Manila Book Signing Teaser

What’s up, guys?

The lovely people at National Book Store are bringing another bestselling author this August for a book signing in the Philippines! *squeals* Book signings are quite rare here in Manila (compared to the US, of course) but when they happen, they definitely start and end with a bang. (Check out our post about our experience at the National Book Store blogger forum with Tahereh Mafi last March 2013)

So if you’re still reading this post, I can only assume that you are a Filipino reader/blogger/person wondering who, exactly, the author is. Well, I’m not going to torture you any longer and I’ll just come out and say it….

I don’t know.

As of this moment, the author’s identity is still being kept a secret, but the reveal is coming really, really soon! Just remember to watch out for National Book Store’s announcement on:

July 1, 3pm!

Mark your calendars, people. You don’t want to miss out on this.

There will be TWO signings for this event; one in MANILA, and one in CEBU. The one in Manila will take place at August 3, 2013 (Saturday) and the one in Cebu will be at August 4, 2013. (Sunday)

So make sure to check out National’s FB page and Twitter account on JULY 1 to find out who the mystery author is. For the meantime, try and guess who will be coming on August!

Poster - Guess Who is Coming Next (August 2013)

Book Trailer: Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

aaa

Some things are permanent.

Indelible.

And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…

THE TWIXT

When you think about it, all book trailers made by publishers (and even by fans!) look amazing. The cinematic effects, music, words, speed, and even the font all come together to weave a small preview of an upcoming book, and some readers gauge their level of interest in the book by the book trailer.

I’m not completely one of those readers, but I will say this: Enrapturing book trailers are an added plus because they make me remember the title and the plot.

So today, I’ll be providing a link to Dawn Metcalf’s INDELIBLE book trailer for all of you to see and gauge your individual levels of interest. Personally, I love the inky splashes. Everything is so sleek and professional-looking. (It almost reminds me of an advertisement/commercial for something really high-end) ;)

http://youtu.be/P1pCxoQXPZk

And here are some pre-order links too because INDELIBLE sounds too cool for you to not purchase it.

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0373210736

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/indelible-dawn-metcalf/1114146213?ean=9780373210732

 

Feature and Follow (36)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question:

Q: Share your favorite literary quote!

This is definitely, unquestionably, positively, absolutely (I’ll stop now, I need a thesaurus to go on.) the most difficult question I had to answer out of all these months participating in the Feature and Follow Hop. I had TONS of favorite quotes to choose from, but finally, I was able to narrow it down to one.

“You’re the girl who called me an asshole the first time we spoke. The girl who tried to pay for lunch even after you learned I have more money than God. You’re the girl who risked her ass to save a dying dog, who makes my chest ache whether you’re wearing green silk or ripped jeans. You’re the girl that I—” Noah stopped, then took a step closer to me. “You are my girl.”

—Michelle Hodkin, Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Hands up if you like Noah! Yeah, well too bad, HE’S MINE. Just kidding! Slightly. I absolutely love this quote. It just makes me want to laugh and cry uncontrollably (Why aren’t fictional characters real?!) at the same time. Noah was a douchebag at the start of the series, but as he and Mara got closer, his sweet and protective side started to show—making me love the series all the more.

We’ve shared our answer, now it’s time to share yours! Drop a comment and leave a link to your post so that we can check it out!

 

Waiting on Wednesday (24)

between the devil and the deep blue sea

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

I haven’t read a thriller novel in  a while, so this one caught my eye while I was browsing through Goodreads. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea seems like a promising read, and I can’t wait for its release on August 15!

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

  • TitleThe Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2)
  • AuthorJulie Kagawa
  • SourceWon from Mira Ink
  • No. of Pages446
  • PublishedApril 30, 2013 by Harlequin Teen
  • Rating5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

I loved The Immortal Rules very much so I was really excited to read The Eternity Cure, especially since a few of the ARC reviews I read back then were positively glowing. In fact, the Blood of Eden series is one of the best I have read so far because of that perfect balance Julie Kagawa creates between the dystopian genre and the post-apocalyptic genre–with flaming kicks of action, a tinge of romance, and the most badass characters you will ever meet.

Honestly speaking, The Eternity Cure reeled me in from page one. Ever since the ending of The Immortal Rules, I was dying to know what would happen next even though it wasn’t really a cliffhanger, and I was especially sad to leave Allie, the protagonist, on a corner of my bookshelf. So the fact that the first page of The Eternity Cure was mysterious, action-packed, fierce, and completely awesome made me believe I was in for a ride. Furthermore, every page I read had beautiful writing and scenes that could make me laugh, cry, squeal, or scream. This kind of emotional attachment was what I was looking for for so long and I got just that.

Allie, on the other hand, proved to be an even greater protagonist than the one she was in the first book, and that was a real feat since I loved Allie a lot in The Immortal Rules. She is a consistently headstrong, stubborn girl with a good head on her shoulders and a witty tongue to boot. I loved her loyalty to Kanin, despite everything, and she proved to be one of those characters you’d love to be best friends with because you know she’ll stand by you through anything, whether or not she’ll get something out of it. It really amazes me to see how she’s evolved as well. A girl who used to prioritize only herself became a girl who looked out for all the people in her life–even those who are supposedly her enemies, and even those who have betrayed her. That tiny sliver of kindness that was in Allie when she was human magnified in her vampire self and I think that’s truly the moment in time when you get completely awe-inspired by a fictional character who has twenty times more morals than you do. Plus, Allie has extremely insightful thoughts and musings, which I think can be proven in this quote:

“I could choose what kind of people I preyed on, but in the end, I had to prey on someone. The lesser of the two evils was still evil.”

This sort of personality Allie has continues to amaze me. She is wise beyond her years yet maintains a sort of youthful characteristic that can make me relate to her. Wow. Just wow.

The plot too, was very good and very precise. I loved the cat and mouse game Allie was playing with Sarren, and I loved the fact that Julie inserted in some very nice twists that contributed to the fast pace and tension of the book as a whole. I also like the new Jackal Julie presents in The Eternity Cure, and I think I prefer him much more this way than in the first book. ;) Even as a supposed villain, he also evolves alongside Allie, in his own special way. Also, you can obviously expect a lot of action in this book as Allie (and her sidekicks) wields her katana and fights to the death for Kanin, life, and humanity (and vampires!) at the end of the day. Since the new strain of Red Lung is horrific and even worse than before, you can expect a lot of tension and fast-paced scenes in the book as well, so don’t forget to check the clock while you are reading this book or you might just end up under your covers with a flashlight in hand at 4am in the morning. :)

The romance was pretty okay, and though I still think the plot could go well enough without it, I appreciate the fact that even though I believe what I said, Julie makes me long for more Zeke and Allie as well. That, I think, is the talent of a true author. You brainwash your readers into wanting more of something they didn’t need all that much in the first place.

Overall, The Eternity Cure was completely amazing, chock-full of surprises and action at every corner. You’ll long for more of Allie (and the rest of the gang) by the end of this book, and trust me, you’ll even wish for more of Sarren and Jackal. It’s just that great.

 Note: The quote above may just be my all-time favorite right now.

 

Feature Follow (35)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question:

Q: Activity: Spine Poetry. Create a line of poetry with your book spines (take a picture). Not feeling creative? Tell us about your favorite poem.                                                                               

photo-1

All our yesterdays  

Taken by these broken stars

Until I die

Dreamless

With a rebel heart  

What’s your answer to this week’s FF? Let us know by commenting, especially if you followed so we can follow you back! We’d love to see your book spine poems. :)

 

Waiting on Wednesday (23)

crash into you

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

Okay, I am a HUGE fan of Katie McGarry’s novels. I was able to read Pushing the Limits and Dare You To a couple of months ago, and I loved them! So yes, I am really excited for Crash Into You to come out (Finally, Isaiah’s getting his own story!). It looks like it has a fantastic plot, and undoubtedly wonderful characters as well. Until November 2013!

Review: Beta by Rachel Cohn

  • TitleBeta (Annex #1)
  • AuthorRachel Cohn
  • SourceReview Copy from Publisher
  • No. of Pages331
  • PublishedOctober 16, 2012 by Disney Hyperion
  • Rating2.5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Elysia is created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen-year-old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of a teenage clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to exist.

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air induces a strange, euphoric high, which only the island's workers-soulless clones like Elysia-are immune to.

At first, Elysia's life is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, who should want for nothing, yearn. But for what, exactly? She also comes to realize that beneath the island's flawless exterior, there is an under­current of discontent among Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care-so why are overpowering sensations cloud­ing Elysia's mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When her one chance at happi­ness is ripped away with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.

I liked the summary of Beta from the get-go. It was new, but not too unusual, and it had a nice science-fiction kick to it which excited me, since I had been looking for a good sci-fi book for so long. Unfortunately, I didn’t find what I was looking for in this novel. Maybe it was there in bits and pieces, but it wasn’t big enough to make me fall in love with the story.

Beta is about a teen beta, Elysia, a girl cloned from her ‘First,’ another girl with aesthetic appeal and talents who died in the past. Clones are created to serve the residents on Demesne, an island paradise where the rich go to relax–literally. Chemicals are put in the air and ocean so that the inhabitants will always feel at ease and ataraxic. Unfortunately, all humans are affected by these chemicals so human workers will simply not work, due to the relaxation they feel that prevents them from doing so. This is where the clones come in. They do the jobs that humans can’t on Demesne–they act as construction workers, assistants, maids, and even companions to the families they are serving. At first Elysia is content in doing her job, even happy, really, if clones could feel. She even hides the kinks in her system that aren’t supposed to be present in clones because the family she is serving is already, of sorts, ‘her family’ as well. But when things happen that reveal just how wrong her beliefs are, Elysia stands up for herself and proves that she isn’t just another robot willing to do her master’s bidding anymore.

To be honest, all the characters in this book felt extremely detached from me. Maybe it was because Rachel Cohn tried really hard to make sure the clones didn’t have feelings at first, but I just couldn’t feel Elysia, especially in the latter part of the book, when the romance amps up. The residents of Demesne are all airheads, in fact. And though I knew this was the author’s purpose, I find it hard to believe that every single rich person on that island is content in living a petty life taking drugs, (‘raxia) or doing whatever is they do in ‘paradise.’ Instead of trying to build on the characteristics of certain people, maybe the author could assert more and state the facts in the world in the book so that the reader will spend less time questioning the loopholes, and more time feeling the story. The one saving grace happened near the end, when Alexander showed up, but even then, I couldn’t credit the author because his character couldn’t be developed since there were only a few pages left.

To be honest, the romance irked me as well, and I felt that the book would be fine without it. I could accept the fact that Elysia could feel, but I found it hard to swallow near the end when she easily abandoned the supposed ‘love’ she had for another person, no matter how indebted she was to him. Throughout the book I felt like the story and I were two different cliffs, with no bridge to connect us. I didn’t feel invested and involved enough in the book to like it a lot.

However, I liked the idea Rachel Cohn presented. I liked the interesting premise she had in mind for Beta though she lacked world-building and structure so some events, instead of flowing smoothly, sometimes seemed flat and even unrealistic, at times. Perhaps an improvement in the author’s writing and the way she portrays the characters will result to better sequels because I felt like the book needed more heart and soul so that the story would tell itself and hook the reader in from beginning to end. But I am looking forward to reading more from Rachel Cohn because even though the backbone of the series crumbled; with changes in writing, the sequels may be able to ignite the little spark I saw in Beta to a full-out flame.

Feature Follow (34)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question:

Q: Have you broken up with a series? If so which one and why

A: I can actually think of a few: Matched by Ally Condie, the House of Night series by P.C & Kristin Cast…A lot of things deterred me from reading Crossed and Reached, but I think I’d still prefer finishing that series than finishing HoN because honestly, that has been dragging on for way too long it’s not even funny anymore.

What’s your answer to this week’s FF? Let us know by commenting, especially if you followed so we can follow you back! (And are any of you still reading/read the series mentioned above? Why?)

 

ARC Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

  • TitleIn the Shadow of Blackbirds
  • AuthorCat Winters
  • SourceARC Review Copy from Publisher
  • No. of Pages387
  • PublishedApril 02, 2013 by Amulet Books
  • Rating3.5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

I’d like to thank Tina from A&C Kids for providing me with this ARC.

Truth be told, In the Shadow of Blackbirds is one of the few historical fiction novels I have read, so my perception and view of this genre has not yet been muddied by cliches and overused plot lines. However, I was expecting a rich plot that exposes readers into the 1900s, the war, and the horrors of the Spanish influenza that had taken so many lives from people of all ages while still maintaining the suspense and excitement of seances and ghosts from the pasts of the living. With this, Cat Winters does not disappoint.

The beginning is especially interesting, as readers get a peek into the complications of Mary Shelley’s life. Her father is in prison, accused of being a traitor to the country and she is shipped off to her Aunt Eva, who lives in one of the few places not yet infected by the flu. I loved reading about how the war and the influenza changed so many things in the lives of the people, the women especially. The transition from extravagant parties and ridiculously expensive dresses to working-class women earning a living through means that used to be horrific shows the difficulty of life for these people. It also explains why they were driven to seek out seances and ‘spirit photographers.’ Julius, the brother of Mary’s childhood sweetheart, Stephen, is especially popular for taking pictures of the living with spirits of their pasts who died mostly because of the flu or the war. However, Mary never believed in the pictures, not even when something so drastic and unexpected happens and shocks her into thinking ghosts and spirits might just exist.

An aspect of the book I liked was how Mary was so vividly attacked by dreams and spirit visitations and how these just propelled her to find out who, exactly, was responsible for the death of Stephen. Her inquisitive nature thickens the plot for the readers and shows the dark side of the people we may have trusted in the start. Throughout the book, I liked the balance of the thrill of ghosts and the horrors of war blended together to make sure readers were integrated into the world Cat Winters painted as well. Mary was a nicely developed character, and despite the doom and gloom that seemed to surround the book at every page, it was Mary who made sure twists were developed and the secrets were found out after a clever foreshadowing. There was a tinge of madness in the book as well, which was, surprisingly, the cherry on top of the cupcake. It showed the depth of the characters and explored the world that pushed these people into corners they never imagined they would be pushed into.

However, though the writing was beautifully done, I felt it quite slow in a lot of parts, and a pinch of boredom threatened to attack me in some of the pages. I could go without some events happening, and I think some scenes were too developed it almost seemed redundant, though I suppose I would prefer that over an underdeveloped plot. That part of the book took out its shine, which is why the book seemed too gloomy and repetitive at times. There was something that kept me going until the end, though, and I’m very glad I listened to that instinct because the ending revealed something so wonderfully secret yet so blatantly obvious I wanted to smack myself. I reveled in the way the author kept me in the dark and controlled my mind despite my being the reader, and kudos to her for that.

Overall, In the Shadow of Blackbirds is a well-written book which contains secrets that fit in like puzzle pieces into an exciting plot. Though it can be somewhat slow at times, the world-building is quite exquisite, and the foreshadowing: excellent.