Monday, September 29, 2014

Music Monday (34): Story of My Life

Music Monday is a weekly meme created by yours truly. Let's talk about music..on Mondays!
Happy birthday to me! Well...yesterday (28th). Since it's my birthday, today's Music Monday topic/playlist will be personal. The songs below tells the story of my life.

(Okay so, if you're not that interested on the story of my life, then just think that I'm sharing just another random playlist for you. :P)

  • This is Me by Demi Lovato
The lyrics are definitely me. Most especially the verses.

  • A Place in this World by Taylor Swift
"Maybe I'm just a girl on a mission, but I'm ready to fly."

Yep, that's why I love Tay-Tay. She knows me.

  • The Outside by Taylor Swift
Always been the girl from the outside, looking in.

  • Last Hope by Paramore
I recently heard this song, and since Hayley Williams sang the first word until the end, I was like, Wow. This is ME. My song. My life. Every single lyric.

  • Strength of My Life by Planetshakers
This is a Christian song but it pretty much describe me now.


Share me your life story in songs!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire
by Josephine Angelini

Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
Genre: YA, fantasy/paranormal
Published September 2nd 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

My Thoughts:

Lily doesn't have a life that anyone would want to have. She have a life-threatening allergies and become isolated because of it. That's why it's easy for her to want a life where she's strong and powerful...until she finally does. Lily found herself in her same but different hometown, Salem. She's still her, and her sister is still her sister but also somewhat different. And everyone treats her differently. An alternate world.

The first thing I loved about this book was the idea of alternate world and being sent there. You might have read or watched stories like that, but not me. It was my first time to encounter alternate worlds in a book with the same characters on each world. I love this concept and how tricky and clever it all turned out. I also like the world building--the way the author played on this world she wanted to be. Of course it has a huge part in the story, which made everything exciting and dangerous and mysterious.

I like Lily. She's the kind of character you'd easily be comfortable with. I like her strength without making it look like trying hard. I like her ability to make other characters--even me--laugh or just feel light. She's as light as a feather but as fierce as an eagle. Rowan didn't first appeared as your book knight because he wasn't one in the beginning. But I like how I get to know him as his character unravels bit by bit. I also love the progression of Lily and Rowan's relationship from strangers to friendship to something more. This kind of romance is one of the hard love stories I've ever read. Because they live in alternate worlds. I'm excited to find out how Josephine Angelini will work on this as I read the continuation of the story on the second and third book.

I really like Trial by Fire. It has a lot of elements that made me love it. The concept, world building, characters, plot, and its uniqueness. Unfortunately, I had a little problem with my reading progress. I read the last 1/4 of the book in bits (talk about busy) that's why I wasn't able to have huge feels like the thrill of action and romance. I end up flat affect in the ending. I wouldn't deny the epic story, though. It's just on my side. I'm also not a fan of the 'original world' story or the contemporary side in the beginning. Still, Trial by Fire is rockin' awesome. I'm excited to find out what really Lilian's--the real Lily in the alternate (magic) world--plans are and just to be in this world again.

I recommend this book to fantasy, paranormal, and dystopian lovers. Fans of Maria V. Snyder would enjoy this too.

*Thank you so much Ruth and Macmillan International for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WWW Wednesdays (78) / Waiting on Wednesday (78): The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

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:
Hoping to finished Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini. So far it's really good. I just don't have enough time to read. :(

Finished Reading:
I've read Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White. You can found my review here.

Read Next:
My next read would depend on when will I finished Trial by Fire. It'll be either My Second Life by Faye Bird or Winterspell by Claire Legrand.

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

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler

Expected publication: June 2015 by Simon Pulse

Blurb (Goodreads):
Sometimes, there are no words… 

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life. 

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

It's a retelling of Little Mermaid! *sigh* Yes. Want. This.


Phew! This is the start of my next level of busy-ness. I can barely read!
This also might be my last Wednesday post too because I will be having a
two months blogging and reading hiatus.

For now, let's exchange reading status/book pick(s) for the week! Comment yours below. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

ARC Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Illusions of Fate 
by Kiersten White

Genre: YA, historical, fantasy/paranormal
Published September 9th 2014 by HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.

My Thoughts:

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

This is probably my third Kiersten White book and though I still wasn't swayed, I like that she's trying out different genres, concepts, and publish one book per year. She writes a lot, I figured. I hope one day I'd come across a book from her that I'd deeply adore.

Illusions of Fate seemed to begin in a middle of a story and then everything happened so fast it's like a bird just swished by. I barely had time to learn more about the female main character and narrator of the book, Jessamin, and other characters in this book. Well, except for Eleanor. Jessamin's new found friend and best gossiper of their town. The romance was so fast too that I wasn't aware that they--Jessamin and Finn--have grown fond of each other. I was like, Wait. Did I miss something or is this how really romance was found from way back? Finn remained a mystery too until the end. He wasn't the kind of mysterious man that's exciting. It rather left me clueless.

Besides--or should I say, because of--the fast pace, I couldn't connect to the characters and whatever the story is trying to let the readers make feel or show. I do like some things about this book. Like Sir Bird. Sir Bird is a black bird that kept following Jessamin. Sir Bird is adorable one and I would love to have. He may be unfaithful to his real master, but he became faithful to what he know is good. I also like that he becomes something that I love! You'll know when you read this book. 

Overall, Illusions of Fate is an okay book for me. The ending is predictable and I may have many complaints about this book but it's not entirely bad. It is still something worth reading. If you like a magical element set in the past and adorable pets in books, I recommend this book to you. 

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


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WWW Wednesdays (77) / Waiting on Wednesday (77): The Orphan Queen

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?

Finished Reading:

Finally back on track! Though I'm afraid I will be behind my reading progress again soon. *sigh* Anyways! Finished Words and their Meanings by Kate Bassett, Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant, and Sway by Kat Spears.

(Click on their titles to direct to my review.)

Read Next/About to Read:

Noticed I don't have a Currently Reading entry? Well because I'm just about to read Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White. 

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

The Orphan Queen
(The Orphan Queen #1)
by Jodi Meadows

Expected publication: March 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

Blurb (Goodreads):
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

I'm craving for some epic fantasy these days. I have a feeling that 2015 will be for fantasies just like 2014 was for contemps. Yep, I'm like that. Anyways, I'm adding this book on my Epic Fantasy To-Read list coz this sounds really awesome. Can't wait!


Share me your bookish cravings below! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review: Sway by Kat Spears

by Kat Spears

Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Published September 16th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Publisher
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

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.

My Thoughts:

Let me use this opportunity to share this. Whenever I read the title of this book, the song that was also called Sway by Bic Runga plays into my mind (and I'll eventually sing). And after reading, I realized that the song fits the book well. Combine the really cute cover and the romantic melody of the song--you'll get the ultimate Sway book feel.

To say that I really want to read this book is an understatement. When I first saw Sway, I immediately wanted to read it. Yes, I admit that I fell head over heels on that pretty cover, but the book description sold me as well. I want it so much that I almost drool when I held my copy. I guess you know what I mean. It was just amazing that I wasn't disappointed on the outcome.

Sway was told in Jesse's POV. It was refreshing to read a really cute-looking novel on a guy's POV. Jesse, a.k.a Sway, is a bad guy. Drug dealer, emotionless, and the person everyone can hire to get something or someone they want to have. Bad with a mean-but-funny sense of humor. I don't like his bad side but I love the way he cares for his friends. I love his conversation especially with Pete (Bridget's--the love interest--brother). I think I fell in love in their friendship.

Speaking of his friendship with Pete...I realized that Jesse had more interactions with Pete than Bridget. That's the only thing I found lacking--the interaction and romance development between Bridget and Jesse. I expected a tragic but romantic story based from the prologue, like A Walk to Remember or something like that. But when I think about it, the romance doesn't seem like the focus of the story, it's more like about Jesse. It does have a satisfying ending and was actually sweet. I just hope there was more swoon-worthy scenes in order to feel and bring out the romance more. I really liked it, nevertheless.

Sway is feel-good novel about friendship and learning and letting yourself feel and be loved. It's a hilarious and cute romance read. I would recommend this to contemporary and romance readers and everyone who wanted a chill read. ;)

*Warning: This book contains foul languages. I can assure you it's clean romance, though.

*Thanks to Macmillan International for the review copy of this book in exchange of an honest review! I also received an e-galley of this from Netgalley and St. Martin's. Thank you!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review: Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Messenger of Fear
by Michael Grant

Series: Messenger of Fear #1
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, paranormal
Published September 1st 2014 by Hardie Grant Egmont
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon * Book Depository
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
I remembered my name – Mara. But, standing in that ghostly place, faced with the solemn young man in the black coat with silver skulls for buttons, I could recall nothing else about myself.

And then the games began.

The Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear. 

But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out . . .

My Thoughts:

Weird was the first thing that came to my mind when I finished reading Messenger of Fear. This is my first novel from Michael Grant and I suppose I'm not used to his writing style or  this genre/theme or whatsoever that made me feel quite unattached to this book.

Mara woke up without any memories about her past or of herself. The only thing she knew was her name and a yellow mist is surrounding her, followed by the appearance of a mysterious young man clothed in all black and skulls who's called Messenger of Fear. The next thing that follows confused Mara more and saw things she hoped was only a nightmare. This book, together with the characters, is mysterious and creepy.  It has a unique storyline that kept me wanting to learn more and to uncover the mystery of the Messenger of Fear.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of downside in this book that I can't help but notice and change my overall impression. The identity of Mara was a mystery here. But even before Messenger shared bits of her memories, I already know who she really is. I was just on page 31 that time. Most of the time, I don't know what's happening on the story, what it's all about and I even question the purpose of the Messenger of Fear and other creepy characters. Just like Mara does on the story. I'm also not sure if it has a slow pace or the book just wanted to remain mysterious all the way. There were no answers until the ending and those weren't enough as well.

Despite the downsides, I'm still looking forward on reading the sequel. I guess. I might get what this series was about and learn more about the characters. I would recommend this book to Michael Grant fans and readers who's interested in a intriguing, mysterious, creepy, paranormal stuff.

*Thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!



Saturday, September 13, 2014

ARC Review: Words and their Meanings by Kate Bassett

Words and their Meanings
by Kate Bassett

Genre: YA, contemporary
Published September 8th 2014 by Flux
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Local purchase/order: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Anna O’Mally doesn’t believe in the five stages of grief. Her way of dealing with death equates to daily bouts of coffin yoga and fake-tattooing Patti Smith quotes onto her arms. Once a talented writer, Anna no longer believes words matter, until shocking discoveries– in the form of origami cranes– force her to redefine family and love.

As Anna goes in search of the truth, she discovers that while every story, every human being, has a last line, it might still be possible to find the words for a new beginning.

My Thoughts:

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

Anna had a really weird dealing with grief since she doesn't believe the five stages. That was the first thing I noticed on the main character. Words and their Meanings was about dealing or facing the things you feared the most or one that you never thought would happen. Would you break completely or would you see the good side of life and try to move on?

This book was beautifully written. I love the fact that the main character was a writer and her--or the author's--talent was shown. It was the words and the meaning that I noticed the most. (Wow, that sounds like the title. XD) I also liked the mystery on it although I find it predictable. So I wasn't that shocked when one secret was revealed.

Overall, Words and their Meanings is an okay book for me. But I really do like that it was well-written. Many people seemed to love this book so don't be discouraged when I said it was an okay book for me. Maybe I'm not just 'into' grief topic or maybe I expected more.

*Thanks to Flux and Netgalley for the advance review ecopy!