Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge


Hi folks!

2015 had been a slow one for my reading challenge, and reading in general. I first set my goal to 70 books thinking that I would have more time to read. Then in the middle of the year, I lowered it to 50 because I got busy. I thought I would be completing my challenge, but nope. Life got busier. Haha!

But anyway, I still had a fun, amazing 2015! And book-wise, here are the books I read.


Push by Eve Silver (4 stars)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (5 stars)
Gone by Michael Grant (5 stars)
Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas (4.5 stars)
The Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges (not reviewed)
Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerrra (4 stars)
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (4.5 stars)
Quanta by Lola Dodge (4 stars)
The One by Kiera Cass (trilogy review)
The Elite by Kiera Cass (trilogy review)
Reboot by Amy Tintera (4 stars, not reviewed)
One Fling to Rule Them All by Deanna Dee (4 stars)
What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi (4 stars)
The Selection by Kiera Cass (trilogy review)
The Compass by Tammy Kling and John Spencer Ellis (4 stars)
Everything You and I Could Have Been If We Weren't You and I by Albert Espinosa (4.5 stars)
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee (3 stars, not reviewed)
These are the Moments by Jenny Bravo (4.5 stars)
Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It! by Dr. Erika Miller (4 stars)
Marry Me, Charlotte B! by Carla de Guzman (4 stars)
Missing Era: The Emergence by A.O. Khalil (4 stars)
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (4.5 stars)
Cursed by Fire by Danielle Annett (3.5 stars)
Undertow by Michael Buckley (3.5 stars)
The Labyrinth Wall by Emilyann Girdner (4 stars)
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (5 stars)
Rot & Ruin (Graphic Novel) by Jonathan Maberry (3 stars, not reviewed)
Cities by Carla de Guzman (5 stars)
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (3 stars, not reviewed)
Jesus, Jihad and Peace by Michael Youssef (5 stars)
Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean (5 stars)
The Thirteenth Tower by Sara C. Snider (3.5 stars)
How to Love by Katie Cotugno (4.5 stars)
The Here and Now by Ann Brashares (3.5 stars)

34 books in total! Currently, I am reading Hunger by Michael Grant and The Gift by Cecelia Ahern. My original plan was to finish them before January. But I don't think that's happening. Haha! I am still busy with other things. But, I am almost finished with them- a few more chapters to go.

Anyway, that's all for my 2015 Goodreads challenge. For the 2016 challenge, I will still set my goal to 50 books, and just hope for the best. I will try to manage my time more and plan things ahead, especially with my blog posts. :)

How about you folks? Did you complete your challenge? How many book did you read? And how many books will be in your challenge this 2016?

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Have a nice day!
And happy 2016!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Push (The Game #2) by Eve Silver: Book Review

Title: Push (The Game #2)
Author: Eve Silver
Publication Details: June 10th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Copy: eBook (ePub format)

Miki Jones lives her life by her own strict set of rules, to keep control, to keep the gray fog of grief at bay. Then she’s pulled into the Game, where she - and her team - will die unless she follows a new set of rules: those set by the mysterious Committee.

But rules don’t mean answers, and without answers, it’s hard to trust. People are dying. The rules are unraveling. And Miki knows she’s being watched, uncertain if it’s the Drau or someone - something - else. Forced to make impossible choices and battling to save those she loves, Miki begins to see the Committee in a glaring new light.

And then the Game crosses a new boundary, pushes harder into Miki’s and her friends’ lives, and there’s nothing in the rules that can save them now.

Push is the sequel Rush fans will be screaming for.



After a very long time, I finally managed to read Push, the second book from The Game trilogy. :)

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Plot
Since Rush (the first book) ended with a cliffhanger, I was quite eager to know how things will go. My memory of the first book is a bit rusty. Good thing though, I enjoyed reading Push even though it's been more than a year since I read Rush.

Plot-wise, Push is more action-packed and fast-paced. I liked how the events blend in together, creating a gripping story. No dragging part unlike in the first book. And there are more information about the Game and the Committee, thus I was able to get into the story further.

I also liked how the story equally focuses on the reality part, the life of the characters outside the Game. It helped Miki, the main character, with her development and in setting her stand in the two worlds she's living in.

What put me off a teeny bit were the cliche parts. The first book was a refreshing read but this one turned out to be predictable, especially the revelation in the end. But other than that, Push is an entertaining read.

Characters
Miki is more put together in Push. She still has struggles but I liked how she fights not only for herself but also for the people she loves. Her relationships with the secondary characters are given more emphasis in the book. I also liked how, despite being in the Game for quite a while, Miki's character development is not too sudden. These made Miki more relatable and her story line believable.

As for the other characters, I couldn't remember them well from the first book (Haha!) but I still liked all of them nevertheless.

Writing
The writing style of the author is okay. I liked how I enjoyed Rush and how easy it was to get back to the flow of things despite reading the first book more than a year ago.

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Overall, Rush is a good read. And I'm definitely looking forward to reading the third book, Crash.



PS: My review of Rush is here. :)


National bestselling author Eve Silver has been praised for her “edgy, steamy, action-packed” books, darkly sexy heroes and take-charge heroines. Her work has garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Quill and Quire, two RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Library Journal’s Best Genre Fiction Award, and she was nominated for the Romance Writers of America® RITA® Award. The first book in Eve’s new teen series, THE GAME: RUSH, is available now. Watch for PUSH, coming from Katherine Tegen Books, June 2014.


Eve lives with her husband, two sons, an energetic Airedale terrier and an exuberant border collie/shepherd. (Source: Goodreads)



Friday, December 11, 2015

Feature & Follow #25: Non-Bookish Site


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

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Hi folks!

This week's question is suggested by Cornerfolds:

What's your favorite non-bookish website hangout?

Hmmmm. Excluding Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook (since they have bookish community), I'd say Pinterest and Look Book. I visit them for fashion and make-up inspirations. I also visit fashion and beauty blogs. :)

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How about you folks?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pile Be Gone #2: Christmas Reading List

I know I'm bad with reading goals. But you know what folks? This girl has got to try. Haha! Last month, I only managed to read 2 books out of 5. I know. I was busy. -_- This December, I will again try to read 5 books. *fingers crossed* Haha! They are...


The Gift by Cecelia Ahern
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
Hunger by Michael Grant
Push by Eve Silver (e-book)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I want to read My True Love Gave to Me (by a bunch of authors and edited by Stephanie Perkins). However, I'm in a book buying ban, so it's not going to happen, for now at least. :)

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That's all folks!
What are you planning to read this Christmas season?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

November 2015: What Happened

Hi folks!

Happy December! Christmas is in the air! And I have to update my wishlist! Haha! Anyway, on to my recap.


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From my reading list, I only managed to read 2 books. Haha!

Books I Read:
Gone by Michael Grant
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I am currently reading Hunger by Michael Grant. :)

Reviews Posted:

Photo Diary:



Book Haul:


Others:

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Outside my blogging and reading world...
November 14- Team building with office mates at Ten Cents to Heaven, Tanay, Rizal

November 28-30- Ilocos tour with friends/workmates! It was such a nice and fun experience minus the problems we had with the tour agency (ahem, Travel Galore)!

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That's all for my recap!
How's your November?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Bookish Alphabet Tag: Book Tag

I was not tagged by anyone, but I saw this post on Alahna's blog @ The Charmed Reader

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Instructions: See if you own books beginning with every letter of the alphabet. The only rule is that you have to own it, or you’ve read it but don’t own it anymore.

Let’s see what I have!

A- (The) Age of Miracles by Katherine Thompson Walker (read)
B- (The) Book Thief by Markus Zusak (read)
C- Cipher by Aileen Erin (read and reviewed)
D- Divergent by Veronica Roth (read)
E- (The) Elite by Kiera Cass (read)
F- (The) Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (read)
G- Gone by Michael Grant (read and reviewed)
H- Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (to be read)
I- I Want It that Way by Ann Aguirre (to be read)
J- Just One Day by Gayle Forman (read)
K- (The) Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (to be read)
L- Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander (read and reviewed)
M- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (read and reviewed)
N- No One You Know by Michelle Richmond (read)
O- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (to be read)
P- P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (to be read)
Q- Quanta by Lola Dodge (read and reviewed)
R- Reboot by Amy Tintera (read)
S- (The) Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (read)
T- Trash by Andy Mulligan (read and reviewed)
U- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (read)
V- (The) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (read)
W- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (read and reviewed)
X- None
Y- None
Z- None

Hmmmm, I have none for X, Y and Z. Now, I'm challenged to look for books beginning with those letters. :)

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There you go folks! :)
Feel free to do this tag!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Did Not Finish #1

Hi folks!

For today's post, I want to share with you those books I did not finish. If you will notice from my review index, I only review those books I give 3-5 stars to. And of course, I don't like everything I read.  Most of the ones included are review books that I was not able to finish for various reasons. This is the first time I will be posting such a list, so here it goes...


1. Don't Forget Me Bro by John Michael Cummings- The book is about mental health and child abuse. I have no problem reading about such topics, but the way the book is written made my reading experience dragging. It also made me feel really heavy. Thus, I had to stop reading. I may pick it up again, though, some time in the future. But I'm not quite sure.


2. Jonas Salk: A Life by Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs- This one is a biography. I liked reading about Jonas Salk's life. It was actually inspiring, but the book is about 500 pages. And it's something I only read whenever I was in the mood. My copy was from NetGalley so it just expired. But if given a free copy, I would read it again. It'll probably take me a long time to finish, but I will read it. Haha!


3. The Sly Company of People Who Care by Rahul Bhattacharya- This book is an okay read. It's character-driven and thought-provoking. However, it got dragging towards the middle, so I decided to give it a rest.


4. This is the Night by Jonah C. Sirott- The premise sounds nice and interesting, thus I requested it on NetGalley. But when I started reading, I just couldn't connect with the characters. Thus, I had to put it down.


5. What We Salvage by David Baillie- What made me request this book was the cover. Haha! The premise is also interesting. But upon reading, I couldn't understand the events. I could not follow what's happening. And if I remember correctly, there were words/slang I couldn't understand.


6. Lament for the Afterlife by Lisa L. Hannett- Same reason as What We Salvage. Interesting plot. Couldn't understand anything. -_-

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That's all folks for my recent DNF list.

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Thoughts?
Have a nice day! :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Small Bookmark Collection: Photo Diary

Hi folks! November's coming to an end already! Time flies so fast, eh?

Today, I want to share with you guys my small bookmark collection. Well, they're not really a "collection". I never intended to have many bookmarks. It just happened. Haha!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Haul #9: The Book Buying Ban Edition

Let's take a moment of silence, as I recall what I have done. *silence* Yes, I know. *silence* I bought books during my book buying ban. *silence*

But you know what folks? It happens. It's normal. Well okay, probably not. But let me assure you that these books CALLED me. I was in a local secondhand bookstore, looking for books for my nephew... and then these 2 books. They presented themselves, called me and made me gasp. When a book makes you gasp, it's a clear sign that you have to buy the book. It's the rule.

Anyway, here are the two books I bought at Booksale, Mall of Asia branch. :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Feature & Follow #24: Teleporting Into the Story


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

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Hi folks!

This week's question is suggested by Life is Reading:

If you could teleport into ANY story, which would you chose?

The question reminded me of The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (review here). It has the same teleporting element in the plot. :) Anyway, I'm pretty sure I will have the same answer as the other bloggers. I would choose the world of Harry Potter sans Voldemort. Haha!

I would also want to be in the Uglies world solely because of hover boards. :)

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What about you folks?
What story would you choose?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gone by Michael Grant: Book Review


Title: Gone by Michael Grant
Series: Gone #1
Publication Details: June 24th 2008 by Katherine Tegen Books
Copy: Paperback bought from Fully Booked

The first in New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant's breathtaking dystopian, sci-fi saga, Gone is a page-turning thriller that invokes the classic The Lord of the Flies along with the horror of Stephen King.

In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. Except for the young.

There are teens, but not one single adult. Just as suddenly, there are no phones, no internet, no television. No way to get help. And no way to figure out what's happened.

Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen, a fight is shaping up. Townies against rich kids. Bullies against the weak. Powerful against powerless. And time is running out: On your birthday, you disappear just like everyone else...

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Gone was first introduced to me through Tumblr, I think 2 or 3 years ago. I do not know what the book is about, just that a lot of people say it's underrated and that it's really good.

I only bought the book last year, I think. Because it's not always available in my local bookstore. And then I let it sat for a year, before finally reading it.

Plot
Fast-paced and gripping.

Gone follows the lives of those 14 years old and below in Perdido Beach as they strive to survive, after the adults mysteriously vanished and a barrier appeared. It was a refreshing read for me as I've never read anything like it before. And though there are a lot of weird things going on, I find it really entertaining.

The switching of scenes and POVs made my reading not dragging and the action maintained throughout the book. It also kept me wanting to know more about the characters, what they're up to next, as well as their back stories.

At first, I did not know what's happening. I was clueless as the characters. But I liked how the pieces slowly came together and made sense. There are still questions and loose threads, which I am looking forward to finding out about in the next books.

World-Building
The world-building is unique, in my opinion. Perdido Beach and The Fayz seem complicated to understand, but thankfully, maps were provided. Using the maps, I was able to picture the events more clearly, and follow them more easily.

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The Fayz is a refreshing element to a sci-fi, dystopian read and I'm looking forward to knowing more about the barrier- what caused it, what other things are in it and how it will end.

Characters
Gone has a lot of characters. But even so, it was not hard not to follow each of them. I liked how each key player in The Fayz was explored and given a story. It made my reading experience more enjoyable as each characters has different qualities and perspectives. And it was fun to read their interactions with each other.

I was not able to fully relate to the main characters though. But nevertheless, I am looking forward to how they will progress, and what will happen to them in the end. I am especially looking forward to the character developments of Sam, Caine, Drake and Little Pete.

Writing
I really liked Michael Grant's writing style. He used a third person, omniscient POV giving me a wider view of what's happening. The choice of words are simple, no technical words, so my reading was easier. And the flow of events and the transition are smooth, maintaining the pace and the action.

I've read 2 books in the BZRK trilogy of the author, and liked them as well. I therefore conclude that Michael Grant books will be in my automatic buy list. :)

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Overall, I enjoyed reading Gone, the first book in the Gone series, and I am very much looking forward to the next books. If you're a fan of sci-fi, dystopian, then I recommend this series.



ph source: guardian.co.uk
Michael Grant has spent much of his life on the move. Raised in a military family in the USA, he attended ten schools in five states, as well as three schools in France. Even as an adult he kept moving, and in fact he became a writer in part because it was one of the few jobs that wouldn't tie him down. His dream is to spend a whole year circumnavigating the globe and visiting every continent. Even Antarctica. He lives in Marin Country, California, with his wife, Katherine Applegate, their two children, and far too many pets (Source: BZRK back cover).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys: Book Review

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publication Details: June 9th 2011 by Penguin Books
Copy: Paperback, purchased
Genre: Historical fiction, YA, war


Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart. (Goodreads)

I've been wanting to read Between Shades of Gray since I laid eyes on it years ago. And finally, I did!

Plot
An inspiring and moving story about hope, survival and love.

Set in 1941, Between Shades of Gray tells the story of Lina and the other Lithuanians, and how they suffered in the hands of Russians- how they persevered, fought, faded and survived.

This was the first time I read about the deportation of Lithuanians (as well as of Estonians, Latvians, and Polish). I've read a lot about the Jews, the labor camps, the Holocaust, but never of those (non-Jews) who suffered under Stalin's hands.

Based from the stories of the families and friends of survivors, and of the survivors themselves, Between Shades of Gray was able to show the different faces of humanity, especially in times of adversity. The events blend in together, and each of them brings about emotions. I liked how the book is full of meaning- of what it means to live, to survive, to hope and to love.

I liked how art was incorporated into the story and how Lina uses her talent to express emotions and show experiences. And of course, the little flashbacks of Lina's memories from before the deportation. Each flashback follows and is in relation to what Lina is currently thinking and/or experiencing. It made Lina more relatable and her experiences more heartbreaking.

The ending was a bittersweet one. It was open-ended but perfectly understandable. It would take more than a book to read the stories of the deportees and refugees. But overall, plot-wise, Between Shades of Gray is definitely worth reading.

Characters
Aah the characters! Lina, the main character, is smart, talented and brave. She's easy to relate to and very likeable despite her shortcomings.

The other characters are also well-written: Jonas and Andrius, who despite being young like Lina, were able to show courage and were able to face the difficulties that lie before them; Lina's mother, Elena, whose love not only for her family but also for other people is truly inspiring; the other deportees whose resolve may have weakened but still supported each other; and even the Russian soldier, Kretzsky, who did not forget his heart despite the war.

Writing
The story is told in the eyes of Lina, a 15-year old girl who at a young age, tasted what it's like to be in the face of death. When the deportation started she's at that point in life when she's starting to figure out her future; thus, making the story-telling quite raw and innocent but deeply moving.

Overall, I loved the style of writing. The fluidity and relevance of the events, how each events relate to the others, and the strong, three-dimensional characters. Between Shades of Gray is indeed beautifully written.

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I definitely recommend Between Shades of Gray. It's such a bittersweet, inspiring read; and I can definitely see myself rereading this in the future.




Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. As an author of historical fiction, Ruta is drawn to stories of strength through struggle. Her award-winning debut novel, "Between Shades of Gray" was inspired by her family's history in Lithuania and is published in 45 countries. Her second novel, "Out of the Easy" is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950, and her third novel "Salt to the Sea" exposes one of the greatest hidden disasters of World War II. Ruta lives in a treehouse in the hills of Tennessee.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Feature & Follow #23: Funny Reads


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

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Hi folks!

This week's question is suggested by one of the meme's hosts, Alison Can Read:

What are the funniest books you've ever read?

Hmmm. Sophie Kinsella books made me laugh but I don't think I have ever read a solely humorous book. I've also encountered characters with good sense of humor. :) The one on top of my head right now is Rose Hathaway from The Vampire Academy series. I'm sure there are others as well, but I can't recall them. Haha!

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How about you folks?
Maybe you can recommend some funny books? :)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pile Be Gone #1: November 2015


Hi folks!

In an attempt to reduce my TBR pile, I set 5 books for me to read this month of November. I am a mood reader so I am not sure if I'll stick to my chosen titles but I have to read 5. :) My reading list includes:

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Gone by Michael Grant
Hunger by Michael Grant
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

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Hopefully, I will read more than 5 books. But we'll see. Haha!
How about you folks? What are you planning to read this month?


Edit: To include another book, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 2015: What Happened

Hi folks!

October was a work-filled month for me. I'm not going to deny it, I was stressed because of work. Haha! But hopefully, November will be a relaxed one. Here's a short recap of my October blog- and book-wise. :)

Books I Read:
Quanta by Lola Dodge
Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra
Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges

Reviews Posted:
Quanta by Lola Dodge (+ Blog Tour + Characters' Bio)

Bookish Thoughts and Feels:

Other:

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This month of November, I will be putting myself on a book-buying ban, which also includes not accepting blog tours and review requests, until I read at least 10 from my TBR pile.

I will update you of my progress. I've already started reading Gone by Michael Grant which sat on my TBR for about a year. Haha!

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That's all folks!
How was your October?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Buying Ban

Ban: verb \ˈban\
-to forbid people from using (something); to say that something cannot be used or done
- to forbid (someone) from doing or being part of something (Merriam-Webster)

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Book nerds and book lovers, we all know this. Whether self-imposed or imposed by some higher entity, we've been on a book buying ban, (or is currently on one or will be sooner). Because even though our TBR piles are looking more like mountain ranges, we still buy hoard books. And who can blame us, really? With all those new releases and new editions? Sometimes, we just have to have them.

And later on, we will realize that our books don't fit in our shelves anymore, that they have started piling up in 1, 2, 3 and/or 4 corner/s of our room. Then we have to make the decision. We have to stop buying books, at least for some time. We have to face our TBRs and do our best in lowering our glorious pile.

Dramatic huh? Haha! Well, I will be putting myself on a book buying ban. Okay, I've been imposing bans for years now but never really went through with it. Haha! But this time folks, I'm doing it. I'm really doing it. Because 1) I have no shelf space and 2) I have a lot of unread books and the practical me doesn't want that.

I already started my book buying ban this month. I have also started reading books from my pile and some review galleys. This coming November, I will not participate in any blog tours nor accept any review requests until I read at least 10 books from my TBR.

So far, I'm doing good with not buying books. Haha! I just hope I will be able to read more since I'm quite busy with work. I will try to update you folks of my progress. :)

Wish me luck folks! How about you? What are your experiences with book buying ban? Are you currently on one? Let me know! :)

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Have a nice day folks!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde: Book Review

Title: The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)
Author: Jasper Fforde
Publication Details: February 25th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published 2001)
Literary Awards: Locus Award Nominee for Best Science Fiction Novel (2002), Dilys Award Nominee (2003), ALA Alex Award (2003), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2006) (source Goodreads)
Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Fantasy, Mystery
Copy: Paperback bought from National Book Store

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide (Source: Goodreads).


I was not really planning on reading the Thursday Next series. It was not on my TBR list. I haven't really heard anything about it. But one Warehouse Sale, I chanced upon One of Our Thursdays is Missing and The Woman Who Died A Lot. The synopsis intrigued me so I bought them thinking that there'll be only three books in the series. When I got home, I checked Goodreads. And bam, there are 8 books! Haha! One of Our Thursdays is Missing is actually book 6 and The Woman Who Died A Lot is book 7. Haha!

I bought The Eyre Affair last year but I only read it this month. And folks, I should've read it sooner.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas: Blog Tour + Book Review


Title: Paper Planes Back Home
Author: Tara Frejas
Publication Details: February 21, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Romance


When Gianna wakes up on a cloud, she is disoriented yet fascinated. She thinks she's only dreaming until she gets a storm of paper planes—"They're thoughts of people who remember," a man on another cloud tells her—each pleading for her not to leave. The man tells her these planes are the key to get out of there, and while she thinks it's hard to believe, she decides everything is worth trying if it meant finding her way back home.



Before anything else, don't you just love the cover? Look how pretty it is! It would be really, really nice to have a print copy of this book, yeah? Haha!

Anyway, on to my review...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra: Blog Tour + ARC Review


Title: Learning to Fall
Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Publication Details: October 6th 2015 by Flirt Publishing
Genre: New Adult, Romance

“Go out with a stereotypical romance novel hero WHO ISN’T YOUR TYPE.”

Avid reader and art student Steph is participating in a monthly blog challenge to Live Like Fiction, and this was the task for October. When Grayson, former co-captain of her university rugby team, walks into her class, she knows it’s meant to be – she has to go out with this guy. Even if she’s never been attracted to big, hunky, athletic types. With Grayson’s “player” reputation off the field, Steph thinks he’ll be good for one date that’ll be worth blogging about, and that’s it.

But you know how it goes: Soon, it becomes more than just one date – and Steph and Grayson are caught up in “living like fiction.” How long can they keep playing their roles before reality steps in?



I don’t usually read New Adults, but I requested an ARC because of the premise. Learning to Fall follows Steph, a book blogger who took on a challenge to “live like fiction”, do things she wouldn’t normally do, and be someone else for a time. I thought it was interesting and somehow refreshing so I took the chance.

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I liked how the plot does not only revolve around Steph's love life but also around life entering adulthood. I was able to relate to the overwhelming responsibilities after college. Haha! I liked how the author was able to put into the story the struggle of decision-making, of tying everything up for a future one is hoping for and how things will eventually work out in the end.

And of course I was also able to relate to the book blogging bit. While I will never let my blog get in the way of other things, I sure can relate to Steph because book blogging really requires time and effort. I'm not complaining folks (Haha!), it's just the truth. And it's up to the book blogger to prioritize things and organize his/her time. Unlike Steph though, my book blog sometimes take the fall not my "other lives". I'm trying my best, though, to schedule posts ahead of time. Haha!

I was quite uncomfortable with the adult contents, but otherwise, I did enjoy my reading experience. Steph and Grayson are fun to read and get to know. They are easily relatable and inspiring. They reminded me to take chances and to see other things. I also liked how the secondary characters affect the main ones and played a role in their character development.

Told in a first person perspective (Steph's POV), the story is easy to follow and understand. Learning to Fall is a short, easy and inspiring read. It's not just a love story but also a story about trying new things and exploring one’s self and one’s capabilities.



Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication and a master's degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to "Is this story based on you?" is always, always "No."