Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral: Book Review

Synopsis: After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks." But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along....

Synopsis: After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song “Chopsticks.”
But nothing is what it seems, and Glory’s reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it’s up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along….

Date Published: February 2, 2012

Publisher: Razorbill

No. of Pages: 272

Date Read: December 2014

Source: I bought it.

REVIEW

Whoa! Too unique for words.

Did I miss out on anything? It feels like there was something I missed out on. I tried to get back to the last few pages and I was baffled even more. Maybe the book wanted to leave it at that, and I wouldn’t want to sound pretentious, nope I am not being pretentious here, I just simply loved the whole of it. No sugarcoating or anything, just the pure truth. I specifically liked that it was a novel narrated thru pictures and snippets and cutesy letters passed between two individuals. It is like you are witnessing a love story unfold your very eyes, a love story with of course down sides and struggles. But what got me was the last part, was Frank even real? That has been bothering me, was he all made up by Glory? The fact that the book puzzles its reader is really something wonderful, it is like you are told a beautiful story and you get to choose the ending, you may make it tragic or turn it into a happy one. The pictures set a haunting and riveting feel to it, it was melodramatic and poignant, but satisfying at the same time, there is just too much uniqueness surrounding this book. It is truly beautiful, that too much words were not necessary, the whole book speaks for itself. It was mysterious and baffling, but within its mystery I found myself coming up with different conclusion, and each of these conclusions paved way to more questions and new theories, it will be a never- ending cycle, but I am more than okay with that. I love that when in the future I decide to reread it, I will then again be bombarded with a different theory, it is like reading it for the first time, and not all books can do that, offering an alternative ending to a one solid story. Ahh, I feel like I am not making sense, I just can’t put into proper words about how enthralling this book was. I also specifically loved the use of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda in one of the photos. I think I have found a new favorite!

Rating: 5 stars

All we need is the slightest kiss of the wind…

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Unwind by Neal Shusterman : Book Review

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Synopsis: Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives. The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

“Characters live and breathe; they are fully realized and complex, sometimes making wrenching difficult decisions. This is a thought-provoking, well-paced read that will appeal widely.” School Library Journal, starred review

“[A] gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller…could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[A] nail-biting, character-driven thriller.” Horn Book magazine

No. of Pages:335  ]

Publisher:\Simon & Schuster

Date Published: June 2, 2009

Date Read:December 2014

Source:I bought it

REVIEW

Holy Smokes! This book is really good! Caps-lock GOOD!

When I first saw this on booktube I got really intrigued by the plot, as you may know, I am not really accustomed to reading sci-fi and dystopian novels, it is the genre I felt was not my cup of tea or to put it mildly it is a genre I only was able to scratch the surface, to cut the long story short, I was hesitant starting this one. I wanted to end my year with something out of my comfort zone, and so I picked this one up and let it take me to yet another reading experience.

Shusterman built a world so utterly terrifying, a world a reader needs some getting used to. It is a plot so different yet so captivating, it is the kind of plot that will constantly send you at the edge of your seat. It was twisted at it was dark, it was fucked-up as it was engaging, it was gripping as it was suspenseful. And i wouldn’t have it any other way. It is the kind of book that will leave you uncomfortable most of the time and will leave you saying “what the hell” “oh no” “that’s nuts” among other things. It was action packed since page one up to the end! I love how everything progresses and how everything is necessary, not one bit of the book wasted. Each chapter is connected making a unison of different point of views. I love the writing style too. The whole story was well thought out. I also would like to point out the difference of the characters and how they gradually develop, everything they do adds up to the beauty of the whole book. The fact that the characters can toy the readers emotions, is a huge deal for me. For an instance Lev, I was so sure the first few chapters that I am going to hate the boy, but towards the end I found myself cheering for him. I love the fact that the characters were not who you think they are, solid example is the Admiral. The fact that each chapter posits yet another twist and yet another surprise was the icing on top of this wicked cake. I also love that there was tiny romance going on, which made the book even more exciting than it already is.

There was this one chapter that made me squirm, it was so unsettling, I cannot for the life of me take it off of my head. It is as if I was the one experiencing it, pretty sure I will be having nightmares about it, It was sad and terrifying all at the same time. I had to stop reading right after that chapter. Just, ugh, it was insane!

And yes, Humphrey Dunfee’s story seriously creeped the hell out of me!

Oh Neal Shusterman, you are one hell of a wicked man, I loved how fearless the whole book was, totally out of the box, refusing to be caged into one definite thing, and it was nothing short of amazing!

Now I understand all the rave about it ,the hype was so real. It is definitely not one to miss. To say it was disturbing would then be an understatement. I hope every dystopian novel I come across with will be at least be paralleled to this or even greater, because I could not think of a better plot than this.I don’t want to say much because I wanted to leave you with enough curiosity to make you want to buy it and read it. I highly recommend it to anyone, even the adult ones.

Rating:5 stars

“Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.”

Book Bargain #3 and Huge Reading Slump

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I got this book from BookSale for only P145 or $3 bought from SM Lipa

Hi! I have not posted for a while, as I am currently undergoing too much holidays stuff and whatnot. I’ve been always out, doing some last minute Christmas shopping, running some errands, attending christmas parties and family reunions, I swear it wore me out. Thus the reason of my huge reading slump, whenever I have a few spare time, I don’t spend it on reading, I rather lie down, or laze around or watch tv, or whenever I bring myself to read a few pages, it feels like I am forcing myself, and I hate having that feeling, I read because I want to, not because for the sake of finishing the book, I don’t want to rush it, I want to give it justice.

Last Friday, we dropped by a mall before we head to our relatives, I of course went to booksale, I wanted to find something to read while we are at our relatives’ place. I’m not one to mingle with adults and hold adult conversations, I seriously suck at that. So as I was browsing the stacks of books, I chanced upon Unwind by Neal Shusterman,I have been wanting to read this book for the longest time as I am very intrigued by its plot, so when I saw the first book of the series, I did not think twice, I immediately bought it. This book got me out of my reading slump, so yay for that! I am half way through and I am really loving the story, I love stories that make you think, make you predict what will happen next! Oh I so love the uniqueness of this book, I now understand all the hype about it!!

So that pretty sums up my holiday haha! How about you guys, how’s your holiday going so far?

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curled up in bed with these uhmazing book with my favorite socks 🙂

Broken by Traci L. Slatton: Book Review

Synopsis: Power is pornographic Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in? Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German Occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all? Date Published: September 5, 2014 Publisher: Parvati Press Source: Net Galley Date Read: December 2014

Synopsis: Power is pornographic
Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?
Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German Occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?
Date Published: September 5, 2014
Publisher: Parvati Press
Source: Net Galley
Date Read: December 2014

REVIEW:

I received an advance reader’s copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Historical fiction, I have to admit is an uncharted territory, I can not go on claiming I am adept at it, I was only able to scratch the surface, and so because of this, I took a challenge to read this book, see if my young love for historical fiction will bloom, did it? Absolutely yes, this book made me want to read tons of historical fiction.

I was engrossed by the fact that it involved fallen angels, to me it was something out of the ordinary. The first few pages engulfed me and got me hooked, not by the premise alone, but because of the majestic way of how it was so well-written, I kid you not, the chosen words were flawless, the description of the scenes were vivid, You will fall in love with how each sentences were written.
The story started off with Alia, a fallen angel who found refuge into the body of a beautiful woman. Using the body for whatever pleasure she wanted and same pleasure she then returns to another. She lived through fornication, bedding different men – and yes sometimes women. At this point I should have stopped reading. It’s not that I am a sensitive reader, it is just that books with themes like it, are not really my cup of tea, but then there is also this part of me that is eager to learn how will the story progress and I am glad I was able to get past that stage where I was contemplating on continuing or not. I have learned that yes it contains explicit scenes, but the story did not mainly revolve around it. There was far more beautiful story that was brewing, that was the when the Germans took over Paris and Alia is now presented with the predicament on how to protect all the people she values and loves.

As the story progresses, I noticed that there were quite a few scenes that the book can do without. I was a little undecided if I am liking or hating the fact that i had the barest of idea to where the story is taking me, I guess it felt like the story has been dragging on and I could not find the resolution of it all. Also I badly wanted to see where Alia – being a fallen angel comes into play, well aside from the fact the she can see visions and all that, and she could warn them of the impending harm, I guess this fact that she was once an angel can be dispensed with, I mean the book would have been the same if Alia had been just a normal woman. I just thought the fantasy part of the story did not mix well with the story, if for anything – it was put there to make everything seemed convenient. It was not until the last part that the fact that she was a fallen angel played an important part, however again that ending lacked something I cannot quite put my finger into. It felt like the ending was rushed. \

All in all, I still enjoyed the book and it would not be the last book by the author that I will be reading.

RATING: 3 stars

Human beings are complex creatures, caught up in great arcs of cause and effect and poised at the very center of a battle between love and separation.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Book Review

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Synopsis: “I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges.

What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Publication Date: October 11, 2011

Publisher: Random House

No. of Pages: 260

Date Read: December 2014

REVIEW

It will leave you with a stupid smile on your face.

I could not have picked up a better time to read it than Christmas season. It is the perfect Christmas read. I enjoyed their other novel Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares took cuteness and feel-goodness (if there such a word) to a whole new level. I loved how the story started inside Strand Bookstore (which by the way in my Bookish Bucket List) and started with a dare. I loved how bookish both Dash and Lily were, characters I could actually relate to.  And boy did I highlight too many passages in the book.

Dash and Lily’s story is very relatable. Dash and Lily’s voice are fun to read, their story – fanciful. I particularly liked Dash’s voice over that of Lily’s, I found Lily to be a little uptight and a little immature for a 16 year old but it matches her character so it wasn’t a big pet peeve, Dash on the other hand is a very good narrator, the reference of different books clearly won me over. I expected their story to be just pure cuteness, I wasn’t expecting something so deep. But this book was able to put up a very decent story, not life-altering but enough to make you ponder. I love how witty and unique it was. It was the book I wish was a little longer, for I was left wanting more. I loved how unconventional their love story began, I love the theme of taking chances. (I’ve been using a lot of I loves) The storyline and the subplots were perfectly played out. One thing though, I was expecting more from the ending, like something magical or a little out of the ordinary, but I liked the realness of it all. Also it is solely categorized as Young Adult and does not cater a wide range of readers, that because of this some may find it too cutesy for their own liking. I love Young Adult (despite the fact that I am almost 26, whatever I can read whatever I want) thus maybe the reason I really enjoyed this one, but I get that it is not for everyone, and it’s okay. Read and let read, right! So yes I am giving this book 5/5 stars – just because I loved it and it made me happy.

Rating: 5 stars

I want to believe, that despite all evidence to the contrary, it is possible for anyone to find that one special person. … Somebody who wouldn’t judge another for the prepositions they dangle, or their run-on sentences, and who in turn wouldn’t be judged for snobbery of their language etymology inclinations.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

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Synopsis: Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.

Retribution has arrived.

Date Published: November 4, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

No. of Pages: 470

Date Read: December 2014

REVIEW

I honestly don’t know how to rate it, tell me I’m not the only one.

Hmm how do I start this review? I just finished it, like literally three minutes ago. And here I am trying to make a coherent review despite my chaotic and very lost mind. This is the final book of the Mara Dyer series, the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Evolution I have read two years ago and I am going to be completely honest, I really enjoyed it, loved it even. I have not read anything quite like it before, and because of the unique plot and the huge twist, to say it mildly, it gripped me like a vise. And boy, have I waited two long gruelling years for book three to come out. The agony of waiting, the anticipation, the constant itch of wanting to know what will happen to Mara Dyer and her peculiar abilities, to Noah, to their we-should-not-be-together-but-we-are-too-stubborn-to-think-otherwise love story were all I had to go through during the years of waiting. I have hoped that waiting will be worth it, and Michelle Hodkin would give the trilogy the justice it truly deserves. Well was it given justice? A half yes and a half no.

Let me elaborate more. First, I had so much questions towards the end of Evolution, I needed answers, I demanded it even. I bought my copy of Retribution on its release date, but I did not read it immediately. I want to be ready for it, I don’t want to rush it, like any other ending of a series I want to savour it. I was not ready for it to end. I was not ready to let go of the story I have loved so dearly. I waited three weeks to finally open the first page and let myself be engulfed by the story. Some of the people I follow on my Instagram or even the friends I made here have read it, and I was confused more than I was eager to read it. Some really loved it to death, that it was so good and so on and so forth, while there are others who gave the book two stars, worse I have seen someone gave it a one-star rating. I was appalled to put it mildly, I mean it couldn’t be that bad right? I know I had to know it for myself. So here, to cut the long story short – the last book did not quite meet my expectations. There are questions that I needed answers to, but the answers were vague. There were too many loose ends. I feel like, there were parts, that were left the way it was, for the lack of resolution to it, not for the lack of trying though. Each chapter paved the way to more questions, and I see myself pulling my hair out and mentally blurting what.in.the.actual.earth.is.happening? Second, the events that transpired, all I have to say is – convenient. Like for an instance they were in some kind of dilemma wherein you would have guessed that there is actually no way around it, then poof something convenient will happen, like they will instantly have a place to crash in for the night or all those convenient things making it anticlimactic. And then I will catch myself saying “Oh, how convenient.” with matching frustrated sigh.

What was going on with Mara, Noah and all of them who have the “power” wasn’t explained thoroughly as I hoped. It just opened the gates to more questions and confusion. I was so ready for more what-the-fuckery stuff, those kind where it was so good in a twisted and sick way (because that’s what I got from Unbecoming and Evolution, that made me love it to ruins), I got some, yes, but it didn’t hold up until the end. I only have 130ish pages left to read and I couldn’t see where the story was taking me. It didn’t grip me the way it should, the way I have expected it to – and that actually made me sad, because no one knows how much I loved the first two books. It is like I was promised Disneyland and I was brought to some dingy playground. The ending was rushed, I hate to admit it, but yes, it totally was. It was messy and wasn’t as solid as final books should. I will love Mara and Noah until the end of days, but I just wished there was a better ending, because they deserve it.

RATING:3 stars

I love you. Today. Tonight. Tomorrow. Forever. If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If I were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.

November Wrap-Up

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I managed to read 10 novels, 2 collection of poems, 2 short stories and 1 graphic novel.

Presenting my November Wrap-Up! In total i have read 15 books. It is only now I can do such thing, because bar review and bar exam took up a lot of my time. So yes, this is an achievement. I enjoyed reading all of these.

1. How To Love by Katie Cotugno (not in the photo)

I bought a copy back in June. What made me buy it was the blurb, well you see, I am trying to write my own book. I already have this specific plot in my mind, and then I was browsing the bookstore one day and saw How to Love, the blurb kind of had a resemblance to the plot I had in mind for my book, instantly that got me interested.

I didn’t finish this book in one sitting, I kept on delaying it, and do other things instead. To cut to the chase, it didn’t grip me like I thought it would. You can check my review on the book here.It was okay for me, but not really the best out there. Maybe I expected a lot from it. Rating: 3/5

2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I was not really a fan of sci-fi, but a gave this book a chance without really expecting too much from it. But I was surprised that I liked it more than I allow myself to. You can check my review here. I had little issues but the awesomeness of the book fa outweighs this petty issues. I am planning on continuing with the series. Rating 4.5/5

3. Winger by Andrew Smith

I joined Sarah Chruchill;s Anti-Bullying Readathon over at goodreads, I was only able to read Winger since I was really busy that week. This has become a favorite. It was so good, and I am not even exaggerating. Yiu can check my review here. I just have one advice be prepared for the end of the book. It was ugh!!! Rating 5/5

4. Angelfall by Susan Ee. 

Holy mother of Angels, was I in love with this book? Yes! Yes! Yes!! I will shove it to anyone’s throat. I love love the story, the twists, the unexpected turns! Oh goodness this book you guys, this book. Check my review hereRating 5/5

5. World After by Susan Ee

I liked the first book more, but this book was also a solid read. And oh yes, Raffryn!!! Rating 5/5

6. Zombicorns by John Green

This is a short story, it was an absurd book, absurd but in a good way. John Green can write great zombie books! and kudos to the man for still injecting wisdom in this 72-page of pure awesomeness.Rating 4/5

7. A little Something Different by Sandy Hall

This book is super adorable. I love the different point of views! My favorite point of view was that of the bench, squirrel and Victor! Rating 4/5

8. Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

Oh boy, did I cry over this book. It was a total sob-fest. I loved the book, it was raw and real. Now I am out to check out all Lindy Zart’s book, that girl is amazing! You can check my full review here Rating  5/5

9. Lessness and More by Cesar Nascimento

The poems didn’t connect to me the way poems should. It was meh. Rating 2/5

10. Whispers of Dreams by Alexia Purdy

The poems were… okay. Not really a favorite but it was enough to pass time. Rating 3/5

11. The One by Kiera Cass

This book had my eyes rolling. Let’s just say the whole trilogy was just a disappointment for me. Rating: 2/5

12. Blue Bloods (Graphic Novel) by Melissa De La Cruz

It was okay, but I think it was a little vague, it didn’t really explain much. But the illustrations are really good! Rating 3/5

13. The KIss of Deception by Mary e. Pearson 

I really enjoyed this book! Because of this book, The hype was real! I wanted more books about princess and kingdoms, Rafe!! I am in love with Rafe! You can check my review here Rating 5/5

14. I feel Bad About my Neck by Nora Ephron

Oh how I love this woman! She practically summarizes every woman’s dilemma and putting wit and humor to it. This is the best read for every woman out there, even men enjoyed this book.Rating 4/5

15. One Hundred Steps by Susan Ee

This 100-word story totally creeped me out. Rating 3/5

So there, my November consisted mostly of Fantasy and Romance, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now I am getting ready for the holidays, I will be reading a lot of Christmas themed book this season. Care to join me?