February 23, 2014

Blog Announcement: Semi-hiatus!

Hello to all of you! You guys may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much reviews this week. Since being a book blog requires much activity and interaction, I'm here to tell you that I will not be posting as much. I have around 4 projects to submit within this week and I have exams the following week. I know it's kind of hard to admit that I can't handle all of this, but I have my own life as well. After all those hardships I'll be free because I'll be graduating (Yay!) from High School and I'll be having a 5-month summer vacation because my University won't start classes until August. Hope everyone could understand.

I'll still be around lurking and checking up on things. See you in less than 16 days!

February 21, 2014

Feature and Follow Hop #2

This week's question: What was the last book that made you cry?

These are the books that made me cry recently. Allegiant by Veronica Roth; and my answer to every single blog hop, If I Stay and Where She Went, both by Gayle Forman just because that series is really amazing.

Links are in the sidebar (:

February 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

From The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
  1.  I love being a reader because I get to learn a lot of stuff. I love learning but I hate studying. (Yes there's a fine line.) Through reading, I get to know stuff that I wouldn't usually learn about.
  2. I love being a reader because it's addicting. It's my favorite past time as well. :)
  3. I love being a reader because I get to see different lives, cultures, and things I wouldn't get to see here in the Philippines. Because of that, I do believe that I have a wide understanding on things.
  4. I love being a reader because I get to expand my principles.
  5. I love being a reader because of the different places I'm able to visit.
  6. I love being a blogger because it keeps me occupied! :) I love being busy but I love being lazy, so I think this blogging thing is perfect for me.
  7. I love being a blogger because I get to meet a lot of people with the same interests. I get to relate myself to other people as well!
  8. I love being a blogger because of the books I get to know and read! Because of this opportunity, I get to be exposed to books that interest me.
  9. I love being a blogger because I get to write and rant about the books I read. I'm a school journalist for feature articles and photos, so I find it enjoying when I get to continue my work out of school. It keeps me in practice as well.
  10. I love being a blogger because I get to be myself. :)
What about your top ten reasons? Share your thoughts with me!

February 15, 2014

Book Review: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Title: It's Not Summer Without You
Author: Jenny Han
Series: #2
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Teen
Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5 Stars)

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.
Click here to read:  The Summer I Turned Pretty Review (Prequel/#1, Summer Series)

So first thing's first, I'm hooked to this series. I've finished the series within 24 hours (I know, total nerd right?) but just because it was a really good one. I'm going to start with its good points - it's not the same with the first book, but you'll probably find similar details that will make you love this book as much as you loved the first one.

Belly has been experiencing a different summer than her usual one. In this book,  she's been spending a boring and worthless summer with her best friend Taylor. Belly's family has not made plans to go back to Cousins Island ever since Susannah died. Everything changed because of that. Her mother has been in a different state, as well as Conrad and Jeremiah. Everyone has grown up and had their own separate lives. But then Belly hears from Jeremiah that Conrad has been missing for a few days and that he needs her help. Of course, Belly would do anything for Conrad, and especially for Susannah.

I loved this book because aside from the usual flashbacks we get to see flashbacks and narratives from Jeremiah's point of view. Here we see much more of him, and that he's 100x better than the Jeremiah we've known from The Summer I Turned Pretty. That way the story didn't just revolve around Belly and her unending love for Conrad, but it's actually about Cousins Island, the summer house and the spirit of summer. As much as I loved the first book, here you can actually 'feel' summer. The salty water, the scorching rays, the boys, the people, the secrets, and the bonds you've created and will create.

I loved how we kind of got a glimpse of all the characters. Their true personalities, the things they've hid from the first book, and such. It made me feel connected to the story so much more. But I feel like there's a lot more this book could add to itself, but sometimes I feel like it's perfect the way it is. In some parts it has a slow storyline, especially with the flashbacks in between, but you'll get to the point of seeing that the flashbacks support the previous or succeeding chapter. Hence, the 4.5 stars. 

For me it's a book full of emotions and it can really touch your heart once you've gotten to the sense of it. It's captivating, heart-breaking, and enticing. I recommend It's Not Summer Without You to the lovers of the first book, and to the ones who haven't heard of the series yet.

February 10, 2014

Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Title: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Author: Jenny Han
Series #: 1
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Teen
Rating: ★★★★

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is amazing in its own way. So the story begins in the summer, introducing Belly or Isabel's family on their way to their Summer house in Cousin's Island. Cousin's is where Belly and her family has spent most of their summers. The house is owned by her mother's best friend, Suzannah, who has two gorgeous sons named Conrad and Jeremiah; with Belly having been in love with Conrad ever since she was 10.

As much as I don't want to post any spoilers, I think The Summer I Turned Pretty is one of the most memorable books I've ever read. It's on the right side of clichè and the right side of awful. There's just books that are too clichè making it too awful, but Jenny Han made TSITP perfect. I love how Belly's just the average girl. She's 15, turning 16, she's going through this social anxiety phase, she has a jerk of an older brother, she's a bit experimental, she doesn't find heels and mini skirts comfortable, and she doesn't even have a lot of friends.

It's your typical teen story. There are fights, crushes, loves, first time's, parties, dressing up, everything that the current generation teen experiences. I think that Jenny Han wrote The Summer I Turned Pretty ordinarily while making it extraordinary to its readers. Some of you might find it too cheesy or too idealistic, but I saw the side where it is pretty realistic, that it does tackle some kind of shallow teenage issues. How pasts can create presents, how much over-thinking can influence anything.

I recommend it to anyone who loves to read contemporary in the perspective of a teenage girl. I think this book is worth a shot. Hopefully you will, too. If ever you enjoy it, read its sequels!

February 7, 2014

Feature and Follow Hop #1

If you could read a book for the “first time” again, which book would it be? Why?

Maybe I'd choose If I Stay (and its sequel) because it's just an amazing book. By the time I've read it, I was at a salon getting my hair fixed and I kept holding off my tears because I obviously did not want to cry in front of a bunch of hairdressers and customers.

It was a heartwarming book and I just couldn't get the story off my mind. Whenever I see commercials on the television or things I'd hear in the radio or somewhere, sometimes I'd get to a point where I'd be thinking, "I remember Mia and Adam.", "I remember If I Stay." It just was something you'd remember that well. Well for me at least. I think it was an amazing work done by an amazing author, and if I ever have more time in the future, I'd like to read it again even though I already completely know how the story goes. 

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February 4, 2014

Book Blogger Hop #1

When you receive new books in the mail, do the older ones get moved to the bottom of your list or do go strictly "by the book" and keep your list with older books first and then the new ones?

To be honest it just depends on my mood. I've got like dozens of books on my iBooks shelf and I still hadn't decided on what to read next. I'm on the first few chapters of Matched but I've decided to start and finish the Summer series instead. So it kinda depends on the whole feel of the book/s, and how I feel as well. I'm don't have a specific order in what comes first (unless it's a series, of course...), and I love treating things in general as equals. :)

February 3, 2014

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series #: 1
Genre: YA/Dystopian/Sci-fi
Rating: ★★★★
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

This is one of my favorite covers of all time. I honestly bought this because of the cover (and of course the back cover synopsis...) because who wouldn't get attracted to frilly gowns and pretty colors?!

So I agree with the thought that it's like Hunger Games (without all the gore) and the Bachelor mashed together in one book. It's set in a futuristic time, where Illea (previously North America) is divided into eight Castes (one being the highest), and all girls between the ages of 16-20 are given application forms to join the Selection (similar to the Hunger Games, except the Selection is not mandatory), a competition to search for the next queen of Illea. And of course, we have the ever so stubborn protagonist who doesn't believe in the whole process, America Singer, from the fifth caste. She was basically forced into entering the competition by her family and secret boyfriend.

What I didn't like about The Selection is that you'd love-hate-hate America. She's just so indecisive, and trust me, she's a sweetheart, but sometimes there's this part of her that would make you pull your hair out of your head. It's like, "GIRL DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS OR NOT BECAUSE I COULD REALLY FILL IN YOUR PLACE AND MAKE MAXON FALL IN LOVE WITH ME INSTEAD" most of the time. The writing was a bit off and I kind of noticed that sometimes it wasn't that consistent regarding the use  of the words (e.g the presence of the repetitiveness of the vocabulary) and the story itself, but I guess it had a good plot. I seriously think the plot was amazing.

What I liked about this book is it's so original. You don't get to see books like this everyday, don't you? It's about everything a common girl hopes for - but it's nothing like the Carrie Diaries or The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants, it's all crowns, handsome boys, royalties, grand palaces, banquets, and extravagant gowns and dresses. But there's also this side of the book that kind of deals with action, and somehow it teaches the girls not only to be soft and feminine queens, but a queen who can handle these situations when it actually arises. (And in my point of view, I think all girls should possess that quality, not just the women in the line of royalty in the present and/or in the future.)

Because of this, I did not only love the series but I loved Kiera Cass as well! She's so witty and amazing in all aspects.  I enjoyed it, and I think it's worth a shot. You guys should try it. (It makes you feel all tingly inside because of all the sweet Maxon-America scenes!)

P.S. I'm definitely on Team Maxon.
P.P.S. You guys should also try reading the novellas (The Prince and The Guard; POV's of Maxon and Aspen respectively). I think those support the story a lot and can make you change your views of the story/book.


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