Chronicle of A Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Book Review

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 ‘ON THE DAY THEY WERE GOING TO KILL HIM, SANTIAGO NASAR GOT UP AT FIVE-THIRTY IN THE MORNING TO WAIT FOR THE BOAT THE BISHOP WAS COMING ON’

When newlywed Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Román are left to their wedding night, Bayardo discovers that his new wife is no virgin. Disgusted, he returns Angela to her family home that very night, where her humiliated mother beats her savagely and her two brothers demand to know her violator, whom she names as Santiago Nasar.

As he wakes to thoughts of the previous night’s revelry, Santiago is unaware of the slurs that have been cast against him. But with Angela’s brothers set on avenging their family honour, soon the whole town knows who they plan to kill, where, when and why.

Publisher: Penguin Books

Date Published: February 29, 2008

Date Read: March 2016

No. of Pages: 122 pages

Source: BookSale

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Haunting and Strange.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a proof that one need not write a long book to tell a great story. This book may be 122 pages long, but it was condensed and all aspects of a great book wasn’t compromised. This is my second Gabo book, first being Memories of my Melancholy Whores about an unconventional love story of a 90 year old and a young woman, if I remember it correctly a 14 year old girl. It was so intriguing, I read it in one sitting. I knew then, I need to read more of Gabo’s works. So when the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it and started with Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Resh (@thebooksatchel on instagram) posted about #MarchofMarquez wherein people are going to read Gabo’s works the whole month of March to honor his birthday. I decided to join in, best decision I have made. As I was in this murder/historical drama vibe because of Burial Rites, I opted to read this book, and did it quench my thirst? Yes it did!

I loved how the book depicted the beliefs and culture they had back then. How important honor was, far more important than anything. The plot gripped me in this inexplicable way that I could not help but finish this book in a day. Gabo’s writing style is always a cut above the rest, he has this distinct way of saying things as it is, plain and simple without sugarcoating and using flowery words. Just straight to the point. Based from the two books I have read, he has this unique plots making every story original and his very own. Only Gabriel Garcia Marquez can do that.

The characters were all well written as well. They are very distinct from the other,making the book all the more interesting. The book was told through recollections and testimonies of those who witnessed Santiago Nasar’s death. Some corroborated that of another, some will really test your skill on deciphering who was telling the truth or who was telling a complete lie – making the reader more eager to know what truly transpired that unfortunate day. It left me with this gnawing feeling, yet I was satisfied with the whole read. It is the kind of book that even when you already knew what happened, you will still be rooted to your spot and will hold the book dearly in your hand, seeking for those bazillion questions you have inside your head. The tension that builds up was ever present and wasn’t compromised at all. This book is just pure genius. I highly recommend it for Gabo first timers.

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“…I caught the smell of a warm woman and I saw the eyes of an insomniac leopard in the darkness…”
― Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezChronicle of a Death Foretold

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent: Book Review

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Synopsis: A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Publisher: Picador

Date Published: August 29, 2013

No. Of Pages: 338

Date Read: March 25, 2016

Source: Book Depository 

 

REVIEW

RIVETING AS IT WAS HEARTBREAKING. HAUNTING AS IT WAS ACHINGLY BEAUTIFUL.

How could I ever give this book the justice it truly deserves? Words seem to escape my head each passing moment, and I am afraid I may not be able to say everything there is to say. But let me try, let me share my 2 cents, let me tell you how this book floored me. It was so amazing, it’ll probably haunt me in my sleep, not that I would be complaining, it is the kind of nightmare I would dare have, yes, that’s how attached I was to this book.

Historial Fiction has never been my strong suit, it was the genre I tried to avoid for the longest time. I thought my comprehension or attention skill will betray me if I read books of this genre. I am afraid it will not pique my interest, or I will end up being too subjective. Safe to say, historical fiction isn’t my cup of tea. More often than not, when historical fiction is on the table, I’ll pass. It was the genre I was afraid too thread on. But Burial Rites made me a Historical Fiction convert. If every historical fiction book would be as good as this, then I will say, send them my way I am up for the challenge.

Yes, it was a challenge reading Burial Rites, but because I am in this phase where I want myself to be constantly challenged by the books I read, I went ahead and picked up this great book, best decision I have made so far. Burial Rites needed some getting used to, but when you already got the hang of it, it’ll be easier. At first I had a hard time reading the names, I dared not say them out loud though or else the dead will definitely rise from the grave and maybe strangle me in my sleep. The only issue I had with the book was it was slow-paced one, and because we have already established the fact that I am not a historical fiction connoisseur, I really took my sweet time finishing this one. Part of me was afraid that if I whiz through it I might miss important details and another part of me wanted to savor it longer. Did I mention that each sentence was written so beautifully? The author really took time to formulate the perfect sentence, it was really a pleasure to read. I kept saying to myself, was this really just her debut novel? It felt like she has written a thousand books already. Hannah Kent’s writing style is flawless. One I would definitely want to read more of.

I loved the setting – Iceland. This is the first book that I have read that is set there. The writing style made me picture Iceland in such a majestic way yet a little too haunting. I did not miss the way the author described Iceland as a gloomy place yet with a lot of stories to offer.

The characters were all distinct from one another. I highly appreciated the character development. As the story progresses you can notice how each of the characters intertwine   weaving a beautiful relationship, which made my heart ached all the more. I bawled like I haven’t bawled before at the last chapter, especially what Margaret did for Agnes. I also loved Toti and Agnes’ relationship, it was honest and raw. Natan’s character was the one I was so frustrated with, I hope I could elaborate more, but I would’t want to run the risk of spewing out spoilers, so I will leave it at that. I specifically liked Steina’s character, she had this stubborn and annoying side that I have grown to adore. And yes of course, Agnes – her narration of the events made all the book more special. It was the part of the book that I look forward to reading. Each chapter led to what really transpired at Illugastadir, I had my predictions but it didn’t quite meet what unfolded. What happened there wasn’t really a big shocker, it wasn’t something that would make someone gasp or would turn the whole story 360 degrees, if for anything it was narrated in such a sad manner, the melt-your-heart-and-bawl-for-days-on-end-kind-of-narration and I loved it. Made me understand Agnes even more. There was also this unsettling feeling taking residence in the crevices of my thoughts towards the end of the book, and all those pent up emotions added up and I lost it. I was really crying.

I really commend how well-researched this book is. It was really a product of effort and hard work. Hannah Kent easily became one of my favorite authors, and I can’t wait to read more of her works. Now go buy this book and devour its beauty!

RATING: rating_5stars

“I cannot think of what it was not to love him. To look at him and realise I had found what I had not known I was hungering for. A hunger so deep, so capable of driving me into the night, that it terrified me.”
― Hannah KentBurial Rites

 

The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy: Book Review

Synopsis: He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Date Published: May 6, 2015

Publisher: Createspace

No.of Pages: 296

 

REVIEW

Off-Campus series, oh what do I do without you? Still addictive, but was a little repetitive to a fault.

First off here is my John Logan, I was picturing Freddie Stroma this whole time, because seriously why the hell not?

And now that it is out of the way, I can proceed with this review.Sorry I didn’t bother picturing out Grace Ivers, because first, her character kind of annoys me and second I am too lazy to look up for some not-so well known celebrity or model that could probably fit in Grace’s description in the book. So forgive me and let us proceed.

Reading Elle Kennedy’s books can be best compared to eating potato chips, you simply cannot just have one. After reading The Deal the first book in the Off-Campus series I knew I had to binge read the rest of it or else I’ll toss and turn in bed thinking about it this whole time. I never actually binge read books written by the same author. I have my reasons, one of which is that I am afraid to just read the same thing or same line of thinking at the very least, losing the distinction of the characters. I want to remember each one of the characters as much as I could and be able to separate one from another. I don’t want to mix the stories, I want to preserve whatever I got out of their stories, so as not to affect my judgments, or tend to over-compare. Comparison of books is inevitable, yes, but I just felt like I am more objective when I didn’t read it consecutively, well this is not applicable to series that have the same plot line. Off Campus series, yes have the same setting, but with different characters featured on each book, it could very well be a stand alone. You can actually read them not in the same order, there just this cameo appearance of the characters from other books, other than that you won’t miss out on a lot of things since as I have mentioned, different books different characters. Now the problem I encountered was, I compared The Deal and The Mistake a little too much than necessary. And to be honest, The Mistake fell a little short. I had my issues with The Deal but it was easily overshadowed by how much I loved the overall story of Garrett and Hannah. However in The Mistake, my issues with it are not easily forgotten, it pops up every chance it gets, which I tell you was pretty often. I found the whole book, a little repetitive and has become tiring to read. Don’t get me completely wrong here, I enjoyed this book but not as much as I did the first one.

Let’s talk about the voice of the characters, because The Mistake deals with another set of characters now namely John Logan and Grace Ivers, it is very natural to expect that the dialogues or the voice used in this book will have variation with that of The Deal. That’s where I was disappointed, there was no difference at all. The sentences and the choice of words already appeared in the first book, (duh of course, it was written by one and the same person what do you expect?) what I’m driving at is, when you read the book, say for an instance it was Grace’s point of view, if your mind is wandering off, you can very well think that it was Hannah who was talking. What I’m saying is, there wasn’t really a big difference as to the tone or the words used by the characters. You can easily mistake one from the other. What I was looking for was that wow factor wherein even if it is written by the same person, at least make an appearance that it wasn’t. At least make it look like that the characters are really distinct from the other, because that what makes a good book. I’m not saying that the author should altogether change her writing style, but at least make the characters believable and different from each other and maybe do away with using same phrases over and over.

The Mistake didn’t grip me as much as The Deal did. There were great moments, oh yes boy, definitely there are, I could still remember how I squealed at some parts or how I tweeted aimlessly about how I cannot deal with the palpable chemistry between Logan and Grace. How excited I was to see how the story will unfold. I wouldn’t deny the fact that I really enjoyed it for the most part, but somewhere along the way, they lost me. I put it down for two whole days, because I just couldn’t force myself anymore to continue on reading. Not unlike The Deal wherein I literally had to put it down only when I need to participate in life i.e, eating, sleeping and doing important life stuff. However, I liked Logan and Grace’s backstory than that of Garrett and Hannah, I thought that was more original than The Deal. And oh goodness, I love love love Grace’s mother. I’ll be inserting a few lines where I literally laughed so hard.

““Remember when that nasty girl was bullying you in fifth grade? What was her name again—Brenda? Brynn?”
“Bryndan.”
“Bryndan? Lord, what is the matter with parents these days?” Mom shakes her head in amazement.”

Haha this was so funny to me, her mother was really funny, she reminded me of Jenna Hamilton’s mom on the show Awkward. 

I also loved how great of a guy Logan is, well except for the fact that he was once a manwhore, but other than that, he was really a great guy, what with all the father thingy and being a great Grace pursuer. What’s not to love about that guy? I loved Garrett and Logan’s friendship as well, ahh if it is possible to ship the two, haha. Grace’s character on the other hand annoyed me a shit ton, no not really, but there are things that she does that irked me to no end, and there are things that I could live with. She sometimes contradicts herself, I’m so annoyed I cannot even explain it without giving out spoilers.

And oh don’t get me started with how they end up watching Die Hard 2 and then to something else steamy. I mean, seriously who does that? I cannot. I just cannot even. It was an eh? moment for me. And believe me there are lots of it. It was overly cheesy (this says a lot, because I like cheesy, but this book over did it, it was too sweet and cheesy it’ll give you diabetes, haha!)

And might I add, why is everyone good-looking? Why does every girl have tiny waist and fruity-smelling hair? Why does every girl have to be so gorgeous, I mean why? Not a single normal looking soul described in the book, even Morris who was described as hipster was portrayed as some exotic looking guy, what with all the different nationalities he has. Ugh. Why? And these damn hockey players are so god-like! With their ripped abs, chiseled jaws, their beautiful eyes and dreamy smiles. WHY? I know I mentioned that this series consists of dreamy guys, but it was too much already. Why can’t anyone look like a regular human being? Am I reading about gods now? Last time I checked these were bunch of college students with steamy steamy relationships and trust issues to last them a life time. I bet even the cab driver looks like David Beckham. Ha! Okay rant over.

Okayyy, this is getting longer than what I intended, so to summarize, I enjoyed it, but not as much as the first book. To me it definitely suffered the proverbial Second Book Syndrome. 

Will I read The Score immediately? Maybe not. I was told it was the best one out of the three, but I have to reserve my judgment until then. Sorry I bored you with this review that became a rant along the way. Haha!

I need you. I can’t stand the thought of being without you.” He releases a shaky breath. “You’re the last person I think about before I go to sleep, and the first person I think about when I open my eyes in the morning. You’re it for me, baby.”
― Elle KennedyThe Mistake

The Deal (Off Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy: Book Review

 

Synopsis: She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Date Published: February 24, 2015

Publisher: Self-Published

No. Of Pages: 342

 

REVIEW

HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. ROMANCE OVERLOAD. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

But wait there’s more, read now and you will get to fantasize about dreamy hockey players.

 Hahah ir seems like I am advertising a drug haha. But seriously, that’s how I loved this book. It was so addictive, I could not literally put it down, save for when I have to participate in life and do mundane things. If I could go on a day without eating just to finish this book, I totally would.

I’ve asked my dear friends for some NA recommendation, since I was in the mood for one. It has been so long since I have read a good NA. The Deal was constantly recommended to me (hi Bea, Pearl, Cath and Elena) and I couldn’t thank these people enough for introducing me to this series. Ah Garrett Graham. *insert heart eyes*. The Deal definitely was the kind of NA I was craving for. You have no idea how deprived I am of reading new adult, so much so, that after reading The Deal, I might just binge read all the other books in the series, which is very unlikely of me, so that says a lot  You know what they say, you’ll always go back to your first love, which it was NA for me, it was the genre that ignited my love for reading again.

Cheesiness overload? CHECK

Dreamy Guys with Dreamy Bodies? SUPER CHECK. Everyone is gorgeous in this book.

A Strong Female Protagonist? CHECK

A DARK PAST? YUPPPP.

SWOON WORTHY? OH YEAH

All that and more. A college bad boy and a goody good girl kind of story is always right up my alley. These are the kind of guilty pleasure reads I would so willingly give in. Because come on, what’t not to love? I do understand that themes in NA books run the same storyline. A dark past, an unexpected meeting, steamy scenes… those comprise the formula of NA, it is just a matter of hitting the right spots, writing the perfect characters, putting some variation and some oomph or flavor and The Deal did just that, it was not the most original storyline, yes, but it worked for me. I was hooked from the beginning until the very end, and yes to the extent that I even dreamt about it.

Garrett Graham was the captain of the hockey team, he was of course drop dead gorgeous with ripped abs and face that could melt anyone’s panty (*author’s words not mine* haha) and Hannah Wells the regular girl with a sordid past she was trying to outlive. It was a sure recipe for a good romance don’t you think? I loved how feisty Wellsy is. I loved her strong personality, and how she doesn’t back down to anything, I just had a little issue with her sometimes, there were Eh? moments, but it was easily overshadowed by her over-all personality, so it was still okay. Garrett, on the other hand is someone that is more than what meets the eye. He was not a dumb college boy, he was actually good in school, save for Ethics haha. He was a little cocky and maybe a little too good to be true. But I loved both of them, I love them so much I want to hug them haha. And I so love their banters! They are just so cute, I cannot even!

The whole story was something I really enjoyed reading, I loved the set of friends both Hannah and Garrett have, they were all good people and good looking haha. I love Hannah’s parents! But sometimes it was bordering unrealistic, but it was something  I could live with. It tackles sensitive issues, but I loved how the author didn’t press too much on that subject, making things just easy and fun to read.

This book was definitely a sweet surprise, I can’t simply swipe off that stupid smile on my face after I read the book. It was just so good, it will leave you with that satisfied feeling. I highly recommend it!!!

Now excuse me as I continue on with the other books. 🙂

“Him: Confession: I deleted all the 1 Direction from your iPod when u were in the can.
You’re welcome.
Me: WHAT?? I’m going to kiss u!
Him: With tongue?
It takes me a second to realize what happened, at which point I’m completely mortified.
Me: Kill u! I meant KILL. u. Damn autocorrect.
Him: Surrrrrre. Let’s blame it on autocorrect.
Me: Shut it.
Him: I think someone wants to kiss me…”
― Elle KennedyThe Deal

NY Times By The Book Tag

 

This tag has been going on the booktube community, and it piqued my interest. And because I don’t have BookTube channel, I am doing it again in blog from. This tag was originally created by Marie Berg on Youtube.

So let’s begin, here are the questions:

1. What book is on your night stand now?

Well, books actually. I am simultaneously reading four books now, one in ebook form hahah I know what have I gotten myself into? The physical books are: A Clash Of Kings by George RR Martin which i’m already 312 pages in. I find it a little slow-paced as compared to Game of Thrones. Second book is Practicing Misis by Rosan Katlea Reodica a book written by a Filipina, which I am really enjoying, super funny and informative! Third book is Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, I am already 32 pages in and I am enjoying it so far. I have heard nothing but great things.

2. What was the last truly great book you read?

Oh, this is hard to answer. But I’d have to go with Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, oh how I’ve missed Palahniuk’s writing. I think I have established the fact that Chuck P is one of my favorite authors of all time. So this comes as a no brainer, I have loved Fight Club a little too much, its concept is twisted yet very addictive! It is full of testosterone, which is fine by me, most readers are opposed to books with too much masculinity in it, for lack of a better word. But as for my case, I really enjoy books with such themes and with an abundance of testosterone.

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

I would choose Pablo Neruda, his life seemed to be a really interesting one, I would like to know the person he was thinking about when he was writing majority of his poems.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Hmmm, I don’t think there is a specific book that someone will be surprised to see on my shelf. I read a little bit of everything, but because I had to choose maybe you will all be surprised to see the book American Gangbang by Sam Benjamin. Basing from the title itself, you pretty much know the rundown. It was a memoir about a guy who dreams to make quality porn films, trying to make a difference in the said industry. It could be pretty graphic, but I tell you, the writing is really impeccable, it was flawless. I wish he would write a novel, because I will surely read it.

5. How do you organize your personal library.

By authors, sometime by height. Hahah I don’t know. My shelf is pretty messed up right now.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

The book I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around yet is Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I’ve been meaning to read any Ernest Hemingway, and I’ve been told it is best to start with this book, but I couldn’t bring myself to crack open the spine and immense myself in his writing. Soon, though soon.

I feel embarrassed never to have read would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, yep you read that right. I have not read an Austen book, ever in my life. Well, I never claimed I have, so… I will remedy that soon, I promise.

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

For me it is the Selection series by Kiera Cass, I never say this a lot, because I truly respect people who enjoyed them. But the series just wasn’t for me, I found the characters too weak and whiny, the plot too mediocre and just too predictable to a fault. So yep, I don’t want to use the word hate, but it is so close to that. So sorry to big fans. I know we vary tastes in books. I respect your tastes, and please respect mine.

The last book I put down without finishing is Behind Your Back by Chelsea Cameron, I love NA, but this specific book, aint doing it for me. It’s going on in circles, and I just grew tired with all the nonsense, in my defense I was 65% or so, and I thought to myself if it continues to be this boring at that point, then I don’t know what could be its saving grace. I never DNF a book, I don’t want to make it as habit, but this book just brought our that side of me.

8. What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

I love stories with angels, or FBI agents or marines, captive-captor, any of that and Im sold.

I stay clear from horror stories. I tend to have nightmares. I’m a baby deal with it. haha

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Hmm, I would suggest Woman Alone and Other Plays by Frana Rame and Darlo Fo, presidents should read more feminist themed books, not that I am insinuating something. haha

10. What do you plan to read next?

After Im down with all the books on my night stand hahah and the binge reading of NA I am planning on, I’ll be reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. It is about damn time.

 

Yay! I’m tagging dear friends to do this tag:

Cath of To All The Books Ive Read Before

Jenny of Jayne V Books

Elena of The Queen Reads

Janna of BibliophileMom

Pearl of Bibliopearl

Bea of Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic

 

If you want to do this, then consider yourself tagged! 🙂

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson: Book Review

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Synopsis: Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny

Date Published: July 7, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

No. of Pages: 470

Date Read: March 2016

Source: Fully Booked

REVIEW

Great character development and a gripping ending.

The Kiss of Deception sure was included on my Top 14 of 2014, so it is just right to continue on with the series. I loved how Mary Pearson was able to toy with the readers’ emotions, how not all cards were immediately laid out – there was always the element of surprise. That’s what made me fall in love with The Kiss of Deception. 

The Kiss of Deception left us with a cliffhanger, the kind of torment readers crave. To be upfront, before I started reading The Heart of Betrayal, I searched the ever reliable internet for the summary of the first book, checked my review and others’ as well, just to refresh my memory who is who, what is what, and what events transpired that are very crucial to the story. After being confident enough to know the necessary details, I proceeded with The Heart of Betrayal. You see, second books in a series can be tricky, they can either surpass the greatness of the first book or fell short. The Heart of Betrayal fell a little short for me. But don’t take this in a whole negative way. I still loved and enjoyed the book just  maybe not as much as I did The Kiss Of Deception. I found it a little slow-paced for my own liking, majority of the book was written to explain the back story of the Vendans, which I really appreciated. I appreciated that the back story wasn’t compromised, but then again I’ve been craving for some action, but this craving wasn’t really satisfied not until the end part of the book, which made a lot of difference, I think I held my breath more than humanly possible because of that ending. It was intense and gripping, it sure made up for all the dragging parts of the book.

The character development is definitely not one to miss. This is what I liked most about the book, the characters really evolved into something greater. Now that they need not pretend as to their real identities anymore, it helped a lot to show their real characteristics, their true potential and what they are capable to do. But there are also some more deception that was happening in the entirety of the book, with Rafe’s men, as to the true identity of Rafe as he wants Komizar and the rest of the Vendans to perceive him. It was this cobweb of deceptions and lies one after another, and it worked just fine in the book. It didn’t look as though it was forced, and it did give me that uneasy feeling that their deception will be revealed any moment. It was another plus point for me, again toying with my emotions. The Komizar reminded me of Johny Depp in some weird way, his character perfectly fits that of Johnny Depp. Calantha on the other hand, I was picturing Theresa Palmer all along. I wish to read more about Calantha, I wish there would be some novella about her. Her character is very interesting. Lia on the other hand became more badass than what I gave her credit for, she truly came out of her shell, her chapters are always pleasant to read. She has become a strong female protagonist, a true development from her character as a tavern girl in the first book. Rafe on the other hand, hmm, I was expecting more from him, I just think that he was not able to show his true capabilities, which was perfectly understandable since his hand are tied quite literally and figuratively, with him being a captive in the land of Vendans, one can only do so much. Now Kaden, don’t get me wrong I have been Team Rafe since the beginning, but after learning more about Kaden, I now understand why many are rooting for him. I loved that he respected Lia, and truly loved her. Also his backstory is really a shocker, I love to know more of it.

There are parts that were predictable, a stark contrast from the first book which deceived me for the better part of it, but still, I repeat there is some element of surprise to it. I cannot also discount the fact that there are a lot to consider and to look forward to, that’s the beauty of this book, it will leave you wanting more, demanding answers, but sadly we all have to wait until August 2016 for that last book in this trilogy, I’m not ready for it to end. I can’t let go of them yet!

So until then, let’s all hold hands just to get through this whole ordeal of waiting for the third book. May we all survive this.

 

Rating: rating_4stars

“Confluence-a coming together by chance.. Together they become something greater, but it isn’t delicate or sweet. Like a raging river, a confluence can lead to something impossible to predict or control… Yet sometimes the coming together, the confluence of destinies, seemed not to be by chance at all.”
― Mary E. PearsonThe Heart of Betrayal

 

Hai[NA]Ku and Other Poems by AA Patawaran: Book Review

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Synopsis: An exciting collection of poetry inspired by life’s most engrossing themes such as love and pain, solitude and reflection, arrivals and departures, and the tenuous threads that make up everyday life, from AA Patawaran, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle editor and bestselling author of Write Here Write Now.

Date Published: February 2016

Publisher: Anvil Publishing

No of Pages: 186 pages.

Source: Bought from National Book Store

REVIEW

Evocative and Enthralling.

I will never claim myself to be an adept poetry reader, there are still so much poems and poets in the world I have yet to explore. When I heard that a new poetry book was released by a Filipino author, I knew I had to get it. It is such a shame that I have not read a full length poetry book written by a Filipino, I know, what is wrong with me? My good friend gave me a poetry book last year, but up until now I never had the chance to read it. Now I am remedying my palpable lack of knowledge about Filipino poetry, and I started it with this book.

So here it goes, apologies first if this review may not give the book full justice, but I will try. Hai[NA]Ku and Other poems is not just about love, but life’s all encompassing events, the highs and lows and everything in between. This book celebrates a life well-lived, a place well-traveled and a story perfectly narrated by a well-versed man. AA Patawaran’s writing style has this melancholic tone to it, yet you cannot miss the strong message he was trying to send across.

Here’s sharing with you the results of such exploits in the hope that you will find in them a few ideas, a little inspiration, a little entertainment, some empowerment, and maybe, if I understood the point of poetry correctly, a reflection of your soul. 

And this poetry book did just that, an inspiration, entertainment, empowerment and without a doubt a reflection of the soul. I never knew I could relate to it this much. I loved how Philippine history also was a part of this magnificent work. Also the current situation of our society specifically mentioned in the poems DATINGMNL and The Great Instagram Purge . I loved how the poems are relevant and timely, how it suits the ever changing facets of modern lives.

It will give you that sense of nostalgia, that bitter-sweet feeling that will fill you with too much longing and too much want. I loved how a poem was not just what meets the eye, it was so much more. The author’s ability to intertwine love’s hardships and that of society’s ever present predicament was just impeccable.

But why must it be so hard to love you

You are home yet I hardly feel at home

Everything’s an assault to the senses

Where nothing is sure and nothing is free

(But the law’s unreliability)

– D|sloyalty

I’ve read the book out loud, if that counts for anything. I wanted to hear it as well, through my very voice, and it adds to the beauty of it all. There was this sense of being at the moment, seeing everything unfold through your own imagination.

My ultimate favorites were It’s Not What I Thought, Walker’s Paradise, D|sloyalty and Don’t Wince At The Smell of Rotten Fish.

I used to think that love was simple; that it was all a matter of finding it, until I found it  – and it’s harder because , unless I constantly work on it, I feel as hollow as I feel full, I feel unsure as I feel certain, I feel as lost as I feel found.

xx

I used to think that sadness was a form of self-indulgence, until I got depressed – and it’s harder now when I feel sad because, long swept under the rug, cast in the shadows, dismissed and denied, the emotion feels so strange, so foreign, so unexplored.

I used to think that happiness was the result of good things happening, until I found happiness on the bleakest day, like a ray of light in the darkest night – and it’s harder, much harder now to know that, no matter what happens, no matter how great my sorrows, no matter how terrible my tragedies, happiness will always be a choice.

– It’s Not What I Thought

It is such a nice feeling to support local authors, I should have done this a long time ago. And now I  am making it my life’s mission to promote and support more of Filipino Literature because truly Filipinos have world class talent. I truly recommend this poetry book to everyone who wants to be inspired and empowered, those who thought they could not make any difference, because you could, we all could. Cheers to all Filipino authors!

RATING: rating_5stars