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:
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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:
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