Event Recap: Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, and Veronica Rossi in the Philippines! (Blogger Forum)

TRV_Poster book signing tourThank you so much, National Book Store (and JB and Chad and all the other awesome NBS peeps) for hosting the blogger forum and this amazing event!

Although the day started at roughly around 9am for me, some fans were already, in fact, waiting outside NBS at 1:45am to be the first ones in line for the trio signing! If that isn’t a sign of dedication, I don’t know what is. It’s just all thanks to National Book Store that everything ran as smoothly as possible (imagine trying to contain over 2000 people!!) and that the event turned out to be a huge success. :)

Blogger Forum

10317607_306233559526950_6107050179267731906_o  Say hello to the lovely YA book bloggers who attended the forum!

The blogger forum started out with the usual introductions and greetings, shortly followed by a Q&A addressed to the panel of authors. Here are some of the questions I found incredibly interesting: (not verbatim, of course, and mild spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the books!)

To Ransom-

Q: If you could use a photograph to describe the whole series, what would it contain?

A: A heart.

To Tahereh-

Q: Have you always known from the start that Juliette would end up with Warner?

A: Yes.

(This actually surprised me a lot, considering that Warner was a pretty crazy villain in Shatter Me. But yay for Juliette and Warner!)

To Veronica-

Q: What message did you try to send to your readers through the Under the Never Sky series?

A: Themes about home–that it can be found anywhere, as long as you’re happy.

(The message in itself is beautiful. I assure you, the way she phrased it was better than I did just now.) ;))

After the Q&A, I got my books signed (yaaay) and I also got the opportunity to chat a little bit with the authors and take a few photos. These three are the sweetest and nicest people in the world! Meeting Ransom and Tahereh again (and Veronica for the first time!) was such an indescribable experience, and I’m really, truly, thankful for this opportunity.

IMG_3308 IMG_3306 IMG_3304

Here are 2 of the books I got signed by Ransom and Tahereh, respectively:

IMG_3322IMG_3321

Overall, it was a great forum and signing! National’s line-up of authors never fails to please (I mean come one, these three are AWESOME! Plus Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins up next :D) and I will surely attend the next events to come. But before I go…here’s a parting message (more like a really sweet thank you) from Veronica Rossi, Ransom Riggs, and Tahereh Mafi!

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Renegade

There is no one left for Mila to trust. Except for a boy she barely knows.

But Hunter has no idea who—and what—Mila really is. She can’t bear to reveal her secret, even though he’s unwittingly joined her search for Richard Grady, a man who may know more details of Mila’s complicated past.

Yet the road to the truth is more dangerous than ever. With General Holland and the Vita Obscura scouring the earth for her whereabouts, Mila must rely on her newfound android abilities to protect herself and Hunter from imminent harm. Still, embracing her identity as a machine leads her to question the state of her humanity—as well as Hunter’s real motives.

Perfect for fans of I Am Number Four and Divergent, this action-packed and heart-wrenching second installment of MILA 2.0 will leave readers breathlessly awaiting the series conclusion.

I was lucky enough to participate in a tour for Mila 2.0 (Review Here) last year. I honestly had no idea what to expect before reading it, but I’m glad to say that I enjoyed the novel throughly. If you are a huge fan of artificial intelligence or wish to venture into the sci-fi genre, then this series is definitely for you! For those who have already read Mila 2.0, there’s less than a month left until Renegade comes out, so hang in there!

Review: Grim by Multiple Authors

  • TitleGrim
  • AuthorChristine Johnson (Editor) & Various Authors
  • SourceEbook
  • No. of Pages480
  • PublishedFebruary 25, 2014 by Harlequin Teen
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, Jon Skrovan

I’ve never been one to enjoy anthologies, especially if they’re collections of short stories. Poems, I can tolerate, but short stories always seem to leave me hanging–sort of like snatching away my slice of cake after one bite–so to say I was a teensy bit wary about this is an understatement.

However, I am glad to say that I quite liked Grim. Though I felt like some of the stories were lacking and unoriginal, others were creative and enjoyable. The medley of authors suited the dark theme of their own respective fairy tale retellings and a lot of them did their stories justice.

Some particularly memorable ones:
1) Untethered by Sonia Gensler
This is by far my favorite in the entire anthology. It was pretty short compared to the other stories, (maybe because I enjoyed it too much) but somehow it was able to perfectly capture the essence of the tale from start to finish without having an open, unfinished ending. Also, plus points because the twist totally hit me square in the face!

2) The Key by Rachel Hawkins
The Key started off as a lighthearted, slightly kooky story, but it gradually transformed into a darker, more epic thriller. I sort of saw it coming, but not completely. Amazing short story.

3) The Real Boy by Claudia Gray
This was one of the only two sci-fis in the entire anthology and it was really cute and sweet–a stark contrast from the stories before and after it. It was a breath of fresh air because I didn’t expect to like it, but I did.

A close, always had other during would middle viagra online you replacement products notes, daily pomade s.after it. It was a breath of fresh air because I didn’t expect to like it, but I did.

4) Sell Out by Jackson Pearce
Sell Out felt more like a contemporary than all the other retellings, and in this case, it played out really well. The striking character development was evident in the protagonist in the story, which is a great feat for something significantly shorter than a novel. Furthermore, the last words ended not only the story, but also the whole anthology nicely.

Special Mention:
Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan
Though the story as a whole didn’t live up to my expectations like the ones above did, this was the only humorous piece in Grim, and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t amused by the lingo and the way the

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story progressed. Enjoyable, but not really well thought-out or significant.

All the others were well-written and easy to read, but not entirely moving or world-changing. However, I really liked seeing how each author was able to mold classic tales to form their own dark and complex stories because let me tell you, it’s not easy to capture a reader’s attention with sixteen other stories vying for the spotlight. Fortunately, in a way, all the authors made their tales fit in that circle of light.

Feature and Follow (40)

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

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are was second bull 100 sildenafil citrate for men stronger use without i.

How have your reading habits changed in the past few years? Did you get interested in a new genre? Do you read more? Less? Why do you think your habits changed, if they did.

I wasn’t a book blogger a few years ago, so my reading habits changed tremendously. Now I read at least a book a week (to be able to post new reviews), which is a huge leap from reading a novel once a month. In terms of genre, I guess you can say that I am more open to reading different kinds of books–I used to stick to fantasy and fantasy only (wow, I really missed out back then). Thank goodness I decided to blog.

What about you? Have your reading habits changed for the better or worse? Share your stories with us by leaving a comment below!

 

Review: The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

  • TitleThe DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
  • AuthorKody Keplinger
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages280
  • PublishedSeptember 07, 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

DUFF: Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend. When Wesley Rush called Bianca Piper that in a local club one day, she didn’t take it very kindly. More like she threw her highly-carbonated drink in his face. The damage; however, was already done. The simple word managed to open a floodgate of insecurities that Bianca struggled to ignore for so long. It didn’t help that the problems at home were becoming bigger than she could handle. Thus, she decided to turn to her coping mechanism: a no-strings-attached relationship with Wesley Rush.

No, that wasn’t a typo. Since Bianca didn’t want to burden the people she loved with her troubles, she went to the person she loathed the most. Her grand plan had a flaw though: Wesley was not as despicable as she assumed he was.

I decided to re-read The DUFF to satisfy my craving for a good contemporary novel. I’m glad I did, because I got another chance to laugh at Bianca’s outrageous personality, appreciate Casey and Jessica’s loyalty and fall in love with Wesley all over again. With a simple setting and simple characters, Keplinger weaves a story that is without a doubt extraordinary.

Bianca was the kind of person who would rather stay home and read Pride and Prejudice. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t a hermit. Compared to her best friends; however, Bianca was the more serious, don’t-waste-my-time-and-let’s-get-down-to-business one. With a mother who didn’t bother to visit, a depressed father and a certain ex-boyfriend, it made sense that Bianca had trust issues. She bottled up her problems with her tough exterior, convincing herself that she could handle them.

According to Bianca (at least, at the beginning of the novel), Wesley was a “kinda hot man-slut”. But, as the novel progressed, I noticed how he started to change. It wasn’t that he had a complete personality switch—rather, the better points became more emphasized. It was so cute how Wesley would go out of his way to make sure that Bianca was safe. That, in my opinion, is the mark of the true gentleman.

I really liked the chemistry between Bianca and Wesley. They compliment each other in a way no other couple can. Here’s one of their conversations:

“Spanish, huh?” he said, glancing down at the scattered papers as he grabbed them. “Can you say anything interesting?”

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El tono de tu voz hace que queria estrangularme.” I stood up and waited for him to hand over my papers.
“That sounds sexy,” he said, getting to his feet and handing me the stack of Spanish work he’d swept together. “What’s it mean?”
“The sound of your voice makes me want to strangle myself.”
“Kinky.”

See what I mean?

Despite the fact that the plot is slightly cliche (girl-meets-bad-boy-and-they-fall-in-love), Keplinger took one-of-a-kind, imperfect characters and managed to create a perfect love story. Bianca and Wesley started a relationship as a way to escape, but soon it developed into something more—and both of them realized that.

Overall, this novel teaches us a valuable lesson as well: anyone can be a Duff. Question is, are you going to let it be your downfall or secret to success?

Waiting on Wednesday (27)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

the one

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner

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to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers’ hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey… Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

Do I need to say more? I will, because this will be

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a pretty sorry-looking post if I don’t. Anyways, I bet a lot of you are anticipating The One as well! If you hadn’t read the The Selection and The Elite yet, what better time to start than the present? A light and fluffy dystopian tale, this series is perfect for a rainy day—I’m sure that the conclusion would be just as extraordinary.

Review: Vain by Fisher Amelie

  • TitleVain (The Seven Deadly #1)
  • AuthorFisher Amelie
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages390
  • PublishedFebruary 01, 2013 by Amelie Fisher
  • Rating4/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

If you look up the word ‘perfect’ in the dictionary, the definition would be: see: Sophie Price. As the daughter of a multi-billionaire and the most gorgeous girl in town, it’s natural that Sophie is flawless in everyone’s eyes. When legal trouble strikes, however, Sophie journeys to Uganda, where she undergoes an ultimate transformation that changes her life forever. In Vain, Amelie Fisher proves to us that even the most superficial people only want one thing: acceptance.

I was hesitant to read Vain at first because I assumed I wouldn’t like Sophie Price—and boy, was I wrong. Despite the fact that she was arrogant, cruel and self-centered at the beginning of the novel, it didn’t irritate me at all—rather, it helped me become more sympathetic to her plight when it was revealed later on. Misunderstood is the word that best describes her. Growing up with a mother and father who never acknowledged her existence, it was heartbreaking how Sophie trained herself not to let anyone in because she was tired of getting hurt.

When Sophie gets arrested for possession the second time, her father decided that he had enough with what he deemed as “immature behavior”. Instead of negotiating with the judge, he allows him to send her to an orphanage in Uganda for six months. Now, it wouldn’t be so bad, until Sophie realizes that the place she’s being sent to is no stranger to frequent acts of terrorism, incurable diseases and deadly insects.

I really loved the unique setting and characters of the story. It was so touching to see how the victims of war—maimed children who lost their homes and parents—managed to see the sliver of hope each new day brought. Blessed with good looks but humble at the same time, Ian was definitely my favorite character. He was so down-to-earth, so sincere about his work. Ian could have been a politician or a doctor or a lawyer—instead, he chose to care for children. (That’s right, ladies. You can swoon now.) It was also so adorable when Ian swept the bugs out of the shower every morning because he knew Sophie hated them.

The plot was well developed and the pacing was just right. Vain had the perfect combination of romance and action and a dash of reality that made the tale believable. Fisher also managed to make her characters evolve; a feat that is quite difficult to accomplish. Although there were a few loose ends at the conclusion of the story, it

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didn’t affect how I viewed the novel as a whole so much.

Would I recommend this novel? Certainly! Vain allows readers to delve into unfamiliar territory without leaving the comfort of their homes. Tackling social issues such as poverty and war that are prevalent in society today, reading this novel will surely be an unforgettable experience.

“Fear, Sadness. They’re not weaknesses. They are overpowering, defining emotions. They make you human, Sophie.”

 

 

Stacking the Shelves (28)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews wherein book bloggers get to share their haul for the week, be it borrowed, won, given, or bought!

Bought:

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1. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han Siobhan Vivian

2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

3. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

4. Champion by Marie Lu

5. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

For Review From Edelweiss:

collage 2

1. Pawn by Aimee Carter

2. Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

I’m so glad it’s summer already–I can finally get started on these books! I’ve been waiting for Crash Into You, Champion and Allegiant for the longest time.

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What about you guys? Any new additions to your shelves? Leave a comment below and share your haul with us!

Feature and Follow (39)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee

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and Alison Can Read.

This week’s question:

Spring is in the air! Show off your favorite reading spot. If you don’t go outside…well where else do you read that isn’t inside your house? We want pics!

Here in the Philippines, it’s usually a death sentence to read outside–if it isn’t the heat that kills you, it’s the pollution. So…Tiff and I obviously read indoors.

chair

Tiff likes to read in her living room. She doesn’t leave her house much (just kidding!)–but this is where she frequently reads. Me? I usually stay in my bedroom, but I like to read in the car while I’m waiting for my sister to get dismissed from school.

Where do YOU like to read? Leave a comment below to share your favorite reading spot and so that we can follow you back!

 

Comeback Thursday and a Giveaway

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When this happened last year…

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we knew it was time to take a break. Blogging was becoming a chore, and the huge amount of school work didn’t make things better. Okay, disappearing off the face of the earth for nine months isn’t exactly a ‘break’, but now we are back–and here to make it up to you guys (hopefully there still are people to make it up to)! Over the course of the next few weeks, Tiffany and I will be revamping the blog to make an even better version of Read, Breathe, Read. Expect book reviews, memes and more!

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Oh, and of course, the moment you’ve been waiting for. In honor of our return to the blogging world, here’s a giveaway for you guys! The theme we came up with is “Comeback Thursday”. Thus we are giving away books (from last year even as recent as last month) that we feel should make comebacks or should be read by everyone. And don’t forget SWAG! We’re giving away two awesome prize packs.

Open internationally. 3 winners will be drawn in a month’s time. The Rafflecopter is at the bottom of this post–you guys know the drill. For more information, check out our Giveaway Policy. Good luck!

Grand Prize: Paperback copies of Alienated by Melissa Landers, Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo and Cress by Marissa Meyer

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2nd Prize: SWAG pack #1

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3rd Prize: SWAG pack #2

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s good to be back.