, the petticoats, gloves, corsets and carriages are present. But from the way it was written, it wasn't 1900ish. Maybe a little, but it was not constant throughout the book. (Judgement is based from comparison with other books set in the Victorian period.)

I really did like A Great and Terrible Beauty. The mystery behind Spence, the magic, the realms and the Order... I liked them, too bad the story picked up at the later part of the book. Also, I was looking for Gemma's romantic interest, because who doesn't want some romance in their books? (Definitely not me). Let's just say the romantic side of A Great and Terrible Beauty was a little subdued. It was there, just bubbling to sprout, but not always present. Although it the love story went quiet, it was okay. I couldn't say I did not like it.

So, with that and the great title, I give A Great and Terrible Beauty 3.5 stars.

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 6, 2013

BOOK BLURB: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads:

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.
***

Dater Read: April 5, 2013
Rating: 4 Stars

Based from the title, the cover and blurb, you would think that this book is mainly about Amy and Roger's epic love story that bloomed during an unexpected road trip across the different parts of America. That's what I thought, too. Well it is, but not entirely. In a nutshell, it's about moving on and letting go; about taking a leap of faith; about jumping in without any certainty of what the outcome may be; about acceptance and finding yourself again. It is about family, life, and love. And it was pure awesomeness.

There's a always that blast of great satisfaction whenever a book you thought won't be making any impact takes you by surprise. Just when you thought you'd be putting it down and on the verge of giving up on it, you try again and you see it on a whole new perspective. That's happened with Amy and Roger's Epic Detour. I really didn't feel like reading the story much longer for some unknown reasons, but I tried to continue, and I started to like it a lot.

Road trips are always fun to read especially for those who can't experience them first hand, and this was no exception. Morgan Matson successfully brought readers along with Amy and Roger as they paved their way through the different states of America with only a few hundred dollars to spare. The best part? FOOD! That's the best part of every stop. Gets you salivating and hungry for those diner food, enough to for you to get fueled up to visit that state someday.

Also, Amy and Roger's relationship throughout the trip had been developed well - slowly but surely. From that awkward car silence to an innocent game of twenty questions, which lead to some heart to heart talk about burdens and heartaches. And by the of the trip, the uncertainty hanging between them was as strong as the promise of being together.

Lastly, I greatly approve of how everything ended.

So cheers to Edmund and Hillary for giving us a sweet story about life, love, family and finding oneself. All in all, great story!

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 2nd Trailer

A little over four months from today, the world will get to see the movie adaptation of the first installment to Cassandra Clare's action-packed and romance-filled series, The Mortal Instruments. And just a few days ago, the second trailer has been released. Yay!

I have been waiting for this for months now, and I'm sure most fans have been as impatient as me knowing that in the second trailer Magnus Bane will make an appearance. *cheers* So yeah, watch the trailer...


The second trailer gives viewers a clearer picture of what the movie is all about. It gives us a glimpse of what the whole story will be about. Well, maybe not! *winks* Hahahahaha.. But more character exposure and dialogues, and more badass and funny scenes have been included. I'm just a bit surprised when I saw Magnus. I was like, "That's it?". Honestly, I thought it was too short and too fast. But who am I to complain? Atleast the trailer is out. :)

So, what do you think of the trailer?

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