Book Reviews, anyone?

New & Used

So are you interested to review books? Is that a yes? Then you’ve come to the right place! I am in the process of collating emails and blogs to complete my Recommendation List of Book Bloggers who are as passionate as I am when it comes to digesting good words.

Now why am I doing this?

Let me start by saying this is not a promotional drama or something you’d be compelled to do. Over the past year, I have been asked by various authors and publishers if I will be willing to review their books. Of course I was ecstatic! It is an honor to be chosen by these authors and publishers – that what you think about these books truly mattered. And so I accepted book review requests, one after another. And let’s just address the elephant in the room, I bit off more than I could chew. And so I am drowning. In all sense of the word. Books to be reviewed are piling up on my bed side table, and believe me I wanted to read all of them but time and life in general just won’t permit me to do so. Don’t worry I am trying my best to read and eventually review them, I just need more time. I wanted to promote independent authors as much as I could and just help get the word out, but then it wasn’t as easy as it may seem.

And so I’ve thought of this Recommendation List. Now what is this exactly? This will be my basis on who to recommend in the unfortunate case that I could not accept a review request of certain books. I will give this recommendation to the authors and publishers that will contact me. This way, the book can be properly promoted and reviewed by enthusiastic readers.

So if you are interested, it would mean a lot to me if you could comment down your respective emails and blogs as well as the genre you like to read. And I’ll try my best to match you with the publishers/authors. This is also a way to help new bloggers to promote their stuff. It is also nice if you have a bookstagram account – this makes promoting of the book a lot easier.

Note that, the version of the book may vary. There are authors and publishers who are willing to send out physical copies and there are also who opt to send it in ebook form. Make sure you are fine with this, and be upfront if you are not. Communication with the authors and the publishers is the key.

And just a tip to new book bloggers, just review the book you are really interested in. And don’t bite off more than you can chew! Happy book blogging!

UPDATE

So here’s a form for you to fill out, so it would be easier for me to track your emails and blogs. Thanks!

 

XO,

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The Philippines Readers and Writers Festival 2016: Book Blogging 101

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I am very excited to share with you guys this great news! I along with these beautiful ladies (Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, Kai of Amaterasu Reads, Hazel of Stay Bookish and Lyra of Defiantly Deviant) will talk about all things bookish! We will be having a panel discussion about book blogging and its promotion on social media. It would mean a lot to me if you could join us. That would be on August 28, 2016 9:30 am to 12 nn at Raffles Makati. This is part of the The Philippines Readers and Writers Festival 2016. Admission is free guys! For more details check readersandwritersfestival.com or visit National Book Store’s Facebook Page.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend Kate, for including me as one of the panelists. I admit this is my first time to talk about what I love the most – books and book blogging, in front of a lot of people, so you can just imagine how nervous I am. But I will try my best to say sensible things and answer all your questions to the best of my ability. Hope to meet you all there! And oh, we’ve prepared a little something-something for our participants! I can’t wait to see you guys! Let’s geek out together!

Thank you National Book Store and Raffles Makati for this amazing opportunity!

XO,

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Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino: Book Review

Synopsis from Goodreads: When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: August 9, 2016

Setting: San Diego; Ohio

Date Read: August 12, 2016

Source: Kindle Ebook

 

REVIEW

 

From the moment I read the very first chapter, I knew right then and there it will become a favorite.

 

Swear On This Life is the first book by Renee Carlino that I have read, and now I have made it my life’s mission to read every book she has written and will ever write. That’s how attached I was. I have been hearing about her books before but I wasn’t intrigued enough to actually pick and read one, until this book. To be honest I just skimmed the blurb, I picked out words here and there and just went for it. So happy I did. You see, there is something about books about readers and writers that appeal to me so much. Put that in a book and I am practically sold. It is true, the very first chapter captured my attention, so much so that I could very well feel that even at 12% I am sure it will be included in my favorites list. I just knew nothing could go wrong with this one. And that’s how you write a book people, you hit all the right spots in the very first chapter and captivate the readers like the proverbial moth to the flame. First chapter and I was a goner! I swear it was all I was talking about, it was all I was tweeting about, it was all I was snap chatting about, it was bordering annoying but I just couldn’t help it, I was so smitten over a book I literally cannot deal with other people or with life.  I just wanted to stay in bed and just read the day away. It is as if I was latching on to every word and the anticipation of what’s to happen was killing me.

The story isn’t definitely something you come across often. It wasn’t a cliche, if anything it was unconventional and very unique. I was thinking of what best word to describe it and the word bookception (yep just like the movie Inception) was the only thing that came to mind. Very fitting if you ask me. It was a book about a book with another book inside it – I am serious. What is better than that, tell me! I loved how Renee Carlino intertwined the lives of the characters in a way that is not in the usual course of a novel. There was juxtaposition of the old selves and the new selves of the characters through a book inside a story, it was so original, hats off to Renee Carlino for thinking outside the box. That alone made the book so appealing to me. I have not read anything like it. I loved that it was very plot driven and very well written. I have highlighted a lot of passages.

Emiline’s character perfectly embodies a person who has been torn with the choices she makes in life. I somehow see myself in her. Isn’t that the point of a book? How a part of yourself could relate to the story no matter how different it was from yours. How you will be able to realize that everything you experience in life is not unprecedented, that a book magnifies bits and pieces of yourself through the stories of others. Jase on the other hand was as human as any character should be. There was beauty in his character, the persistence and how patient he was with Emiline, and yes he even went out of his way to write a book just to reach Emiline and make her realize everything. Renee Carlino made relatable characters. I love love love that both Jase and Emiline are big readers, goodness, I was so happy to see myself in a character!

The book didn’t have the shocking, heart-stopping twist, but it proved that a good book doesn’t need one to be able to become a worthy read. We are taken into a journey of two kids who were faced with difficulties in life and were forced to grow up fast, whatever that was about to unfold, Renee Carlino made sure that the readers become a part of it. It is as if as Emiline reads the book, the readers read it with her. There was something so beautiful about it. That’s why this book became a favorite.

Swear on This Life is something relevant and very eye-opening. It wasn’t a simple case of the one that got away story, but it was something more than that. The book will make you realize the choices you have made and its impact in your life. Swear on This Life speaks in volumes, it speaks of regrets and having to live and deal with your demons the best way you know how. It was more than a just a story, it teaches you a lesson or two. Something you would actually stop and ponder on after you read it. It was taking the leap of faith and trusting where your feet will land.

Rating: rating_5stars

Everything felt lighter, like the planet had been catapulted into the cosmos and we were spinning freely through space and time.

Renee Carlino, Swear on This Life

The Cure by J.R. Knight: Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Welcome to Metravā.
The year is 3433.
Here are some things you need to know:
Run by the governmental body, Peār, Metravā is inhabited by U-mans, a genetically modified race of humans who do not sleep, who work fifteen hours a daāy, and who are fused with their U-chip at birth.
Everyone is the same, everyone blends in, and no one stands out.
That is until Knijä Taū is born.

Date Published: August 14, 2016

Date Read: August 8, 2016

Number of Pages: 130

Setting: Metrava

Source: Author provided me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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A book that packed a punch!

J.R. Knight contacted me if I wanted to review his book, upon reading what it was about, I jumped at the opportunity and agreed. I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan to be completely honest, but this book sounded so intriguing and amazing, I just couldn’t pass up. It was the perfect mixture of uniqueness and cleverness. J.R. Knight is a genius for coming up with such novella. I was instantly transported to the world he built. I thought I would have a hard time to get into it since it is a scifi book, but J.R. Knight made it so engaging I forgot how uncomfortable I used to be when reading a scifi book.

The setting was laid out perfectly, it was the mixture of scifi and dystopian world that I appreciate a lot. Knija was different, she was trying her best to fit in a world where you shouldn’t be extraordinary. In this novel we follow her journey and struggles of hiding her true identity to the world. I thought it was well executed, I loved its ingenuity, the way each chapters are narrated and how it all came together. The only issue I had was it was too short, I wanted to read so much more, I wanted to see more depth and be able to live in the world JR Knight made just a little longer. I wanted the ending to be elaborated more. This book definitely has potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised if JR Knight will be a household name under the scifi genre in the years to come.

I loved the details in this book, it was especially crafted and well thought-out. A book that definitely packed a punch! The characters played various role and are all important to the development of the story. The narration made it vivid, my imagination worked really well, it’s like watching a movie, and to be honest that doesn’t happen often.

The story was about standing out in a world that has been pulling you down. It is about embracing your uniqueness and “flaws” and using it to your advantage. It is about finding your real self amidst everything mediocre, it is about going against the current of what society has been dictating. I did not miss the message this book was trying to send across. Embracing everything that makes you different. I loved that JR Knight was able to conjure up such kind of story and incorporating it with scifi elements. Definitely a must read for readers who just started venturing out to scifi.

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”Keep everything about you that is whole and unique and different—sacred; wear every ounce of dissimilarity with privilege like a badge of honour. Never conform and never give in.”

phonto

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

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Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Setting: Boston, Massachusetts

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: August 2, 2016

Date Read: August 5, 2016

Source: Bought a copy at Fully Booked Alabang Town Center

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powerful and evocative read. 

It has been a good 24 hours since I last read the book, and I still can’t get it out of my head. It’s pretty much plaguing my mind every chance it gets, pouncing its awful reality on my brain like a headache I could not easily get rid off. This book ended me. In the truest sense of the word. Colleen hoover bared her soul with this one. This is the Colleen Hoover I fell in love with. This is the Colleen hoover hitting it where it hurts the most. This is Colleen Hoover not just telling a story for entertainment but so much more. This is digging deeper. This is flaw and perfection. This book hits home.

When you literally drop everything you’re reading just to read this one book. That constant curiosity and want gnawing at you. That feeling when it is all you think about every goddamn hour waiting for a minute, just one fucking minute you could spend with it. Waiting for unadulterated time, and actually being thankful for traffic or for idle time because you can read a page or two. It is really hard to contain one’s emotions when you just wanted to explode and tell every single soul you come across with how erratic your heart is beating, how there’s this quesy feeling down the recesses of your being. The adrenaline rush., my heartbeat in 140/minute. Gahhh that was what happened to me, I was so attached to it, I practically couldn’t function well.

There are so many things going on inside my head, Im not even sure where do I get the energy to write this review because I feel like I am so emotionally exhausted. Boy I had to compose myself, I had to pace my room and contemplate about what I just read. It was as powerful as it was raw. It was as heartbreaking as it was real. Hats off to people who have read this and not one bit messed up, because I for one cannot deal with all the rush of emotions Im having all at once. I have so many things to say and I am afraid I may not be able to say everything there is to say. So let me just compose myself a little more. Give me 10 seconds more.

You still there?

Okay good.

You ready to talk about it?

To be completely honest, I’m not.

First off, I heard few friends who didn’t like it. Which I completely understand. There is no one book that is for everyone. I guess it is just a matter of how much of yourself can relate to the story. And to tell you, this book hits home. Like it really nailed it where the wound had been and let it bleed anew. Im not one to go into details how much I related to this book. But this book gives you that bigger perspective, that sense of maturity of having to make an intelligent choice. God I wish I could say so much without giving anything away. Since Im always the one to give spoiler free reviews, I will try my best to give the book justice by not delving too much about the details of the book.

Let’s talk about the characters. There is Lily, a character I was able to relate in more ways than one. I loved how Colleen Hoover made her character reach out to readers, they may not have experienced that same thing her character went through, but she portrayed every woman faced with a predicament but was able to make choices that are selfless and intelligent. Her character was the one that made the biggest impact, she was someone who may have made wrong decisions along the way just like most of us but had conviction to stand by what is right. She was resilient and courageous and I adored Colleen Hoover for sharing such an amazing character. Then there is Ryle Kincaid, a man who has everything but is deeper than what he let on. His character was not hard to love. in fact his character was the one you’ll immediately fall for, until something happens (gahhh I can’t tell). And then there is Atlas, that guy from the past, to me he was perfect, to me he was the guy I wished I met or have my own version of. It is pretty obvious that I am Team Atlas from the very beginning. And of course I can’t fail to mention Alyssa and Marshall, god I love those two!! So funny! They seriously make the book a little lighter. Colleen Hoover made flawed characters, she made characters that are relatable. She made her characters into this real individuals with demons they have to deal with day in and day out, this was the magic of this book, how it was able to transcend from the pages of a book into the real world. How you can very well imagine that there is someone who is actually just like them in this world. The only issue I had maybe was how every character looked gorgeous and perfect, maybe we could change that?

Now let’s tackle the whole story. I never read the blurb, I went to this book as blind as one could get. I have literally no idea what it was about when I started reading it, and again I am reminded that there is beauty in that. Not knowing what it was about, not knowing what to expect, not knowing where the story will take you. And I am so glad I didn’t read the blurb, I am so glad my judgment was not tainted by what others’ thought about it. It was as pure as it could get. The story was a powerful one. It tackles heavy topics, something we should be talking about more, something we should not be afraid to read about, something we should challenge ourselves to understand more, something we should not shy away from. This book sent a message, loud and clear. Breaking the pattern, before the pattern breaks you. I had goosebumps whilst reading this book. Not only because I was able to relate to some extent but also because this was a bold and brave move by Colleen Hoover. Not many can write what they’ve been through, but Colleen Hoover made this book so significant and relevant you cannot miss the message she was trying to send across.

It Ends With Us was different and mature. It was a sad book yet a satisfying one. It was as heartbreaking yet as surreal. It was real life magnified and detailed, it was real life painted in a different light. It was a book everyone should read, not just because it is loved by many but there is a very important message that you could learn from. This book is an emotional rollercoaster, something you thought you are ready for but as it progresses through its loops and big drops, you will realize why the hell did you even ride in the first place, but after all the scare and the heart-stopping moments you will learn how rewarding it is. That is exactly what I felt when I finished reading this book. Plethora of unwanted emotions came rushing in, and I could not contain it, it felt like my heart was going to burst, I literally had a hard time breathing, it touched sensitive topics that I would rather forget but I took the plunge, I was all in, and couldn’t be more glad that I did.

So Im gonna stop here, drop everything and read this. You can thank me later. And oh please read the Author’s Note.

Hands down to Colleen Hoover! Thank you for being BOLD and BRAVE!

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“Imagine all the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact than others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed onto the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes. That was what Atlas was telling me when he said “I love you.” He was letting me know that I was the biggest wave he’d ever come across. And I brought so much with me that my impressions would always be there, even when the tide rolled out.” 
― Colleen HooverIt Ends with Us

phonto