Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge - Count Me In!


This was recommended to me by Velvet of vvb32 reads. You all probably know that I love Jane Austen (just look at my username) so why not join, right?

So, how do we do this? :)

The Everything Austen Challenge is hosted by Stephanie's Written Word and will run from July 1, 2009 – January 1, 2010. You just have to pick 6 Austen-themed/related things that you want to do to complete the challenge. It can be reading Austen's books or Austen-inspired books and movies. For more details, just head on over to her site.

So here are mine:

Books

Pride, Prejudice & Zombies by Sean Grahame-Smith
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
The Unfinished Works of Jane Austen: Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition

Wah. I hope I find copies of these. :p

Movies

Becoming Jane
Persuasion

There you have it. If you'd like to join in on the fun, by all means, do so! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

James Patterson Writes Romance!

I know, I know. I'm not a James Patterson expert/die-hard fan or anything but I do know that he mainly writes thriller (well, except for the Maximum Ride series). So just imagine my surprise when I saw Sundays at Tiffany's at the bookstore. All I could think of was Ohmygosh, really?! I'm a big fan of the Maximum Ride series and I also enjoyed couple of his other mystery/thriller books that I've read so I just knew that this was gonna be a very interesting read!

Here's a little synopsis:

As a child, Jane was your typical daughter of a rich and successful mother who doesn't seem to have any time for her. Well, except for one thing. She has an imaginary friend, Michael, who's all the things you'd probably want for a boyfriend: handsome, caring, kind, and just about everything nice. But then he had to leave her, breaking Jane's little heart.

Several years have passed, and Jane is now a successful and confident woman. On the outside, she seems to have everything. But then, she meets Michael, her long lost imaginary friend. What does it mean? Who really is Michael?

****

Though this is a love story, it's obvious that James Patterson couldn't quite let go of his passion for mystery. :) Michael embodies that sweet and oh-so-ideal man that everyone absolutely loves. You just can't help but smile and feel happy when Jane and Michael are together. Their relationship is so easy and free, a perfect fit. Then again, this is a Patterson book so of course there are always those twists, which you can't possibly predict. LOL.

Overall, I'd recommend it, especially to those who have read something written by James Patterson and who would love to see how he does with a love story! :)

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Book Love: 4/5

****

I read Sundays at Tiffany's before Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, though I think the latter came out first. This one's written solely by James Patterson, no co-authors, so I guess I could say that you have to read this if you want to see how Patterson really writes his romance.

Synopsis:

Katie Wilkinson's life came crashing down when the man she loves suddenly announces that he can't see her anymore. The only thing he left behind was a diary, Suzanne's diary for her son, Nicholas.

As Katie reads on, she founds out that Suzanne's husband and the man she loves are one and the same. Although she's filled with heartbreak and pain, Katie continues to read, wanting to find out what happened and to know what will happen next.

****

If I was alone while reading this, I would have cried until my eyes turned red and puffy. As I wasn't, I had to hide my face behind a book everytime my eyes well up then discreetly reach for my hankie to wipe the tears off. Patterson did it so well that you'd wonder, How can a man do that? Not to be gender-biased or anything, but seriously, how could he?! LOL.

Once you start reading this book, you won't be able to put it down (except for eating or bathroom breaks, I guess. :D). Trust me, you'll get the feeling that you have to (must!) know what really happens at the end of the book. And you won't get any hints from James Patterson at all, as he'll keep you guessing and giddy for that next page!

Plot: 3.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Book Love: 4/5

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Yet Another Book Contest!


I'm becoming addicted to joining book contests lately. Obvious much, huh? :p

Anyway, here goes another one:

Confessions of a Wandering Heart is giving a way a copy of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins! I know I haven't yet read The Hunger Games. But I'm planning to, soon! haha. The contest's open to everyone and will end on June 30. If you're interested, click and join!

Linus's Blanket's Giveaway

Linus's Blanket is giving away a copy of Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. The synopsis sounds great so I hope I win! This one's international and ends on Monday, June 29, 2009 EST. For more details, click here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wicked Lovely - Melissa Marr

I know I'm supposed to put up my review of The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray, but I only have a few minutes to post a new entry and this is just too good to pass up!

****

As I'm too lazy to come up with a summary, I'll just give you guys and gals what's written at the back of the book! :) Don't worry, I couldn't have created a more lovely description!

Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty-especially if they learn of her Sight-and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.
Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.
But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King, who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. His is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost-regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; everything.
Faery intrigue, mortal love, and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first-century faery tale.

****
One word: LOVELY.

I was really fascinated with this book, probably because it's the first time I've read something that centered on fairies, or as they put it, faeries (Don't ask. I don't know the difference. Haha.). I missed reading books that relate the stories using the different characters' point of views. The only other recent book I've read with the same style of writing is the Blue Bloods series, which by the way, is another awesome series which I'll probably review later.

There are actually two guys competing for Aislinn's attention: Keenan and Seth. I can't really decide which one I like more. They're both adorable yet totally different at the same time. I know, I'm a sucker for cute fictional (male) characters! I also enjoyed reading the story from both Aislinn's and Donia's perspectives. I guess knowing several characters' thoughts helps in getting you into the book. Well, that's just me. I know it can get confusing for some. :)

Complaints? Hmm. I would liked a bit more description of the character's physical appearance, Aislinn's especially! To just... help me imagine how the book plays out. Also, I hope Melissa Marr made it longer. Even just a bit longer, since the book seemed to end too quickly for me. Oh yeah, there were a lot of unexplained um, concepts regarding the fey world, which I'm hoping will be explained in the latter books in the series.

Go try this one out, definitely a great YA read! :)

Plot: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Book Love: 4/5

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Everything To Do With Books' Giveaway

Rebecca of Everything To Do With Books is giving a way a copy of Braced 2 Bite by Serena Robar. It ends on June 30 and is open to INTERNATIONAL readers! Isn't that just awesome? :) For more details on how to join, head on over to her site.

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy 3) - Richelle Mead

In Shadow Kiss, Rose is still getting to cope with the recent Strigoi attack that she and her friends faced. Adding to her worries are Adrian's persistent come-ons, the upcoming guardian field experience (I'm not sure about term, OME, I forgot! Sorry about that.), and the strange hallucinations that she suddenly has from time to time.

As Lissa trains on developing her magic, Rose discovers just how deep her connection to Lissa is, and how it affects both of their lives.

****

That was such a short and vague description. What can I do? I'm too worried about giving the plot away in case you guys haven't read it yet. :)

Among the three books in the series so far, this is the best one yet. The plot thickens. Whoa, does it thicken! After finishing it, I was just staring off into space, wondering what's gonna happen next.

I love how all the characters just seem to mature more and more, Rose more so than the others. And for all the Christian Ozera fans (like me!) out there, he's got more exposure here (though I still don't think that's enough). Eeeek! Don't you just love that name, Chris-ti-an-O-ze-ra - I mean, really! Could any name be sexier?! Okay, enough of that. :p

If you haven't read this one yet (and if you've read the first two books), you must must must must!

My only complaint/s, aside from the more Christian Ozera thing, is/are the misspellings everywhere. It can get irritating, especially since it's (or they're) present almost althroughout the book. Of course, it isn't Richelle Mead's fault, but her editor's. I really do hope the fourth book's free of such mistakes! And speaking of the fourth book, the cover's out! And it looks great!


To be released on August 25, 2009! I can't wait!

Plot: 4.75/5
Writing: 4/5
Book Love: 5/5

Thursday, June 11, 2009

They Satisfy My Book Love

These are where I mostly get my beloved books!

Note: All are located in the Philippines. :)

National Book Store

Yes, of course, NBS is probably the most popular bookstore in the country. Actually, scratch probably. Undoubtedly, it is the most frequented among the well, quite limited, other bookstores here. As it's the oldest and has the most number of branches nationwide, that's not much of a surprise.

As for the books, hmm, I'm not really a fan of National Book Store. I don't know, it seems like whenever I search for a particular book, they've always run out of stock. Plus, they seem to concentrate more on selling school and office supplies their books have taken a back seat. But then again, I guess it depends on the store branch. I'm pretty sure you can find a wider array of books over at their store in Cubao (which I guess must be the main branch). However, the thing that I like with NBS is that they sell their books for a relatively lower price. So make sure that you check here first before rushing on to the other shops!

Fully Booked

What can I say? My favorite store ever! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Fully Booked! There are a lot of books available, and I do mean A LOT! :p And they're neatly arranged, so you can easily find what you're looking for. Their staff is super attentive and knowledgeable. I mean it. Just ask for a book and bam! - they know what you're talking about.
One thing I'd really like from them, but which I can't afford, is their discount card! 10% off on cash purchases! Wow. But of course, they don't give that out easily. The card costs 700-you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me-pesos! What the heck, right?! I could probably buy two more books with that. Anyway, if someone out there is kind enough to gift me with one... haha, yeah, right.

Also, you've got to check out their Bonifacio Global City branch. The best store in the country (or among all I've been to)! I'm not sure but I think they restock more frequently than any other store here cause there's just lots and lots of books there. It's overwhelming, really. *sigh* LOL.

Powerbooks

Powerbooks is somewhere in between Fully Booked and National Book Store in terms of their available books. At times, I'd find something I wasn't able to spot at the other stores here. But that's pretty rare. Also, the books seem to be more expensive here compared to NBS and Fully Booked (with Fully Booked, not that much of a difference). The atmosphere is like Fully Booked though, a bit quiet and relaxing. Reading (opened and a bit tattered) copies of books is allowed (at least the one over at Glorietta); or maybe it's not and they just didn't bother to reprimand me and the other people doing the same thing. LOL. Oh, and they also have a sort of 'rewards program card' (is that even the correct term?) - the Powercard, which you can purchase for 40 pesos if you're a student! :)

Book Sale and Books For Less

These two stores sell used books for, obviously, lower prices. But I find it really hard to look for books here as they don't seem to be arranged in any manner at all. With patience and a good eyesight though, you might get that coveted book at even half the price of the brand new one! So yeah, do that. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle Trilogy Book 2) - Libba Bray

Gemma takes on a new role - to find the Temple and bind the escaped magic in the realms. But like any other challenge that she and her friends had faced, locating the Temple is not an easy task. With unfriendly creatures of the realms dogging and hindering their every move, they become farther and farther from reaching their goal.

Gemma's enemies are not only the ones from the realms though. Circe's still out there painstakingly trying to find her, the key to the realms' entrance. Plus, there's the Rakshana, a group which is supposed to protect the Order, yet, their real purpose still remains a mystery.

And let's not forget Simon Middleton - rich, funny and handsome Simon Middleton - who seems to truly like Gemma despite her eccentricities.

Rebel Angels, the sequel to A Great and Terrible Beauty, continues Gemma's journey into adulthood as well as in the world of magic.

****

Rebel Angels is almost twice as long as its prequel, A Great and Terrible Beauty. Two things can happen when another novel is longer, (1) It can explain the events more fully and solidly prepare the way for whatever climactic part the author has planned, or (2) It becomes filled with unnecessary material that it becomes a bit boring. I'd say what happened in Rebel Angels is the combination of the two. Though the first one outweighs the latter by a huge margin, so, I still enjoyed reading it.

In terms of the plot however, I'd say this was definitely better than the first. I also love how Gemma's blossoming into a charming and quite pretty lady, something that the first book lacked as it continually depicted Gemma as well, quite ordinary. I mean, who doesn't want the heroine to have some sort of attractive quality? :)

I love how Libba Bray sort of puts clues out there for the reader to see. Like, halfway through the book, I already had an inkling of what's gonna happen but Gemma still doesn't seem to figure it out. Or maybe that's just me and my exceptional ability in solving mysteries. LOL.

Watch out for my review on the third book in the trilogy, The Sweet Far Thing, as soon as I finish reading it. :)

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Book Love: 3.5/5

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