Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway): Wings by Elizabeth Richards

Hey all! I'm so excited for this! I love Black City trilogy and Elizabeth Richards. I can't wait for you to check out the lovely last installment of the series. And guess what?
There's bonus! Take the quiz "Which Wings character are you" and enter the awesome giveaway! Now, you may scroll down. ;)

by Elizabeth Richards

Series: Black City #3
Genre: YA, dystopian, paranormal
Expected publication: June 12th 2014 by Putnam Juvenile
Source: Author

Blurb (Goodreads):
Following the cliffhanger ending of Phoenix, Natalie finds herself separated from Ash and unexpectedly reunited with her parents, including the father she thought was dead. But she can only think of Ash. She hasn't heard a word of him since she and Elijah were brought to the underground headquarters of the Sentry Rebellion. But she vows to find him.

Ash, meanwhile is back in Black City; it's the perfect place to hide from the Sentry government. But not for long. He won't give up on Natalie or bringing an end to the terrible reign of Purian Rose.

A pulse-racing end to an exciting series.

My Thoughts:

*This review is based on advance reading copy (ARC). Finished copies might have some changes. Warning: Don't read this review if you haven't read Phoenix yet.

My "focus month" (a.k.a preparation for exams month) wasn't so easy with Wings on my bookshelf and not reading it. It was really, really hard. I always end up staring at my bookshelf (normal) and giving Wings a longing look. I've been wanting to read the final book of Black City trilogy the moment I finished the second book, Phoenix. I ended Phoenix with a cry because I just can't take the ending and with the thought that I need to wait for another year to read the last book. I guess you understood my suffering. But everything was worth it when I finally started reading Wings.

The book was divided in three parts and the first chapter started with a new character named Edmund. Edmund tells his story from 30 years ago, and even though I cannot remember meeting him on the first two books no matter I rack my brain, I found myself engaged in his story. Edmund is easy to like with his innocent and caring personality and so I'm curious who he really is and what's his role, as his story is history.

Meanwhile, Natalie was with a surprising but safe company while Ash was planning on how to rescue her without knowing she's already safe. As these two discover more truths and search for each other, Edmund continues to appear on every or after one or two chapters. I cannot deny that he became one of highlights in this book and I'm looking forward in reading more from his perspective. When I figured everything out, I must say that I'm once again impressed by Elizabeth Richards' work. I love the plot twist and added spice. The promise of Black City to a wonderful series was shown not only in Phoenix, but also in Wings. Especially in Wings. There are still action and adrenaline, yes, but not as much as Phoenix's. Ash and Natalie wasn't that "hot" for each other compared to the first book but that was understandable due to their situation. However, the mystery and twists are more than enough to make my blood pumping and crave for more.

One more wonderful thing I found in this book was the lesson and its heart. Black City trilogy, it turns out, wasn't just about rebellion, forbidden love, or action. It also had a heart. Later on this book, the forgiveness and its importance was emphasized and the love for the family, friends, and your special someone. And I liked it very much. 
"It's easy to hate. The true test of our hearts is to forgive." - page 354
Wings is one of the best last installment of a series I've read. It's also saddening to end the trilogy you learned to love. But as the story is unforgettable, I also won't forget Ash, Natalie, and even Edmund's story. Black City trilogy will always have a special place in my heart..and in my shelf. I am highly recommending this to everyone who's in for adventure, action, mystery, twists, and love.

Check out my Black City (book one) and Phoenix (book two) reviews.

*Thank you so much once again Elizabeth Richards for the review copy in exchange of an honest review. You're fab!


So are you up for a quiz? Take this: Which Wings character are YOU? ;)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review: I Heart Beat by Edyth Bulbring

I Heart Beat
by Edyth Bulbring

Genre: YA, contemporary
Published February 6th 2014 by Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon * Book Depository

Blurb (Goodreads):
Beatrice has got a deadbeat mum, an addiction to online messaging and an aversion to the sun. If she could stay inside all summer she most absolutely would. Except she's being shipped off to stay with her 'Grummer' - a grandmother she barely knows - while her mum has another go at rehab. If Beatrice is going to have any chance of having some peace she will need to distract Grummer with a husband. Unfortunately there aren't many eligible bachelors hanging around this cranky old dorp.

Her plan is simple: identify the target, establish contact and ensure eternal love. But all does not go to plan for control-freak Beat. Suddenly she finds herself ditching the factor 50 for freckles from swimming in the reservoir; her cucumber and tea-only diet is overtaken by peanut butter sandwiches, and the very important 'rely on no-one' policy has to make room for Toffie; a boy with a bike, a shock of red hair and a love for the natural fauna of South Africa.

Beat always knew that love was found in unexpected places. She just never thought that it might find her.

My Thoughts:

With that lovely cover and interesting blurb, I had some expectations for I Heart Beat. I had in mind a light, fun, and romantic read, and it made my fingers itch to read this book since my "bookish body" seems to crave for fun romantic contemporary this year.

Beatrice/Bea/Beat was being sent to her grandmother (Grummer) by her mother for a vacation while her mother goes to the rehab. When I started reading I Heart Beat, I was rather disappointed. The tone alone of the main character feels unwelcoming and whiny. She obviously doesn't love her mother--which I quite understand because of her mother's behavior, based from her. She barely knew her grandmother because they didn't have communications before so she planned something to keep her widowed grandmother off her back--search for a new husband.

Beatrice was the first main character I met that I absolutely have no sympathy for. That might sound trashy, but it was based from her tone and story. While she didn't love her mother, she also didn't love--or like--her grandmother and late grandfather. She even say mean things about them; it made me cringe. When she met new people on the place they're staying, she does the same thing. Don't like them and say mean things about them, even with the person who treats her as a friend. 

The story goes on and I came to the point on page 131 (middle of the book; only had 193 pages) and I said, as I updated on my Goodreads status, "Where, exactly, is this going?" Because that's what I think. I don't know where the story would go, I can't find a sense or connect to the characters. Beatrice keeps on being whiny and mean. She's not anti-social, but she obviously hate people. I don't think she love or like anyone.  I guess the only thing I quite like was the ending. At least someone was there for her Grummer and her mother seems willing to change. I hope Beatrice do too.

I Heart Beat was supposed to be a funny and light read, but I ended up disliking it. I wasn't impressed how Beatrice attacks people in her mind, especially her only relatives and even the church and the people. There was also never a romance in it, like I assumed. Her supposed to be love interest was weird (but okay as a person) and they don't have the slightest connection. Maybe because she didn't like him at all. I think this book isn't just for me, but go try it if you think you'll like it.

*Thanks to Olivia and Hot Key Books for the copy in exchange of an honest review!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Escapist turns 2! Celebration + Thanksgiving giveaway!


As you know, I've been on a one month blogging hiatus due to my board exams. I took my examinations last Sunday and Monday and well, I haven't slept a good night's sleep as I was writing this post! I almost forgot the anniversary of my blog.


The Escapist turns 2 today!!!!!

Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone of you for your kindness by reading my blog. I still can't believe that someone is actually reading my blog--my thoughts--and apart from my country (Philippines), US, and UK, some came from places I never thought I'd have readers from like Russia, Italy, Cyprus, Serbia, Ukraine, Belgium, and Brazil, to name a few. Wow. *waves to everyone*

I would also like to thank the very awesome publishers who's been sending and trusting me their gorgeous books and for sponsoring some of my giveaways. HarperCollins International, Hot Key Books, Spencer Hill Press, Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, and Random House UK. And to my new contacts! Tor Teen, Strange Chemistry, and Chronicle Books. I also can't wait to feature books from Hardie Grant and Random House International. Thanks also to the kind publicists--Megan, Olivia, Emma, Mia, Sara, Caroline, Mimi, and Jennifer. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You spoil my bookishness wonderfully. ;D

Thanks also to the authors I've worked with and featured here on the blog for tours, interviews, guest posts, and blog events such as Celebrating Debutantes and Feb Feels. You guys make this blog a brighter place. ;)

The Escapist

Since I haven't been writing any posts for the past month and I'm still sleep deprived and there are lots of review coming up starting this week--I won't be doing any special post/s about the blogoversary like what I did last year

But the celebration never stops there! Because we're giving away one book to eight lucky readers! Thanks to HarperCollins International for the donation of your fab titles!

Here's what you're going to win:

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings (ARC) - 2 winners

Exile by Eric Emerson (ARC)
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Blankman (ARC)
The Vanishing Season by Judy Lynn Anderson (ARC)
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi *signed*
No One Else Can Have You by Hale *signed*
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi *signed*

*ARC = Advanced Reading Copy/uncorrected proofs

Take a peak on the signed copies!

Not just signed--the author also drew on it!

Other books...

Yes, there are TWO copies of Murder Complex to be given away!
Before you enter the giveaway, here are the rules:
- one (1) international winner will pick one (1) book from the list
- seven (7) Philippine resident winners will get one (1) book each
- total of nine (8) winners (As much as I want more international winners, I can't because of shipping costs.)
- winners will be contacted via email (so I need ACTIVE email when you sign up the Rafllecopter) and given 48 hours to respond. If failed, I will pick another winner.
- I am NOT responsible of any lost or damaged packages. 
- all entries will be checked to so be honest!
- giveaway runs from May 27th to June 30th--lots of time to earn more entries!
- there are 3 mandatory entries for you to fill up in order to enter the optional entries. Optional entries are well, optional. But I added them so you'd earn more entries on the raffle.

UPDATE: There are 8 books only, not 9 as I first announced. Sorry for the wrong info! But you can still win The Falconer on May New Release Giveaway Hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May New Release Giveaway Hop 2014

May New Release Giveaway Hop is hosted by Bo-ok Nerd.

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Oooh I love giveaways! I love joining them and I love hosting them as well. Today I--together with Chronicle Books--am giving away a copy of one of my great reads in 2014. I recently finished this book and I am highly recommending it to everyone--The Falconer!
Check out my review here.

Thank you so much Mia and Chronicle Books for making this giveaway possible!

The Falconer
(The Falconer #1)
by Elizabeth May

Published May 6th 2014 by Chronicle Books

Blurb (Goodreads):
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?


- one print copy of The Falconer
- open internationally
- me or Chronicle Books are not responsible for any lost or damaged packages
- giveaway starts May 15th and ends on May 31st


My 2nd blogoversary is here!
Check out my post with an awesome giveaway HERE! ;)

The Escapist

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blog Tour (Excerpt + Giveaway): Camp Payback by J.K Rock

Click here for the complete schedule.
Welcome on my tour stop for Camp Payback by J.K Rock blog tour hosted by AToMR Tours! Originally, I was scheduled to share my review today. But as you know, I'm busy right now preparing for my board exams (I'm might be on the review class or at home reading my notes as you're reading this). I didn't know my exams schedule before I signed up here. But worry not! I'm still reviewing Camp Payback and the first companion, Camp Boyfriend, by June.

For now, get ready for a swoon-y excerpt below and a fantastic giveaway! You can also check out the guest post written by J.K Rock I previously featured here.

Camp Payback
(Camp Boyfriend #2)
by J.K Rock

Published April 29th 2014 by Spencer Hill Press

Blurb (Goodreads):
Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she's headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall. 

Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn't seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp. But Alex's trouble-magnet personality and Javier's need to stay in the background don't mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry. 

With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?

Buy Camp Payback now!


And I had tried to stay away.  
But keeping my distance from Alexandra Martineau right now felt like deciding not to breathe. Impossible. Besides, anyone who said she was looking for trouble didn’t know the side of her I knew. Other people saw the fierce girl who didn’t take any crap. I saw the hurt that had made her that way.  
“I can’t stay away either,” she said, her green eyes huge. 

Her emotions were all right there, attraction, curiosity, and a kind of wonder I’d never seen before. It shone in her eyes as clearly as the reflection of the fireworks. Girls I’d been with before weren’t like that—willing to let you see what they were feeling without playing games.  

Her hands fluttered around my shoulders and fell there, her fingers resting lightly, as if she might get chased away any second. I hated that she’d doubt her attractiveness for a second when I’d been thinking about her… all the time. 

“I have to kiss you.” I think I was warning my conscience more than her. 

“Well, you owe me one,” she whispered against my mouth, so close I could have licked her. 

But I didn’t. I brushed my lips against hers with all the gentleness she deserved- this girl who was more wholesome than she would ever admit and too sweet to understand how badly I wanted this. And how much trouble we’d be in if we were caught. 

I touched her waist, one hand on each side of her cotton tank top. Safe terrain, right? I just wanted to steady her, I told myself. 

Yeah, right. And I was going to be Camp Employee of the Month too. 

She tasted like bubble gum and lip gloss, smelled like sunscreen and girl-soap. I wanted to go on like that, breathing in the tastes and scents of summer camp and one of the best days of my life. But then her fingers tightened against my shoulders, short nails scratching into my tee as she deepened the kiss. The fireworks outside were nothing compared to the warning flares going off behind my eyes as she inched closer.  

Maybe I should have known Alex would bring the same fire to a kiss that she brought to everything else she did. Still, it caught me off guard and…  

“Whoa.” I pulled back, taking my hands off her waist and capturing her wrists instead. For my own sanity. 

And because I really couldn’t afford for things to get out of hand on a first kiss. 

“What?” Her forehead wrinkled. She looked up at the sky, still flashing from the occasional burst of light. “We don’t have to stop. The fireworks are still going on.” She looked over her shoulder. “And Gollum is way down on the other end. He can’t see us.” 

“I…” How to put this in a PG way? “I like you, Alex.” 

She scooted toward me again. “I like you too, Javier.” 

I closed my eyes. Thought about the consequences of letting things get out of hand. And steeled myself against the scent of bubble gum. 

“I might like you a little too much right now.” Gently, I untwined her hands from my shoulders and put them in her lap.  

“Oh.” She ran a finger over Secret Camp Angel bracelet. “Okay. I guess we can watch the fireworks.” 

I breathed deep, liking the scent of the pine trees.  

“Is it okay if I-” She bit her lip as a shot of red streaked through the sky with a hissing whistle. “Rest my head here?” 

She tipped her forehead to my shoulder and peered up at me. It felt good to have her want to be near me. 

“Yeah.” I nodded instead of kissing the top of her head like I wanted to. I needed to get kissing out of my mind. “That’s nice.”


About the Author
J. K. Rock is the pseudonym for YA writing partners - and sisters-in-law - Joanne & Karen Rock. Although they started out sharing an annual shopping trip, they ended up discussing their favorite films and books, joining the same book club and talking about writing... a lot. Their debut novel, Camp Boyfriend, is the first in a three-book series plotted during family pool parties. Their creative partnership is unique in that they enjoy passing a book back and forth, each adding a chapter and fine-tuning the chapter before. Years of friendship has yielded a shared voice and vision for their work that makes writing a pleasure. Learn more about Karen and Joanne at
Find her: Website * Goodreads * Tumblr * Pinterest * Google + * You Tube *Facebook
- Kindle - $50 USD Amazon Gift Card - Print copy of CAMP BOYFRIEND and CAMP PAYBACK - I ‘heart’ Camp Boyfriend T-shirt - open internationally

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

ARC Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

The Falconer
by Elizabeth May

Series: The Falconer #1
Genre: YA, fantasy, historical, steampunk
Published May 6th 2014 by Chronicle Books -- That's TODAY!!
Source: Publisher

Blurb (Goodreads):
Heiress. Debutant. Murderer. A new generation of heroines has arrived.

Edinburgh, Scotland, 1844

Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, was destined for a life carefully planned around Edinburgh’s social events – right up until a faery killed her mother.

Now it’s the 1844 winter season and Aileana slaughters faeries in secret, in between the endless round of parties, tea and balls. Armed with modified percussion pistols and explosives, she sheds her aristocratic facade every night to go hunting. She’s determined to track down the faery who murdered her mother, and to destroy any who prey on humans in the city’s many dark alleyways.

But the balance between high society and her private war is a delicate one, and as the fae infiltrate the ballroom and Aileana’s father returns home, she has decisions to make. How much is she willing to lose – and just how far will Aileana go for revenge?

My Thoughts:

*This review is based on the advance reading copy (ARC). There might be some changes with the finished copy.

Wow. NO. Those are the two words that first came into my mouth after I finished The Falconer. Too many words, too many emotions all felt and trying to let it all out. I feel like it's been ages ago since I read something like The FalconerI don't have any expectations from this book. I just remembered I liked the sound of it, but never fantasized of my reading experience and now it left me speechless. At least I have words for this review. Ha XD

Lady Aileana's innocent life has been ruined since her mother was killed--and witnessed it--by a faery. The same day she changed and become the opposite girl--revengeful, liar, and murderer. She trained with a mysterious fae and learned to kill their kind. Aileana is so many things a female protagonist I'm looking for especially on a genre like this--strong-willed, fearless, confident, and well, not annoying. I liked her and the book instantly the moment I started reading.

Although the book started in the middle of the story, as it seems, Elizabeth May didn't spare from enlightening me with the story behind Aileana's revenge and fae killing and other relevant background stories about the characters in the book. I really like the overall and flow of the story. The pace was neither slow nor fast. I also liked the writing--how you can get quotes from it and despite the darkness of their world and story, the characters still appear interesting and likable.

Now the tricky thing...the romance. Well, there isn't exactly a romance until the ending. Does that sound spoiler-ish? No, I don't think so. I just wanted to share this to all of you--So the romance didn't appear until the ending but there's something that's making my stomach churn throughout the book. I take this--less romance--as a good thing because it simply shows that the story didn't need too much romance to be sensational. I would hate it if a certain thing near the ending didn't happen but nevertheless, I loved the book. The plot, the flow, the writing, and the characters already made this book worthy and the romance is just a bonus. A wonderful bonus. There's so much more about the "romance" that I loved but I'd stop here before I really sound spoiler-ish.

The ending is another thing. I was enjoying the action and then suddenly it's gone. Like I was watching the TV in the middle of suspense and the power went out. It's frustrating. It left me hanging just like that---

The Falconer reminds me so much of Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. The story is far different from one another but the thing that reminds me of the series is my love for the genre, to fae stories, and adventure. The Falconer is darker, harsher, but equally beautiful and I love as Iron Fey. This book will introduce you to a different story about faes and humans, a new kick-ass heroine, and an interesting story. The Falconer is a great book to start a new series. I can't wait to find out more about Aileana's adventures.

*Thank you so much Mia and Chronicle Books for the print copy in exchange for an honest review!

WIN a copy of The Falconer here. Open internationally. Ends May 31st.