Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WWW Wednesdays (71) / Waiting on Wednesday (71): Sway

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

I just started reading The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher.

Finished Reading:

The Bees by Laline Paull (review here) and Blindsided by Natalie Whipple (review here). I marked Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis as DNF.

Read Next:

Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on.

by Kat Spears

Expected publication: September 16th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin

Blurb (Goodreads):
In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or "Sway," as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want---term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.

But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?

A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion---until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.

Just looking at the cover and the teaser makes me sigh. I just wanted this book SO bad.


Tell me about your books this week!
Happy Wednesday! :)

Book Review: Blindsided by Natalie Whipple

by Natalie Whipple

Series: Transparent #2
Genre: YA, paranormal
Published January 2nd 2014 by Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher
Local purchase: National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Three months after Fiona escapes from her father's syndicate, all seems well in her tiny town of Madison, Arizona. She and Seth are happy together - apart from the teensy fact of Fiona being jealous that Seth can see through her invisibility - and her family and friends are safe. But when the local syndicate and even the Army show up, it's clear there's more going on in town than she could ever imagine. It seems like these huge powers are interested in the old Radiasure factory - could they be reproducing the infamous drug that caused mutations? - and everyone suspects Fiona of knowing more than she should. As Fiona and her friends try to cover their tracks, they discover that they do have some dangerous knowledge. Though at first determined to stop anyone from remaking Radiasure, Fiona learns a secret that could change everything, including her invisibility. Torn between her own desires and the greater good, Fiona might be too blindsided to see the real villain coming.

My Thoughts:

It was a year ago when I read Transparent by Natalie Whipple. I admit that I have a poor memory but I can still remember how laid back yet interesting Transparent is and how I looked forward in reading the sequel. If I liked Transparent, Blindsided wow-ed me and I  really, really liked it.

The last two books I've finished (or not), I've dragged myself to read. Literally. So I tell myself that the next book I'm reading should outwit them. I'm glad it did. Blindsided, like Transparent,  is an easy, fun, and feel good read despite the major topics such as syndicates, crime, superpowers, etc. Like the colorful and lively covers radiated on the book itself. The hardest thing to do with this book is to put it down. I was still reading past 12 midnight and when my eyes started to hurt that's when I decided to finally sleep.

So what did Blindsided have that pulled me like a magnet to read? I guess it's the mystery, action, romance, and superpowers, with Fiona and her friends (The Pack) rolled into one. Everything about this book is refreshing for me. There was no boring moment; it was full of unending twists. I would give this book a 5-star rating if only the ending left me satisfied. It was a nice ending but I was hoping for more.

Exciting, heart-pounding, interesting, yet light and funny read. This book has left me blindsided. I never expected to like this more than I thought I would. I'd recommend this book to readers who wants a fresh and no-dull-moments read. Read Transparent (my review) first to be able to relate on this book.

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


Monday, July 28, 2014

Music Monday (33): Maybe Someday soundtrack

Music Monday is a weekly meme created by yours truly. Let's talk about music..on Mondays!

Have you read a music-themed novel with song lyrics written by the author? Have you read a music-themed novel with song lyrics written by the author, performed by an artist, and literally heard it? I did.

Last week I have finished reading Colleen Hoover's 'musical novel', Maybe Someday (review here), and today, I'm featuring some of the songs written and released just for the book. Check out the beautiful songs all performed by Griffin Peterson below!

Note: In order to listen to the complete soundtrack and read the lyrics, purchase your copy of Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. Maybe Someday is available in Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Depository. You can also purchase your separate Maybe Someday soundtrack on Amazon.


  • Living A Lie

  • Something

  • A Little Bit More

  • Maybe Someday

*Four more songs called I'm in Trouble, It's You, Hold On to You, and Let It Begin include the soundtrack.

What do you think? I think it was beautiful and full of emotion, just like the book.
Have you read Maybe Someday? What are your thoughts? Share them below!

Happy musical Monday! ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What's Cool? #StephaniePerkinsinPH + others!

What's Cool? is an anytime meme where I feature all the Cool things I got and happened,
and Cool blog announcements.

After years of waiting, I have finally met one of my favorite contemporary romance author, Stephanie Perkins. It was held in Glorietta 1 on July 6, 2014, hosted by the ever so wonderful, National Bookstore.

*Event photos are taken by National Bookstore (source here). I have my own but unfortunately, my phone got lost 2 weeks ago (so un-Cool worthy) and so I wouldn't be able to post pictures--ESPECIALLY the one that I'm with her and her husband, Jarrod *cries*---and the interview that I recorded. Ughh.

Part of the crowd
You can't find me here. I'm waay behind those backs.
Registration started at 10 am but I arrived 8 am and I'm already #296 (or was that #292?)! And here I thought I was early! I also heard that morning that there were 10 or 13 people waiting the day BEFORE the signing--Steph was just signing in Cebu that time! Talk about being a fangirl. I salute you guys. And envy too.


Because they received an ARC (advance reading copy) of Isla and the Happily Ever After (publishing on August)! O___O My heart was stolen and torn and dropped and stomped on the floor a million times the moment Steph handed Isla to each of them.

I've  learned a lot from Stephanie and her upcoming book Isla and the Happily Ever After during the interview. She said that [Isla] is about a girl who's been loving a guy from afar for years (crowd went "aww") and finally got her happily ever after (I was like, that sounds like a spoiler) but then she'll realize that it's not the happily ever after that she wanted and searches her real happily ever after (or something like that. I couldn't remember. Recording's on the phone!) Stephanie also mentioned that Isla is a really, really shy girl who strives to reach her dreams. That's when I knew that of all three books, I am most likely Isla. My excitement and enthusiasm for the book surpassed the highest level.

Stephanie mentioned that she met her husband when she was 17 years old (cue: aww) and that Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door most likely describes her husband but she also spread a bit of him on other main male characters (another crowd cue: awww!). Stephanie was asked what is her tip or message to aspiring writers. She said that aspiring writers should read, read, read a lot of books. You don't have to enroll on a writing course to learn. Most of the great writers she knew learned writing by reading a lot. She also mentioned that she has an upcoming horror novel in 2015.

NBS team set up a separate table for Jarrod Perkins (Stephanie's husband) to sign our books too. Jarrod, like her wife, is very warm and friendly. He's been smiling the whole time I wondered if his cheeks hurts. We are so lucky indeed.

Jarrod Perkins signing books.
The day got brighter when I finally came face to face with Stephanie. She was so nice and she have a huge friendly smile! She's so pretty. I love her vibe! It was a surreal moment that I didn't mind my haggard face when we took a picture together. Now I'm not sure I feel bad about the lost photo..

Stephanie Perkins signing books.
Here are my signed books!

I love that Stephanie used particular colors on signing each of her books!
Jarrod's section. I didn't know he wrote me a hidden message on my copy of Lola!
When I searched it on Google, I found out it meant "Don't Forget To Be Awesome".
Aw, thanks Jarrod!
Thank you National Bookstore for another fun-filled event! We are looking forward in meeting more exciting authors on the following months *wink, wink*.

For now, get ready to meet Alex London, author of YA dystopian sci-fi Proxy and Guardian, on August 30, 2014, 2 pm at National Bookstore, SM Aura. For more details or updates, stalk NBS on Facebook or Twitter.

                     * * *
Other Cool stories:

  • Books!
My recent book haul..

Of course, my copies of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door bought from NBS. ;)

Free to Fall by Lauren Miller (ARC)
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda (ARC)
Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen Coloma

Unteachable by Leah Raeder
George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans by Janet Benge

I got this bookmark from Jennifer E. Smith Philippines during Stephanie Perkins signing. Thanks to the generous admin, Dianne! :D

For review (ebooks):
Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot
Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Thank you so much to Precious of Fragments of Life, Celine of Two Ends of a Bookshelf, Jen E. Smith PH, BookLookBloggers, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Simon and Schuster, and Netgalley!

  • Celebrating Debutantes 2014
Celebrating Debutantes official button
The biggest and Coolest blog event for the current year's AMAZING debut authors will be back SOON!

If you're an AMAZING (yes, we need capitalization) young adult, new adult, or middle grade debut author of 2014, then Celebrating Debutantes is the event for you!

If you are an enthusiastic bookish fangirl (like me), tweet/email/message your favorite/anticipated YA/NA/MG debut author of 2014 about this event and make them join us! You would definitely want them to join here! *hints giveaways and more* ;)

To learn more about CD and check out the lovely authors who participated since 2012, check out Celebrating Debutantes page here.

To share or sign up, here's the FORM.

Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again and I are looking forward on featuring the most gorgeous debut authors of 2014! :)

  • Trade
I still have books to trade so if you're interested, please visit my Trade page. Unfortunately, this is only applicable to Philippine residents. International shipping is scary.

Those are my Cool stories for now! Do you have too? Share them below! :)
If you have StS, In My Mailbox, Sunday Post,
or self-made meme like this, you can also link them up!

Friday, July 25, 2014

ARC Review: The Bees by Laline Paull

The Bees
by Laline Paull

Genre: Fiction, YA/MG/NA/Adult
Published May 6th 2014 by Ecco
Source: Publisher
Local purchase: FullybookedNational Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.

My Thoughts:

*This review is based from the advance reading copy. There might be some changes in the finished copies.

The Bees caught my interest when I found out that the actual characters...are bees. It sounds exciting and scary at the same time. I'm scared that I wouldn't like it or feel weird about it but I'm also excited because I've never read a non-juvenile book with insects as the characters. I wanted to try something new.

I was instantly hooked on the first chapter. I liked how it started and I get to know the main character, Flora 717, from the beginning of her life to who she has become on the next chapters. I like the good feeling I have on reading this novel. It's easy for me to imagine this kind of world, thanks to A Bug's Life. However, unlike the animated movie, The Bees does not have a light story also suited for kids. It's like a dystopian novel, bees version, for young adult to adults.

The Bees sucked me into their world on the very first page. But as the chapters went on, I got bored, closed the book, and read a different novel. Don't get me wrong. I liked it. I think it has a unique attack to the readers. But the story and the characters wasn't strong enough for my interest to last. I was just somewhere on page 80 then. When I decided to pick it up again, it still didn't worked (I stopped on page 112, far enough to read another twist) so I tried to skip and landed on page 286--a few chapters before epilogue--and continue reading. I have missed some stories, yes, but it wasn't a lot or big enough for me to go back on the last page I read; those were stories that I was expecting to happen after reaching 112 pages.

Despite of jumping pages, I rated this book because it has potential and I still liked the beginning and the ending. The epilogue sent a pang to me but when I think about the overall story, I couldn't point out the connection. I think it would be better if the prologue and epilogue matched the story inside the beehive.

The Bees has a unique story from the characters to the plot. Readers off all ages would find this fresh and interesting.

*Thanks Megan and HarperCollins International for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!