Saturday, April 20, 2013

I HAVE MY WRITER'S CAP ON

Hi guys! I know I haven't been around that much. Heck, I haven't even picked up a book in a while! *gasp* Yes, I know. I am shocked too. But that's because I am fully enjoying my summer by lazing about! That and I have the writing bug - for fanfiction! Now I know some people look down on fanfics but YOLO. I mean, I would like to unleash all my fangirl feels without canon trying to ruin it all.

Plus, look at this fine specimen of a man.


Meet Allen, the reason that I went back to a hobby I swore I would never again do. He's a character from a 3DS game called Harvest Moon: A New Beginning. Let me be the first to tell you he is a big jerk. Like, seriously BIG BIIIIIG jerk. And he isn't even the emotionally scarred one (in canon) But I love him. He's also a stylist. I know, what's wrong with me?

Going back to my point. Even though I haven't been around much these days, please know that I am alive. And actually doing something meaningful in my life! If you want proof of that, here's my FFnet account. Be warned though, four out of five of those stories I wrote two years ago. Yeah, I know this is practically social suicide but again, YOLO.

Now, I am off to write more angst!Allen. *cue swooning*

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Mini-Reviews: The Collector AND The Assassin's Curse

The Collector (Dante Walker, #1)THE COLLECTOR
BY VICTORIA SCOTT

THE HOOK

[] THAT COVER. More importantly, THAT MAN.
[] Anti-hero? Yupyup.
[] Angels and demons? Booyaah. 

THE (STORY)LINE - from Goodreads

He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn't want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn't know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.


SINK OR SWIM?

Upon seeing this book, I knew instantly it was going to be a guilty pleasure read. Kind of like junk food. Good, good junk food. And I was right! Dante is a character that might not appeal to all. In my case, I found him entertaining as far as narrators go.  He's an A-class jerk with an ego large enough to shadow a mountain. He's got the swagger to go with his looks, nearing the point of gangsta. At the very least, you can't accuse him of being a doormat.  Surprisingly, Charlie - the character I expected to be the doormat - wasn't. Although she isn't as interesting as Dante, she is admirable because of her innate goodness. The story itself can be a teensy bit preachy so be prepared for that. 

Overall, The Collector is a quick and quirky read you can finish in one sitting.

THE VERDICT: Between 3 and 4 stars.

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE
BY CASSANDRA ROSE CLARKE

THE HOOK

[] A Pirate and an Assassin Together? Ohglobyes.
[] CURSES AND MAGIC!
[] A WHOLE NEW WORLD! *cue singing*

THE (STORY)LINE - from Goodreads

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her. 

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.


SINK OR SWIM?

Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed with how The Assassin's Curse turned out for me. I expected non-stop action and breathtaking fight scenes. Compared to my expectations, the book was slow and rarely took me to the edge of my seat. The book started out great (though I believe it could have been screwed up more tightly) with Ananna, our pirate bride-to-be, running away from her wedding. After that though, the story takes it time to unfold. Things liven up a little with Naji's, our dark and broody assassin's, appearance but quickly goes back to it's almost static pace. Luckily, Ananna is likable enough while Naji is yet to give out his secrets. The setting is fabulous though. Who knew oceans and deserts could be so interesting, amaright?

I think what hurts this book most is how the blurb over-promises. It makes it sound like one grand adventure while in reality, it's more like a prelude to one. It's not necessarily a bad thing though. Because, of course, it makes me excited for the sequel, the Pirate's Wish.

THE VERDICTBetween 3 and 4 stars. 

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Back from the Abyss: Follow via Bloglovin'

Hey guys!

I feel like it's been so long since I last wrote a post... which it has. You'd think, since I am having my summer vacation, I would have more time to write but I am as easily distracted as a monkey. New shows and games abound like glittering jewels! But I am determined to put this blog back on track! With that, I'm joining the bandwagon as I signed up for Bloglovin'. To follow my blog, just click the buttons on the left side! Or, click below:


See you soon!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays (3): Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein we makes lists of ten depending on the topic for that given day.

Hello friends! Today's my graduation day! *cue party poppers* But that doesn't mean I can let a topic like this pass! Which is why I am forever thankful for the invention of "scheduling" in blogger.

Anyway, let's get this show started! Since I can't possibly rank my harem, this list will be in no particular order:

1. Christian Prescott from the Unearthly series - I know most people like Tucker, the other guy, more but what can I say? I like the clean-shaven feel more than opposed to the rugged cowboy. Though Christian in the first book was, to a degree, a jerk, I've never found myself disliking him even a bit. Towards the end of Unearthly, he still had me holding onto him. By the sequel, Hallowed, he stole my heart completely with his kindness, gentleness and understanding. And let's not forget Christian in Boundless *weeps*

2. Dorian Havilliard from the Throne of Glass trilogy - Judging by the first book, I'd say I am on the losing ship again but who cares? I do. Why must my ship sink?! As I said, I like my men clean-shaven... most of the time. It's just really sexy for me. Dorian, as a prince, definitely fits into that category. He's a natural charmer too, as if flirting was second nature to him. With his magnetic personality, I'd say I'd fall in love with him in a heartbeat.

3. Artemis Fowl from the Artemis Fowl series - As I said in my last TTT, I am sapiosexual. Meaning, I am attracted to high intellect. Artemis Fowl fits the bill perfectly. I am just so fortunate he isn't as old as most geniuses are with the graying hair and bushy beards. I'd rather be a wee bit older than decades younger than my guy so... Did I mention that he's in charge of a criminal empire at twelve? Yeah, power is sexy too. Not to mention the suits. I certainly like my men in suits.

4. William Herondale from the Infernal Devices - I'm pretty sure I'd love to hate liking Will. In the first book, Clockwork Angel, he was such a big, biiiiiiiig jerk. Despite that, I found myself attracted to him.  As Katy Perry once sang, he is hot and then cold. He is beautiful, passionate and just too funny for words. At the same time, he had been aloof and cruel in his speech. The bipolarity of it made me curious. And for me, curiosity often leads to attraction.

5. Percy Jackson from the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series - My first book crush. Unlike most of my other book crushes, Percy is a pretty average joe. Except for, you know, the demigod powers. But I had really liked his sense of humor, voice and bravery. When I was young, he seemed like a kid donning on a knight's shining armor. Kind of like how a little boy tries on daddy's pants. Not exactly a perfect fit but a cute one nonetheless.

6. Adam Wilde from Where She Went - In If I Stay, he was the "perfect" boyfriend. Nice, sweet and everything in between. But in Where She Went... Angry, emo rockstar? Yes, please. For some reason, I really liked this side of him. Maybe because I've never really read about a guy's internal turmoil. Or maybe it's his vulnerability. It doesn't help that he "writes" such powerful songs.

7. Darkling from the Grisha trilogy - Again with the power. And the hot face. Both things attract me so.  Darkling is such a mysterious enigma. He's not exactly the good guy type, if you know what I mean. But yes, there's just something about him. In Shadow and Bone, I've always felt that there's more to him than meets the eye. I'd love to find out what lies beneath the surface. Hopefully in the sequel, Siege and Storm.

8. Prince Kygo from the EON duology - Man, if I was living in their world, I'd be reduced to a dazed, dreamy-eyed courtier. Like the Darkling, Kygo possesses both power and beauty (handsomeness sounds off). But he has a certain grace to him. He can be a bit over himself but I think that's natural given their culture. I love watching him struggle as he chooses between the good of the kingdom and love.

9. Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss - I don't think this needs much explanation. I'm sure a lot of other book bloggers have Etienne on their list. I mean, IT'S ETIENNE FREAKIN' ST. CLAIRE, PEOPLE! He's everything you'd want in a boyfriend. EVERYTHING. Parisian dude. British Accent. Just-Got-Out-of-Bed-Still-Looking-Fabulous hair.

10. Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins definitely has a knack for creating the best guys ever. She's done it with Etienne and then BOOM. Cricket Bell, everybody! He may not be the charmer Etienne is but the boy next door has his own appeal. He's a bit clumsy and dorky but I find it adorable. He's disarmingly honest too which is just *insert dreamy sigh here*. If that's not enough, he'll give you "the moon and the stars". *wink wink*

Special mentions go to Connor Lassiter from Unwind, Conor Broekhart from Airman, Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games, Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars, Hazael from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Gregor from Gregor the Overlander, Peter from Peter Pan, Han Alister from The Demon King, Jack from Blood Red Road, Prince Charmont from Ella Enchanted, Howl from Howl's Moving Castle and the list goes on...
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So that's the end of my TTT for this week! What's yours? Leave a link so I can check :D


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Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Review: Boundless

BOUNDLESS
BY CYNTHIA HAND

THE HOOK

[] Christian Prescott.
[] The finale to one of the best angel books I've read.
[] The answer to one of YA's most conflicting love triangles.
[] Christian Prescott.

THE (STORY)LINE - from Goodreads

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

SINK OR SWIM?


Warning: Expect Spoilers

I'm in a daze, trying so hard to recollect myself from the heartbreak that was Boundless. But I can't. I just can't.

After all the foundation the previous books have set, it seems everything finally explodes into action in Boundless. With the threat of an all-out war between heaven and hell, Clara and co. find themselves making more and more impossible choices.

Clara has grown tremendously in this book, I feel. She's shown more responsibility and courage, all the while keeping her good grace and humor. Her voice was as entertaining as ever, capturing the spirit of a teenager so well. However, I did not like how she kept on unintentionally left a certain someone pining for her.

What I love most about Boundless is the greater involvement of the characters throughout the trilogy. It truly feels like everything has come full circle. Everyone has undergone their own character arcs though it might not be explicitly seen. I especially adored Billy's presence, even Samjeeza's and Doubting Thomas'.  I especially adored Maggie's involvement too. *wink wink* But, that is not to say the characters have been admirable through it all. For one, I've been greatly annoyed by Angela and Jeffrey. Their were times where I just wanted to strangle the two of them for being so stubborn.

Boundless is not the emotional roller coaster that its predecessor, Hallowed, had been. Where Hallowed had been slow and personal, Boundless felt more urgent and bigger than life. This change in tone and pace, though not completely surprising, wasn't something I welcomed warmly. But I digress.

As I said earlier, there was a build-up for the events of Boundless. Gearing towards the climax involved a lot of training and preparation. However, once at the peak, there was little thrill. Anti-climactic, if you will considering it was supposed to be a war that shook the world as we knew it. There were ends that were not tied up nicely like what Jeffrey's purpose was and what happened to Lucy after. Why do Clara and Christian get stronger together if they were not meant to be? Why? Why? Why?!

I begrudgingly admit that it was well-executed but ended unsatisfactorily. Had I not been spoiled of its endgame, I would have said the two guys were on equal footing. I could have hoped that my ridiculously perfect Christian would still have won Clara's heart. Alas, it was not to be so. And I cry. So much so.

Christian. For all of his goodness and kindness, I can't accept what happened to him. He was just left hanging, leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. In a way, I already knew my ship would sink and burn. But not like that. That was just cruel. Especially the part where he says he'd see her in a hundred years or so. The epilogue just felt like it was gloating to my face. Luckily, Christian bowed out so graciously and dignifiedly it just made me love him even more. He certainly can't be more perfect to me.

After everything, that ending was a tad too sweet of happily ever after. I love a happy ending as much as the next guy but I don't feel that it was something... deserved? It felt like everything just patched itself up with just a few minor gashes here and there.

In the Unearthly trilogy, Hallowed remains to be my favorite with Boundless as a close second despite shattering my fangirl heart. For most of the fandom (I assume) though, this is a satisfying conclusion to a great story.

THE VERDICT: Hovering a little to the right of the 4 stars mark. Almost but not quite 4 stars.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting On Wednesdays (3): Isla and the Happily Ever After

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted @ Breaking the Spine wherein we share what books we are eagerly waiting for.
Hello friends!

This is my comeback post for Waiting on Wednesday! So I thought I might make it a wee bit special (for me!) by writing about a book from one of the reigning queens of contemporary romance: Stephanie  Perkins. Through Perkins, we now have the drool-worthy Etienne St. Clair and delightful Cricket Bell. I wonder how she'll reintroduce Josh in...


ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
BY STEPHANIE PERKINS

RELEASE DATE: September 17, 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.
Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.
I'm not sure how I feel about the cover redesign for the series. It won't match my other books but this may mean a boxed set is possible! Ugh, and I like my boxes too...

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How about you? What are you waiting on? Link me up! :D
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesdays (2): Books I Recommend The Most

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish wherein we makes lists of ten depending on the topic for that given day.

It's been so long since my last Top Ten post. I have to say I missed it. Luckily, this week's topic - Books I Recommend The Most - is fun fun fun~

Whenever I recommend books to someone, I always ask what kind of books they like and what their favorites are. With this, I can gauge what book would appeal to them the most. Having said that, I will do my TTT by genre:

Dystopian

1. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins - This may look absurd now but it used to be that virtually no one in my school knew about The Hunger Games. Only after urging anyone within a five-foot radius (including my teachers) to read these books did the novels start to gain popularity. Not that I'm calling myself a trendsetter ;) But I'm sure the finals exam littered with THG references got the school population curious ;)

2. Unwind trilogy by Neal Shusterman - One of the few books that made me cry and throw up at the same time and not in a bad way. How can throwing up be good? Whenever someone asks for a dark, gritty dystopia, this one is on top of my list (since THG needs no help anymore).

Fantasy

3. EON duology by Alison Goodman - By now, I cannot recommend this book enough. It certainly deserves more attention than what it has now! These two books have climbed up my all-time favorites shelf. For a number of weeks, I felt like a walking advertisement simply because I kept carrying it around everywhere. It was that good. IS THAT GOOD.

4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor - If you don't get this for the don't-let-go-now plot, charming characters and mesmerizing setting, get it for the lush and breathtaking writing. I swear, if anyone can make me read about a dog pooping, Laini Taylor can - beautifully, too! (Not that she has. YET.)
Contemporary Romance

5. Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - In the mood for non-stop giggles and swoons? This is the book for you. Etienne St. Clair, our hot resident Parisian with an oh-so-charming British accent is sure to sweep you off your feet. Be careful though, I Anna Oliphant can be a jealous girlfriend.

6. If I Stay duology by Gayle Forman - If I Stay is a tragic at the same time hopeful story about choosing life. It's an amazing book but I find the sequel, Where She Went, more powerful than the first. Written from Adam Wilde's - the love interest - perspective, Forman creates such a realistic male voice full of sorrow. These are books that will resonate deeply with its readers.

7. The Fault in Out Stars by John Green - This book too needs no help from me but I'll pitch it in anyway. After reading TFiOS, I remember sitting on the floor leaning against my bed and crying for half an hour. It was powerful and subtle and heart-wrenching and beautiful all at once.

Middle Grade 

8. Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan - My first love which is why I have a special place in my heart for middle grade books. Percy is such an adorkable narrator. I would love to smother him if I could. For the children at heart, PJ&tO is a delight!

9. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer - Artemis Fowl. Hnngh. Did I mention I was sapiosexual? I love my genius protagonists. Especially the child criminal ones. Well, not to sound like a pedo or mentally-deranged. *looks away*

Classic

10. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery - I remember reading this book during fifth grade. I remember being frustrated with it since some part of me knew that there were hidden meanings in it. That which I could not fully understand given my maturity at the time. After reading it again during my senior year, I could not help fall in love with it. The universality of it all overwhelms me so. To the point where I can keep quoting it forever and ever.

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So that's the end of my TTT for this week! What's yours? Leave a link so I can check :D


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