Saturday, August 30, 2014

ARC Review: Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Kathleen Bundell

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms
by Kathleen Bundell

Genre: MG, contemporary
Published August 26th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Even a life on the untamed plains of Africa can’t prepare Wilhelmina for the wilds of an English boarding school in this lovely and lyrical novel from the author of Rooftoppers, which Booklist called “a glorious adventure.”

Wilhelmina Silver’s world is golden. Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey, and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult. Lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of vicious schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive?

From the author of the “witty, inventively poetic” Rooftoppers comes an utterly beautiful story that’s sure to be treasured.

My Thoughts:
*This review is based on advance reading copy. 

Wilhelmina Silver or Will, grew up with animals and beautiful view of the sunrise in their farm in Africa. When her fate went twisted, she was sent to a boarding school in England--where Will obviously doesn't fit with her disheveled look, strong personality, and indifference with girls. The farm is all her life, Will cannot live in the urbanity of London.

Reading about Will's life is a painful thing to do. At first I got bored but after the twist, the story got more exciting..and more heartbreaking. Despite her struggles, Will remained strong and courageous. There were even a lot of times I forget she's only a child (like 7 or 8 years old, I'm not sure!) In the end, I'm thankful that the author gave Will (and readers) something to be contented and happy about. At least it wasn't entirely tragic. I'm glad for it, I had a good sleep that night.

This book encompasses love for family, friendship, and home. This book proves the saying/idiom, "Home is where the heart is." Realistic and touching, Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms will tug every reader's heart. I would recommend this book not only to young readers, but also to mature readers.

*Thanks to Rino and Simon & Schuster for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!


Friday, August 29, 2014

ARC Review: At Your Service by Jen Malone

At Your Service
by Jen Malone

Genre: MG, contemporary
Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by Simon & Schuster/ Aladdin M!X
Source: Publisher
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Thirteen-year-old Chloe Turner wants nothing more than to follow in Dad’s footsteps as a respected concierge in a posh NYC hotel. After all, living at a hotel is heaven, and perks like free concert tickets and all-access passes to boutiques, restaurants, and attractions aren’t too shabby either.

When the spoiled brat child of an important guest is only placated by some quick thinking on Chloe’s part, Chloe is awarded the role of Junior Concierge. But she might be in over her head when tasked with tending to the every whim of three royal guests: a twelve-year-old princess who can’t stand Chloe, a cute fourteen year-old prince(!), and their ten-year-old sister, who has a nasty knack for getting herself lost. After the youngest princess slips Chloe’s care, Chloe and the remaining royals must embark on an event-filled hunt for her through NYC’s best tourist spots.

My Thoughts:

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

After the successful challenging task of making a particular, Chloe became the Junior Concierge where she handles the younger guests on the hotel. When she thought this guest was challenging, say hello to the royal guests. What do royals need when they have everything?

Chloe is a positive and fun girl to be with (in my case, read with). She's a nice and clever girl who everyone loved--including the guests--well, maybe except for Mr. Whilpers. I have also come to like this girl. Her personality matches the cute cover and good vibes of this book.

I enjoyed At Your Service! It is fun and hilarious read. I like the adventures and the overall good story. This book is recommended to teens, tweens, and even younger audience. Prepare to be toured in NYC by Hotel St. Michele's very own Junior Concierge--it's like you are the guest!

*Thank you Rino and Simon & Schuster for the review copy!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Review: Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot

Prelude for a Lord
by Camille Elliot

Genre: Adult, Christian fiction, historical, romance

Published August 5th 2014 by Zondervan
Source: Publisher
Purchase:  Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Book Depository
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?

Bath, England—1810

At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.

In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal. 

But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.

Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul. 

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .

My Thoughts:

This is my first time to read a Christian fiction so I'm not sure how would I think about this book as a whole and how would I rate it since I don't have experience on this genre before. Despite of this, I know I liked this book based on my reading progress and thoughts.

Alethea, twenty-eight, has grown with bad experiences with men, no thanks to her father and brother. She focused on her sister, her passion in playing the violin--even if their society considered it unladylike--and distrust men all her life. But she have no choice but to associate with Lord Dommick (a man who she despised since their first encounter ten years ago) who seems like the only one who can help her uncover the past of her violin that interests a certain man.

Alethea was a strong woman who can stand on her own and brush off the way people think about her, and I liked that about her. Lord Dommick was, too, likable because of his love and care of his sister and mother. A real gentleman, despite how Lady Alethea treats him. I liked that their romance grew on the story. It was something I knew would last. It was bumpy yet sweet and romantic.

At first I thought this book primarily focus on the love story but the violin was more like the center. I still take that as a good thing because it was the thing that gave color to this book. That gave way for things to happen, especially the good. Like a root that gave branches to the tree. Everything that happened was because of this mysterious old violin. Especially when the two main characters, Alethea and Lord Dommick, realized (separately) that God was there all along, loving her/him, and taking care of her/him no matter what happens in their lives. There are Bible verses appropriate for the story and I know can relate to us. 

When I said I know I liked this book based on my (1) reading progress, I meant because I found myself anticipated on the next page. I wanted to know more and I cannot sit still until I read it. (2) My thoughts..well it was a really good story and a real page-turner. It was thrilling and a good experience for a first Christian fiction read. It reminds me I should read more of this genre (add historical here).

*Thank you so much to HarperCollins Christian Publishing and BookLook Bloggers for providing me an ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review!


WWW Wednesdays (74) / Waiting on Wednesday (74): Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me

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'm currently reading a MG contemporary novel, At Your Service by Jen Malone. So far it was funny and enjoyable. Kept me turning the pages.

Finished Reading:

I've read Random by Tom Leveen, a YA contemporary on a bully's POV. It was surely interesting..and annoying. Check out my review here.

Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot is a historical [romance] Christian fiction. It was my first time to read a Christian fiction (if I'm not mistaken) and it was good. I was just unsure on how would I review and rate it since it was my first. Anyways, here's my review.

Read Next:

I'm reading Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Bundell next. I also took a notice of the cover and I quite like it. :)

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

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me
by Meredith Zeitlin

Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by Putnam Juvenile

Blurb (Goodreads):
A laugh-out-loud high school adventure set in Greece, perfect for fans of Meg Cabot 

High school sophomore Zona Lowell has lived in New York City her whole life, and plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned-journalist father. But when he announces they’re moving to Athens for six months so he can work on an important new story, she's devastated— he must have an ulterior motive. See, when Zona's mother married an American, her huge Greek family cut off contact. But Zona never knew her mom, and now she’s supposed to uproot her entire life and meet possibly hostile relatives on their turf? Thanks... but no thanks. 
In the vein of Anna and the French Kiss, Zona navigates a series of hilarious escapades, eye-opening revelations, and unexpected reunions in a foreign country—all while documenting the trip through one-of-a-kind commentary.

This book sounds really good to me. It looks refreshing and really fun and hilarious. I like Meg Cabot's books and I hope this would be as entertaining as hers.


Which books made your list? Comment your list/link below!

Also, don't forget to join Splintered and Unhinged read-a-long
to be able to win these (see below pictures) gorgeous stuff!

Sign up ends September 2nd.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What's Cool? Lucky 13!

What's Cool? is an anytime meme where I feature all the
Cool things happened, I got, blog news, and just anything Cool!

Hey lovelies! I'm so excited to share to you my Cool tales since the last What's Cool? post! Ready? :)

  • Back-to-Back-to-Back bookish events!
Kiss the event organizers of National Bookstore on both cheeks because they're bringing not only one, but TWO amazing YA authors this September!

Yep that's right! Meet Lissa Price, author of Starters trilogy and Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, This is What Happy Looks Like, and The Geography of You and Me, either on the NBS signing on September 20th at SM Aura Premier or on the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) on September 21st at SMX Convention Center. That is, if you're within Manila. Please take note that the signing in MIBF had a maximum number of 200 slots only.

My tip is to go there (whichever you prefer) earlier than you go to the last signing. If this is your first time, you must be there BEFORE 8 am. Because 8 am is not early. Expect to see around 200 people that time. Swear.

If you're from Cebu, meet these authors on September 19th on SM Cebu. For more questions, ask NBS on Facebook or Twitter or check out this FAQs.

And of course, don't forget Alex London's book signing event on August 30th!

Aaand as I mentioned above..MIBF!!!

This would be my first MIBF so I'm VERY excited! I think I have scheduled 'stuff' on the following dates but I'll use my magic wand so I wouldn't miss this fab event. Eeeep!! I'LL SEE YOU THERE!!!

  • The Lucky 13
I've got new books..and they're 13 in all. So that's why I call it Lucky 13. Oh, whatevs. Let's just take a peak on them. :3

For review:
The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting by Holly Bourne (review here)
My Second Life by Faye Bird - I didn't request for this one. It's a surprise book! Thanks Charlotte! :D

I just have to take a single photo of Manifesto (below), sideways. To show you the orange corner pages. :)

Random by Tom Leveen - ARC (review here)
At Your Service by Jen Malone - ARC
Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell - ARC
Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine (Of Metal and Wishes #1) - ARC (A must-read book! One of my 2014 best reads. Review here)

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - ARC
A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip by Kevin Brockmeler - ARC

These are surprise books too, but from Jennifer. Thank you!

Not Exactly A Love Story by Audrey Couloumbis (review here)
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant (Messenger of Fear #1)

Talon by Julie Kagawa (Talon #1) - ARC
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Thank you so much Charlotte and Usborne, Rino and Simon & Schuster Philippines, Jennifer and Random House International, Mimi and Hardie Grant Egmont, and Cara and Mira Ink UK!

  • eBooks

eBooks for review!
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) (review here)
Sway by Kat Spears
Summer in New York by Janette Rallison

Free on Amazon Kindle:
Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover (Hopeless #2.5)

Thank you so much Skyscape, St. Martin's Press, Oops! I Read A Book Again Tours, Colleen Hoover, and Netgalley!

  • Splintered and Unhinged Read-A-Long
Join us on the Splintered and Unhinged read-a-long! It doesn't matter whether you've read the book/s or not; whatever your book format is--you are welcome!

What's more exciting? GIVEAWAY! Two lucky (yes, international!) participants will win...

Cool bookmarks and bookplate,

and gorgeous Alice in Wonderland-inspired necklace!

Thank you A.G Howard for donating these!

SIGN UP TO JOIN US NOW! (Sign up ends on September 2nd.)

Don't forget to follow @AGHowardPH on Twitter for updates!

Invite your friends and let's dive into the Wonderland.

  • August on The Escapist
Check out the happenings on The Escapist this August!

             13th - Splintered and Unhinged Read-A-Long
             22nd - ARC Review: Random by Tom Leveen
             23rd - What's Cool? Lucky 13!   --  YOU'RE HERE!

Stay tune for more! ;)


How was your week/month been?
Share your Cool storied below!

Blog Tour (Excerpt + Giveaway): Proxy by Alex London

Welcome to the Proxy blog tour! Below is an excerpt from the book and a giveaway!

Note: This is a running excerpt. Check out the complete schedule to follow the entire featured excerpt, or you can visit The Bookaholic Blurbs for the previous excerpt and The Bookish Confections for the continuation of the excerpt below.

(Proxy #1)
by Alex London

Published May 1st 2014 by Speak

Blurb (Goodreads):
Syd’s life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else's crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys' resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
This fast-paced thrill ride of a novel is full of breakneck action, shocking twists and heart-hammering suspense that will have readers gasping until the very last page.

This edition includes a exclusive bonus story featuring Syd and Knox!


   Scare them with a few hairpin turns, show them a live polar bear and some real penguins and then, cue the melting into his arms. This wasn’t his first time down this road.   “You ready to meet a polar bear?” he asked her.   She giggled again.   “What’s so funny? Polar bears were deadly creatures. Carnivorous, fearless, and wild. You have to be careful around them.”   “Sounds like someone I know.”   “Me?” he feigned innocence. “I’m harmless as a puppy dog.”   “Yeah, but are you housebroken?”   Oh yes, Knox liked this one.   Emily? Ann? Sue?   He couldn’t ask her now. If they were at one his father’s parties he could introduce her to people, get her to say her name to the Vice President of Birla Nanotech or something. But it was just the two of them in the car and it would be just the two of them at the zoo. What did names matter, anyway? Knox didn’t plan to do much talking.


About the Author
Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tags series; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real brains of the operation.

Find him: Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

Pinoy bookworms! Meet Alex London on August 30th at SM Aura and get your books signed!


Win a SIGNED copy of Proxy! PH residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway