Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blog Tour Review and GIVEAWAY: Bridger by Megan Curd


Welcome to the Bridger Book Tour! Read on for my review of Bridger and to join the GIVEAWAY!


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:
Ashlyn McVean doesn't believe in fairy tales. That is, until Ashlyn is thrown into the crosshairs of grudges her grandmother created long ago. After finding out she is one of two people able to cross between faerie realms, Ashlyn is faced with trying to understand her abilities, along with navigating a new relationship with her boyfriend, Liam. As if being on a centuries old hit list and dealing with crazed pixies isn't enough, her new abilities mean trouble for Liam. Knowing her new life puts everyone she loves in danger, Ashlyn must decide what's most important in her life between friends, family, love, and ultimately, realms.
MY TAKE:

Ashlyn McVean is not like anyone else. The stories her Irish grandmother told her about supernatural beings and myths and folklore? It's all real and Ashley is more a part of it than she could ever imagine.

I liked Bridger a lot. I think this is the first novel I've ever read that plays around with Irish folklore, and I was definitely entertained. Megan Curd does a masterful job of creating a world that feels real even though it's also a bit nuts and unbelievable at the same time.

Ashlyn is a cool chick. She kind of reminds me of my bad-ass friend who can kick the crap out of most guys I know. :) I liked that even though Ashlyn is vulnerable sometimes and needs to be rescued by some of the characters, there are still occasions wherein she can fight her own fights. There's nothing as annoying as heroines who do all the fighting in their head and just sit in the corner while everyone else fights around her.

Ashlyn's grandmother Memaw is another character to watch out for. She's the grandmother you almost wish you had. ;)

This book certainly needs to be read by a lot of people because I think this could do for Irish folklore what Twilight and The Vampire Diaries did for vampires.

THE GOOD:
  1. The characters are well-written.
  2. The location, the settings and the story itself are believable, despite the fact that the premise of the story is not that realistic.
  3. It's perfectly paced.
THE BAD:
  1. There was one character who would have been likable if he had not repeatedly hit on Ashlyn despite the fact that she had a boyfriend. To me, that's just rude and unforgivable.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Liam made it nearly impossible to feel human, even before knowing that I wasn't.
READ IT IF:
  1. You like mythology and folklore.
  2. You like strong heroines.
  3. You like romance and action.
RATING:
Photobucket

I am the 22nd stop on this book tour. Next stop is Ya-Aholic.

And now for the GIVEAWAY: To win an ebook copy (you can state your preferred ebook format) of Bridger, just comment below with your email address. Giveaway ends on October 29. Keep following this tour as there will be a grand giveaway wherein you can win a signed copy and some swag!


SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Review: What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:
The Tipping Point woke us to the wonders of Malcolm Gladwell; Blink, bringing us up with a start, confirmed his talents of discernment, and Outliers proved that this conscientious outsider was still watching us, picking up clues to how we all tick and synchronize our tics. In this batch of inquiries, Gladwell covers the world: from insurgent warlords to ketchup makers; from canine whisperers to ethnic profilers; from NFL signal callers to high school teachers. Most of us don't fit into any of those categories, but that doesn't lessen our interest in his observations. What the Dog Saw challenges us to think like other people and see like other species.
MY TAKE:

Until I read this book, I have never read anything by Malcolm Gladwell. Maybe I should have.

The book is basically a collection of articles by Gladwell and published in The New Yorker. The book is divided into three parts. The first part is about minor geniuses (like the inventor of the Chop-o-Matic). The second part is about theories. The third part, on the other hand, is about the way we judge and assume things about people.

The articles are all quite interesting, but I have two favorites. The first one is the title article (What The Dog Saw), which is about dog whisperer Cesar Millan. I watch the show every now and then, but I wouldn't say it's my favorite show. This article, however, made me see Cesar Millan in a slightly different light. It talked about his background, what he's like outside of the show, and what his childhood was like. It's a must-read for every fan.

The second article that fascinated me was "Million-Dollar Murray: Why Problems like Homelessness May Be Easier to Solve than Manage". Homeless people and panhandlers are not an uncommon sight here in the Philippines. The Department of Social Welfare and Development does what it can to help out, but there's only so much they can do. The article discussed how in one U.S. study, it was shown that most homeless people are not homeless for very long. It also showed that the chronic homeless can end up with hundred of thousands of dollars in hospital fees, etc. and it would cost the government less to rehabilitate them than it is to just manage their situation. In order to try and solve the homelessness problem, one city tried a program that offered to give homeless people a place to stay, and for the most part, the project has been a success. The arguments are logical and it makes me think if this can work in our country too and what the response to such a project will be.

THE GOOD:
  1. All the articles are interesting.
  2. The book will make you think. :)
THE BAD:
  1. It could be boring, if you're not a fan of non-fiction.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Illusion remembers Cesar scribbling furiously on a pad. "He wrote that down. He said, 'That's it! It's like the dogs. They need exercise, discipline and affection.'" Illusion laughed. "I looked at him, upset, because why the hell are you talking about your dogs when you should be talking about us?"
READ IT IF:
  1. You like non-fiction books.
  2. You like literature that makes you laugh and think at the same time.
  3. You like Malcolm Gladwell's style.
RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pinoy Fridays: Superwoman si Inay!

*photo is taken from lamparabooks.com.ph

SUMMARY FROM LAMPARA BOOKS:
Mommy Doris is well known in town because she does manicures and pedicures. She is also popular of her big bayong filled with items she sells on installment basis. But she can also do better. As a mother, Mommy Doris has a quality that makes her capable of providing anything her children need. Read in this story why Mommy Doris is really awesome.
MY TAKE:

In celebration of the many great Filipino books out there, I have decided to dedicate my Friday posts to books written by Filipino authors. For our very first Pinoy Fridays, the Filipino book in focus is a Tagalog/English book entitled "Superwoman si Inay! (Mommy is Superwoman!)".

Superwoman si Inay! is told from the point-of-view of a young boy whose mother seems to be able to do some very amazing things like produce things that they need, seemingly out of thin air.

The illustrations are very whimsical and perfect for the story. They wouldn't be out of place in an art gallery either. :P

What I love about this book is how it managed to accurately portray the innocence of children. Things that seem ordinary or easy-to-explain to adults appear wondrous to kids. I can't say any more about the plot without giving the story away, but this would make great bedtime reading for kids of any age.

THE GOOD:
  1. The story is written in Tagalog and has an English translation, so you can choose which one you would like to read. Kids who are just starting to learn English can benefit from this too.
  2. It's a nice tribute to supermoms who do everything in and out of the house.
THE BAD:
  1. Nothing. :P
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

Lagi akong kasa-kasama ni Inay tuwing hapon. Naglalakad siya sa buong baryo habang kipkip niya ako sa isang braso. Isang malaking bayong naman ang bitbit niya sa isang kamay.
Mommy always takes me along with her every afternoon. She walks all around town while carrying me under one arm. And in one hand she carries a big bayong.
READ IT IF:
  1. You are a "supermom" or know one who is.
  2. You want to buy a book that you can read over and over again to your child.
  3. You love children's books.
RATING:
Photobucket

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Review: Stolen (Song of the Sídhí) by Jodie B. Cooper


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:
Every vampire has a destined lifeMate, a mate who is a perfect match. What happens if that perfect mate is stolen?

Katrina knows Eric is her destined mate, but her high school rival has other plans for Eric.

Twisting the most ancient of Sídhí laws, Clarisse steals Eric from Katrina with binding words, knowing Katrina can't fight back. Or can she?

Dreams of death dance in Katrina's head, because no one gets between a vampire and her true mate.

MY TAKE:

As I was reading this novella there were moments when I had flashes of Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight", which is a bit unfair because Jodie Cooper's world is more developed and original than Stephanie Meyer's.

Katrina and Eric have been best friends for years. That is, until Katrina went through Sidhi puberty and Eric started ignoring her. One day, Katrina's synth crystal marks Eric as her lifeMate. Before things work out for Eric and her, however, Katrina's rival Clarisse steals Eric away.

While Katrina and Eric are both vampires, this novella and this universe isn't made up of your typical vampires and werewolves. There are also elves, gnomes, etc. One new thing about this world that I particularly enjoyed was the concept of the lifeBud. The lifeBud is an organ in the middle of a Sidhi brain that allows the Sidhi to permanently bond with their mate. This bud is only active for a short period, though, and after that period, it shrivels up and the Sidhi can no longer bond with anyone. I find it to be an original concept and it works well with the heavy emphasis that the novella and the universe puts on destiny.

The thing that I didn't particularly enjoy about this novella was Katrina's sort of dependence on Eric and their connection. I mean, I do get it that it's very important in their culture and non-bonding with a lifeMate can literally cause insanity. It's just that... I guess I was sort of traumatized by Bella's severe depression and her co-dependence in the Twilight series to the point that I become wary of couples that have a similar dynamic/chemistry.

That said, I think that if this had been a full-length novel with lots of character development (disclaimer: I've never read the other books in the series) and other side stories or maybe if there were more hurdles between Katrina and Eric, I would have enjoyed this even more and would probably have given this a 4 1/2 to 5 star rating. There's a lot of potential in this book and I think that fans of the Twilight series will like this book a lot.

THE GOOD:
  1. A lot of thought went into creating the Sidhi universe, its cultures and even the creatures' anatomy.
  2. Katrina and Eric's "voices" are very believable.
  3. It has a satisfying resolution.
THE BAD:
  1. I found Eric and Katrina's connection to be excessively strong.
  2. Because it's a novella, it's jam-packed and feels a little bit rushed. This could really work as a novel, though. :P
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

Every entertainment complex that Fangtastic Cinema built included a humongous candy store. Martin's carried everything: Snickers from the mundane world, fairy popsicles that didn't drip, the most awesome elf fudge (the one thing elves actually did right,) a hot serve counter that had sundaes, cakes, cookies, apples and caramel... sigh, I could go on all day long about Martin's but I had more important business on my mind.

READ IT IF:
  1. You want more than the usual vampire-centric novel.
  2. You enjoy books about destined lovers.
  3. You enjoyed Twilight.
RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:
From one of the most consistently astute and engaging social commentators of our day comes another look at the tough and tender women of New York City--this time, through the lens of where they live.

One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over one of Manhattan's oldest and most historically hip neighborhoods, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into--one way or another. For the women in Candace Bushnell's new novel, One Fifth Avenue, this edifice is essential to the lives they've carefully established--or hope to establish. From the hedge fund king's wife to the aging gossip columnist to the free-spirited actress (a recent refugee from L.A.), each person's game plan for a rich life comes together under the soaring roof of this landmark building.

Acutely observed and mercilessly witty, One Fifth Avenue is a modern-day story of old and new money, that same combustible mix that Edith Wharton mastered in her novels about New York's Gilded Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald illuminated in his Jazz Age tales. Many decades later, Bushnell's New Yorkers suffer the same passions as those fictional Manhattanites from eras past: They thirst for power, for social prominence, and for marriages that are successful--at least to the public eye. But Bushnell is an original, and One Fifth Avenue is so fresh that it reads as if sexual politics, real estate theft, and fortunes lost in a day have never happened before.

From Sex and the City through four successive novels, Bushnell has revealed a gift for tapping into the zeitgeist of any New York minute and, as one critic put it, staying uncannily "just the slightest bit ahead of the curve." And with each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. Her stories progress so nimbly and ring so true that it can seem as if anyone might write them--when, in fact, no one writes novels quite like Candace Bushnell. Fortunately for us, with One Fifth Avenue, she has done it again.

MY TAKE:

One Fifth Avenue is dubbed as the Gossip Girl book for those who prefer to read Edith Wharton. Or something like that, anyway. One Fifth Avenue certainly reads something like Gossip Girl, mixed with some Sex and the City.

One Fifth Avenue is about the lives of the residents and guests of One Fifth Avenue. There's Enid Merle, a long-time resident of the building; Schiffer Diamond, a movie star; Philip Oakland, a well-known screenwriter; Paul and Annalisa Rice, a hedge fund manager and his wife; and James, Mindy and Sam Gooch, a novelist, his more successful wife and their genius son.

Seeing as how I've never been to New York, I don't know how accurate the portrayal of New York is. Assuming that it's more or less correct, then yes, this is an enjoyable book.

There are some very annoying characters in this book, particularly Lola Fabrikant, Philip's manipulative and gold-digging girlfriend, and Mindy Gooch, the nutty and never-satisfied wife of novelist James Gooch.

The novel is a lot like an episode of Gossip Girl (lies, betrayal, sex) but for the older set. As such, there were parts that I found boring. It's kind of sad, though, that the characters in the novel who were my age were shallow, bitter and only interested in getting ahead and making an obscene amount of money. Lola's argument was that we grew up in a world wherein we get everything instantly and people can become rich and famous just by starring in reality shows. Everyone is in a hurry to get rich and be more successful. An uncomfortable truth right there.

THE GOOD:
  1. It's entertaining.
  2. It gives a glimpse into the lives of people who have lots of money and those who want even more.
  3. You start to wonder if you're anything like these people.
THE BAD:
  1. It's not the deepest book out there.
  2. The characters can be annoying.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"Everyone always says that, but it isn't true. These days you have to make it right away. Or you get left behind."
READ IT IF:
  1. You like chick lit.
  2. You've always wondered how the rich and famous live.
  3. You're young and are feeling the rush to get ahead in life.
RATING:
Photobucket

SOUNDS INTERESTING?

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Lor Mandela - Destruction from Twins by L. Carroll


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

Part I (Destruction From Twins)
When a selfish enchantress seeks to steal mystical powers from her twin sister, she sentences the world of Lor Mandela and its inhabitants to death. In an effort to preserve itself, the soul of the planet appoints a Child of Balance named Audril Borloc who must solve a prophetic riddle known as the Advantiere. All hope seems lost, however, when shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears without a trace.
Desperate to save their world, Lor Mandelan spies travel to Earth in search of the little girl with black hair and bright blue eyes-traits that on Lor Mandela are exclusive to the ruling family, Borloc. Instead, they find seventeen-year-old Maggie. While the age difference between the girls is obvious, Maggie has the Borloc traits-evidence enough for the eager spies. They devise a plan to get Maggie to Lor Mandela, but will their scheme be successful? And what if they have the wrong girl? Who will save Lor Mandela then?
Part II (And So It Must End)
Maggie Baker has always wished for a more eventful life. Unfortunately, she is about to get it. Following an earthquake that no one seems to have felt but her, her mundane existence is thrown into a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns as she suddenly finds herself bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the distant world of Lor Mandela. On this strange planet, Maggie must learn who to trust, and who to fear. More importantly, she must find a way to convince the Lor Mandelans that she is not the Child of Balance, and her family and friends in Iowa (and herself for that matter) that she is not going insane.
Amid fighting a two-headed creature, being captured by a lawless band of Shadow Dwellers, and falling head-over-heels for the enchanting son of an evil warlord, Maggie sees the lines of the Advantiere unfold around her. It isn't long before she discovers that her blasé reality could be the real fantasy, and that the fate of an entire world may actually depend on her.

MY TAKE:

I like a good fantasy novel and this book does not disappoint.

The book begins in Lor Mandela where Anika plots to gain power after the position she covets is given to her twin sister. Unfortunately, her actions cause a chain of events that threaten to destroy Lor Mandela. The second part of the novel focuses on Maggie Baker, who is bored with life in her small town. When she's dragged into the world of Lor Mandela, however, it's more excitement than she bargained for.

The first part of the book moves at a pretty fast clip, as it spans several generations of Lor Mandelans. It took me a little while to immerse myself in the book since I had to familiarize myself with the terms that were exclusive to the planet. The terms were easy enough to figure out, though, and it was a nice touch seeing as how some fantasy authors forget to change up the names/labels in their worlds to give it a more personal touch.

As for the characters, most of them were quite endearing and interesting. Maggie annoyed me at times but she was able to redeem herself in the end so it was okay. There was only one character who I didn't like, and who I shall not name so I don't end up spoiling the story. She felt a little bit Mary Sue-ish to me, so I wasn't a fan of hers, even when she was first introduced in the story.

The story, overall, is very good and imaginative. The love stories/relationships were predictable, but that's okay since the story is what matters. The plot of Lor Mandela is well-thought-out and the alternating locations and viewpoints were utilized nicely.

THE GOOD:
  1. The story is well-written and imaginative.
  2. The world and its society are very detailed.
  3. Most of the characters are easy to like.

THE BAD:
  1. I'm not fond of the title. :P
  2. There's a character somewhere in the book who feels very much like a Mary Sue to me. *shrugs*
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

“Uh, yeah, right,” snipped Maggie, “well, my life is way too boring. I mean, how much more blah could it be? I live in Dullsville, U.S.A.; I go to Ho Hum High; my dad is a freakin’ accountant, for heaven’s sake! Face it, Doc; I am the Mistress of Mediocre!”
READ IT IF:

  • You like fantasy novels.
  • You feel as though your life is boring.
  • You like action movies.
RATING:
Photobucket

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Join the Connecting Authors & Reviewers Group!

If you're a reviewer looking for books to review or you're an author who wants to get more reviews for your book, the Connecting Authors & Reviewers Facebook Group is for you! It's the perfect place to meet new and talented authors and reviewers. It's a very active group too. During the first few hours of my membership in this group, I was able to connect with three authors, one of whom is the amazing Jodie B. Cooper who asked me to review her book Stolen (Song of the Sidhi). :) See you there, fellow book lovers!


Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Friday, August 19, 2011

On Queue: Stolen (Song of the Sídhí) by Jodie B. Cooper


Every vampire has a destined lifeMate, a mate who is a perfect match. What happens if that perfect mate is stolen?

Katrina knows Eric is her destined mate, but her high school rival has other plans for Eric.

Twisting the most ancient of Sídhí laws, Clarisse steals Eric from Katrina with binding words, knowing Katrina can't fight back. Or can she?

Dreams of death dance in Katrina's head, because no one gets between a vampire and her true mate.

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quote Of the Day

"The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say."
— Anaïs Nin

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Queue: Lor Mandela - Destruction from Twins by L. Carroll


Part I (Destruction From Twins)
When a selfish enchantress seeks to steal mystical powers from her twin sister, she sentences the world of Lor Mandela and its inhabitants to death. In an effort to preserve itself, the soul of the planet appoints a Child of Balance named Audril Borloc who must solve a prophetic riddle known as the Advantiere. All hope seems lost, however, when shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears without a trace.
Desperate to save their world, Lor Mandelan spies travel to Earth in search of the little girl with black hair and bright blue eyes-traits that on Lor Mandela are exclusive to the ruling family, Borloc. Instead, they find seventeen-year-old Maggie. While the age difference between the girls is obvious, Maggie has the Borloc traits-evidence enough for the eager spies. They devise a plan to get Maggie to Lor Mandela, but will their scheme be successful? And what if they have the wrong girl? Who will save Lor Mandela then?

Part II (And So It Must End)
Maggie Baker has always wished for a more eventful life. Unfortunately, she is about to get it. Following an earthquake that no one seems to have felt but her, her mundane existence is thrown into a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns as she suddenly finds herself bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the distant world of Lor Mandela. On this strange planet, Maggie must learn who to trust, and who to fear. More importantly, she must find a way to convince the Lor Mandelans that she is not the Child of Balance, and her family and friends in Iowa (and herself for that matter) that she is not going insane.
Amid fighting a two-headed creature, being captured by a lawless band of Shadow Dwellers, and falling head-over-heels for the enchanting son of an evil warlord, Maggie sees the lines of the Advantiere unfold around her. It isn't long before she discovers that her blasé reality could be the real fantasy, and that the fate of an entire world may actually depend on her.

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:
When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.
Wealthy beyond most men's dreams, Cam has tired of society's petty restrictions and longs to return to his "uncivilized" Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship--but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter.

MY TAKE:

A headstrong heroine, a Gypsy-gadjo hero and London in the 1840s. What's not to love?

Despite her family's sudden inheritance, Amelia still has a lot to deal with. The inheritance is quite modest; Leo, the eldest, has taken to almost every habit there is; and the rest of the family has issues of their own. The one rare bright spot in Amelia's life is Cam Rohan, a Gypsy living as a typical "civilized" Londoner. Their relationship, however, is quite complicated and hard for Amelia to label.

Amelia is a beautiful, voluptuous and stubborn woman. Cam Rohan is a rough, sexy gentleman. These two, obviously, are perfect for each other. Their personalities are both so volatile that their interactions and love scenes can be nothing but hot. These parts, of course, were the ones I enjoyed the most. Amelia and Cam's love story feels authentic and not forced.

For some reason, however, I couldn't really feel a connection with the other characters. Maybe because they felt like fillers to me. I don't know. Her brother's back story was a nice touch, though.

THE GOOD:
  1. Well-written love scenes.
  2. Cam Rohan is the perfect romance hero.
  3. You'll learn a thing or two about gypsy culture.

THE BAD:
  1. Amelia can be a bit annoying.
  2. It feels lacking.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Half amused, half alarmed by her force of will, Cam asked Merripen, "Am I dealing with stubbornness, idiocy, or some combination of the two?"
Amelia replied before Merripen had the opportunity. "Stubbornness, on my part. The idiocy may be attributed entirely to my brother." She settled the bonnet on her head and tied its ribbons beneath her chin.
READ IT IF:
  • You like your heroines headstrong and your men with a heart of gold.
  • You're looking for a romance novel.
  • You like romance novels set in the past.
RATING:
Photobucket

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On Queue: Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas


When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.
Wealthy beyond most men's dreams, Cam has tired of society's petty restrictions and longs to return to his "uncivilized" Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship--but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter.

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

High-powered attorney Samantha Sweeting has just made a mistake that could snuff out her career. In total meltdown, she abandons her office and catches the first available train out of London, winding up in the middle of nowhere. Still suffering from brain freeze, she wanders first into a large mansion and then into a job as a housekeeper. Samantha's domestic skills are in severe disarray, but somehow she blunders through sewing, ironing, cleaning, and patching together her life. A winning "undomestic" tale from the author of Shopaholic & Sister.

MY TAKE:

After reading a lot of YA and "heavy" books over the past few days, this is just what the doctor ordered.

Samantha Sweeting is an uber successful lawyer who is working towards a single purpose: making partner at the Carter Spink law firm. When she makes a major error, however, she loses her entire career in an instant. Shell-shocked, she finds her way to a small village wherein she learns that there's more to life than travelling it a million miles a minute.

I liked Samantha. She's smart, funny and somewhat interesting. I guess the biggest draw of this story, for me, is how much I can relate to Samantha. The first few months (and year) after I left medical school, people would always ask me why I left. I got into a prestigious program that allowed me to skip two years of college and head straight to medical school. Why would I leave it? Some people dropped then subject when I explained that it wasn't for me. Most just tried to convince me to go back, saying how much of a waste it was. I knew they probably just wanted to help, but I found it annoying. It was my choice, not theirs.

Anyway, a lot of the other characters in the story were lovable, too. They wouldn't be out of place in a typical romantic comedy movie.

As for the plot, well, it's not going to win any awards, but it's a great escape from a stressful day.

THE GOOD:
  1. Samantha is a wacky, enjoyable heroine.
  2. The description of life in the countryside will make you want to take a vacation ASAP.
  3. It'll make you take a look at your own life.
THE BAD:
  1. It's not the deepest book in the world.
  2. There are some points that are brought up and then forgotten.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
“This is why we ask that you leave all electronic equipment in the safe. No mobile phones are permitted. No little computers.” Maya spreads her arms. “This is a retreat. An escape from the world.”
“Right.” I nod meekly.
Now is probably not the time to reveal that I have a Black-Berry hidden in my paper knickers.
READ IT IF:
  • You feel tired and stressed out.
  • You like Chick Lit.
  • You don't make a big deal about implausible plot details.
RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Excerpts: The Undomestic Goddess


My heart starts to thump as I take in my situation properly for the first time. I am staying in a strange couple’s house under completely false pretenses. I’ve slept in their bed. I’m wearing one of Trish’s old T-shirts. They even gave me a toothbrush, after I invented a suitcase-stolen-on-the-train story. The last thing I remember is hearing Trish gloating on the phone. “She’s English!” she was saying. “Yes, speaks English perfectly! Super girl. Cordon Bleu trained!”
Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Stories are like children. They grow in their own way. "
— Madeleine L'Engle (A Swiftly Tilting Planet)

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Review: Gravity (Gravity #1) by Abigail Boyd


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

When Ariel Donovan's best friend goes missing, she has to face the prospect of going back to normal life without her. Mysterious things start happening to her, and she wonders if she's being haunted. Along the way, she meets new friends and encounters old foes, and it's possible that nothing is as it seems. Will Ariel find out the truth about what is going on in the small town of Hell?

MY TAKE:

In a nutshell, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm not usually a fan of paranormal books, but Gravity is definitely not your typical such book.

Ariel has never really fit in and ever since her best friend went missing, she's felt even more alone. The start of the new school year starts to look up, however, when she gains some new friends and a possible love interest. However, strange things start happening which makes Ariel wonder if she's losing her mind or something more unusual is going on.

From the first few sentences in, I already liked Ariel. She was self-deprecating but still lovable, if imperfect. Her friends were also all pretty endearing. They were of certain stereotypes but they didn't feel like caricatures.

Abigail Boyd writes well, for sure. Her descriptions are poetic but not forced. It's easy to immerse yourself inside the mind of the teenage protagonist.

The story kept me on the edge of my seat. Several times, while reading, I flip-flopped between labelling this a paranormal book and a suspense/psychological thriller. It's actually a little bit of both. This isn't an all-out spookfest with your usual scary monsters, etc.. It's a subtle ghost story that kind of messes with your head a little bit, in a good way.

THE GOOD:
  1. The plot is interesting, and will definitely leave you eager for the next book.
  2. Characters are well-developed.
  3. It's not your typical YA book.
THE BAD:
  1. You're left with a lot of questions, though that's understandable since this is the first book of the series.
  2. I spotted a couple or so minor typos.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Maybe the way I looked at it had changed. I put it down to being older, and tried not to think about it. I seemed to be the only one who noticed.
READ IT IF:
  • You like mysteries/supernatural books/suspense thrillers.
  • You want to get spooked but not necessarily scared.
  • You've never read anything by Abigail Boyd.
RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Seussical

Here's something Filipino Dr. Seuss fans can look forward to: Repertory Philippines will be performing Seussical onstage at Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Makati City. The show runs from August to December 2011. For ticket inquiries, please call 571-6926.


Now one of the most performed shows in America, "Seussical" is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty ("Ragtime," "Once On This Island") have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination--Jojo. "Oh, the Thinks You Will Think" as the spirit of imagination transports the colorful characters from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.

For this version, certain plot elements have been simplified and runs approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes - perfect for presentation in schools.

The story centers around Horton the Elephant, who finds himself faced with a double challenge--not only must he protect his tiny friend Jojo (and all the invisible Whos) from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him, the only one who recognizes "his kind and his powerful heart." Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant, in a story that makes you laugh and cry.

- from the Repertory Philippines website

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quote Of the Day

"There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying."
— Just Listen by
Sarah Dessen

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On Queue: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella


High-powered attorney Samantha Sweeting has just made a mistake that could snuff out her career. In total meltdown, she abandons her office and catches the first available train out of London, winding up in the middle of nowhere. Still suffering from brain freeze, she wanders first into a large mansion and then into a job as a housekeeper. Samantha's domestic skills are in severe disarray, but somehow she blunders through sewing, ironing, cleaning, and patching together her life. A winning "undomestic" tale from the author of Shopaholic & Sister.

Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Destiny (Rogue Angel #1) by Alex Archer


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:
An ancient order tied to the Vatican . . . A blood fortune buried in the caves of France . . . A conspiracy of power, greed and darkest evil . . .

Archaeologist and explorer Annja Creed's fascination with the myths and mysteries of the past leads her to a crypt in the caves of France, where the terrifying legend of the Beast of Gevaudin hints at the unimaginable. What she discovers is shattering: an artifact that will seal her destiny: a brotherhood of monks willing to murder to protect their secret; and a powerful black-market occultist desperate to put his own claim to centuries-old blood money. Annja embarks on a high-tension race across Europe and history itself, intent on linking the unholy treachery of the ages with the staggering revelations of the present. But she must survive the shadow figures determined to silence her threat to their existence.

MY TAKE:
I'm a huge fan of young adult books or any fiction book, for that matter, where I learn something new. Destiny certainly fits the bill.

Annja Creed is an archaeologist and part-time TV personality who hosts Chasing History's Monsters. While on assignment for the show, Annja stumbles upon an incredible secret that a lot of dangerous men are after. No problem, of course, for kick-butt Annja, if only she knew every piece of the puzzle.

Annja is like the Lara Croft of the archaeology world. Not exactly the most believable character, but if you're willing to suspend reality for a moment, she's an okay heroine.

What's great about this book, for me, is all the historical details and facts. I've always been fascinated with history so this book was perfect for me. Of course, with all the details and stories, it's sometimes hard to tell which is truth and which is fiction.

The book is also action-packed, which is great and would translate well onscreen. However, it's much too gory for my taste. The guys would probably like this, though.

All in all, this book is a page-turner. I'm eager to read the next book in the series.

THE GOOD:
  1. You'll learn a lot of new things.
  2. It reads like an action movie.
  3. Annja makes you wanna kick some butt.
THE BAD:
  1. The language and writing style is very simple, definitely meant for a younger audience.
  2. The action scenes are not for the faint of heart.
  3. Some readers may find the constant history lessons distracting or even condescending.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"You're probably right. The world has forgotten more than anyone alive today will ever know." Roux talked as if he were an authority on that line of thinking.
READ IT IF:
  • You like thrillers.
  • You like history.
  • You like strong (almost perfect) heroines.
RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?



Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS.COM:

It's hard to imagine a world without A Light in the Attic. This now-classic collection of poetry and drawings from Shel Silverstein celebrates its 20th anniversary with this special edition. Silverstein's humorous and creative verse can amuse the dowdiest of readers. Lemon-faced adults and fidgety kids sit still and read these rhythmic words and laugh and smile and love that Silverstein. Need proof of his genius?
Rockabye

Rockabye baby, in the treetop
Don't you know a treetop
Is no safe place to rock?
And who put you up there,
And your cradle, too?
Baby, I think someone down here's
Got it in for you.

Shel, you never sounded so good.


MY TAKE:

I've seen this book several times but it was only today that I got to read it.

"A Light in the Attic" is a collection of poems for children. The topics and points-of-view vary from poem to poem, but all of them are clearly meant for children, even though some of them are a bit naughty (naughty as in bad, not naughty as in naughty).

What I liked about this book was that it made use of different poetry styles so it was never boring. The writing style is very cute, although occasionally the humor is dark. That said, I think this would be an entertaining bedtime read for kids, especially those with a short attention span.

THE GOOD:
  1. It's a great way to teach kids about poetry.
  2. Some of the poems are hilarious.
  3. Three poems that amused me: THE DRAGON OF GRINDLY GRUN, LONGMOBILE and ATIONS.
THE BAD:
  1. The dark humor in some poems can be disturbing to kids and/or their parents.
FAVORITE QUOTE/S:

HOW MANY, HOW MUCH
How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.
How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.
How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live 'em.
How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give 'em.

READ IT IF:
  • You're a kid.
  • You're a parent.
  • You like poetry.

RATING:
Photobucket


SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Photobucket

Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...