August 31, 2015

Wicked Photo Diary: August 2015

Hello, everyone! Wicked Photo Diary is a monthly feature where I share what has happened in my life through my Instagram photos. Think of it as an organize photo dump...only wicked!

Another month has gone and we're slowly inching towards the end of this year...I spoke too soon! But it's been a great couple of months. Here's what happened!

August 1, 2015

Gloomy skies make way for much needed rain because it felt like summer all over again.

August 3, 2015

I don't like planning what to read for the month but I decided to give it try.

August 13, 2015

In the four years I stayed in my uni, this is the first time I ever borrowed something from the library. I paid a week's worth of overdue fine for this but it was worth it! Check out my review here.

August 19, 2015

Much needed me time in my favorite, mainstream coffee shop!

August 20, 2015

 Guess who paid me a visit? Gayle, my college bff!

 I got this from National Bookstore for only P75!!!

August 22, 2015

I do love the city but I love the countryside more!

August 23, 2015

I participated in the first ever book tag on Instagram! Black covers rule!

August 24, 2015

Because I need it. And you need it

August 28, 2015

I read this two years ago on my iPad. I don't know what possessed me to buy this book and read it again.

August 30, 2015

Bookhaul after 123456789 years! So excited to read all of them. Have you read some of them? Be sure to catch the Powerbooks Sale until September 13! Manila International Book Fair is just around the corner and I am this close to losing it because duh, more books, more discounts too!

What Else Happened?

I joined two book tours over at Xpresso Book Tours! Check 'em out here!

August 25, 2015

{Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway} Alexa Crushed by T.R Cupak

Hello everyone and welcome to Day 2 of the Alexa Crushed Blog Tour. Today I'm going to share an excerpt of T.R Cupak's debut novel.

Alexa Crushed by T.R Cupak
Series: Alexa Crushed #1
Publication Date: May 20, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance

Alexa Morgan lost her mother when she was two. At eighteen, her father and stepmother died when a devastating earthquake hit the Bay Area. Only one person has remained a constant in her life: Devin.

Devin has been Alexa’s best friend since childhood. The two are inseparable—or they were until Devin declared his love for her at sixteen. When Alexa can offer him only friendship in return, Devin retreats, brokenhearted.
Alexa, on the other hand, longs for Ethan, the boy next door. Four years older than her, and with an ever-changing roster of girlfriends, Ethan is everything Devin isn’t: wild, sensual, and unpredictable.

In the aftermath of the deadly earthquake, Ethan makes his move on Alexa, who reciprocates in a confused whirl of grief and desire. When Ethan leaves town shortly after, Devin comes back into Alexa’s life, offering support and expecting nothing in return.

Alexa begins to see the advantages of Devin’s quiet, stable love. But just as her feelings for her old friend begin to blossom, Ethan returns. Now Alexa must choose—the perfect boyfriend or the wild, thrilling bad boy. It’s a choice that changes her life forever.

I get up out of bed, go brush my teeth, run downstairs to grab a sugar-free Red Bull from the refrigerator, and come back up to my room to sit out on my balcony, as I do most mornings that I don’t have school. I grab my laptop to check Facebook, Twitter, and my e-mails. Out of habit, I glance down and see Ethan’s car in his driveway. He must be taking some time off if he’s still home right now. I’m not sure why he would when he should be close to graduating college.
         As I’m scrolling through Facebook and liking random pages and pictures, I hear the front door to Ethan’s house open and see a leggy blonde leaving with her heels in hand, doing the walk of shame. Ethan has his arms stretched above his head with his hands placed on the doorjamb, showing off his tight washboard abs and the sexy V where his sweats hang low on his hips. All I could think is, Yum. The blonde turns to kiss him, but just as she tries, he turns his head so she ends up kissing his cheek instead of his lips. All the while, his eyes are fixated on me. A ping of embarrassment followed by jealousy washes through me as I watch this soap opera unfold.
         The blonde yells, “Call me!” over her shoulder as she walks down the driveway to her car, which is parked on the street. I swear I hear Ethan laugh a “hell, no” kind of laugh. Soon, the blonde is driving away in her perfectly suited Porsche Boxter.
         Ethan is still standing in his doorway, now with his arms crossed over his chest when he acknowledges me in his luscious voice, which makes my toes curl. “Good morning, Lexi.”
         “I’m sure it is, Ethan,” I snap back. My voice sounds a little too irritated for my liking. I don’t want him to think the blonde bothers me, even though she most certainly does.
         “I’ll see you later, Lexi,” he says, smirking as he turns to go into his house.
         He is so frustrating, but even with that being said, watching his last conquest leave made me wish I was the one doing the walk of shame instead of her. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m a sophomore in high school who has kissed one boy in my entire sixteen years of existence. It was a horrible first kiss, too. It was one that scared me enough to not want to do it again anytime soon.

Get a chance to win a can-be-signed paperback second edition copies of Alexa Crushed (US only) or an ebook copy w/ $5 Amazon Gift Card (INTL).

T.R. Cupak was born and raised in the suburbs of a Bay Area city in California. She was the closet nerd who hid her love of reading and writing short stories and poetry when she was younger. Back then it wasn’t considered cool to be into those types of activities for pleasure, whereas today you have TV shows, movies and books that glamourize that being a nerd is actually cool.

T. lives in a quiet, little, country town south of where she grew up. She is happily married to an amazing man who supports her in everything she does and spoils her rotten. They have a crazy little Shih Tzu named Harley. He's their fur-baby and even though he’s a pain in the arse most days, they love the little guy. She has an obsession with cars, especially fast ones. She enjoys her music louder than anyone should. Admittedly it’s to drown out hearing her own singing voice, or lack thereof. When she’s not at work or busy writing you can find her curled up reading a book on her Kindle with a glass of wine or Dirty Shirley.

T. lost touch with her creative side and stepped off the path of all things written in her early twenties. Six years ago, her passion for reading was rekindled. She began to utilize reading as a way to escape everyday chaos. Late 2013 she began journal writing. After a couple of months of journaling T. realized that this form of writing wasn't keeping her interest nor was it helping her to relax. After that realization settled in she changed the direction of her writing. Her creative aspirations were flowing once again and she happily embraced it. As her fingers started to dance across her keyboard she began to see her fictional characters begin to breathe life. Writing was only supposed to be a way for the new author to relax, but a story was born and T.R. Cupak is excited to be releasing her self-published debut novel, Alexa Crushed.

Follow the Tour here!

August 19, 2015

Wicked Review: The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan

Published: September 21, 2006
Publisher: Penguin Books
Acquired: Borrowed Paperback

Winnie and Helen have kept each other's worst secrets for more than fifty years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything. And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past—including the terrible truth even Helen does not know. And so begins Winnie's story of her life on a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s, and other places in China during World War II, and traces the happy and desperate events that led to Winnie's coming to America in 1949. 

This book is worth the overdue fee I paid for at the school library. I have never read a book that is both funny, intriguing, frustrating and painful.

The first three chapters started out in Pearl's point of view, Winnie's daughter. Pearl and her family was invited to the funeral of her Great Auntie Du and the wedding of his cousin Baobao. She and her mother, Winnie, has never had a really good relationship. They both differ in opinions mainly because Pearl is an ABC (American born Chinese) unlike her mother who is bound by the traditions and customs of China.

She has a secret. Pearl has multiple sclerosis, an incurable disease. She has only told a handful of people and now she's scared that if she tells her mom, she'll be devastated and angry at her. Little did Pearl know that Winnie has a secret of her own.

After those three chapters, I was taken back to the 1920s China. This is where Winnie's story starts. It's a bit dragging if you're not a big fan history. Winnie was born into a rich family. Her father was a rich businessman in Shanghai and her mother was educated. But then her mother disappeared and she was shipped to the island where she lived with her other relatives.

Growing up, Winnie grew wary of people. She didn't want to get hurt. She was like a shadow of her beautiful cousin, Peanut. Peanut and Winnie met Wen Fu, a charming young man in their small town. Peanut wanted Wen Fu's heart but ultimately Wen Fu and Winnie got married.

Their life as a couple was turbulent as the World War II started and Wen Fu became a soldier. They transferred from one base to another and that's when Winnie met her rather loony but really fun best friend Helen.

Helen was such a wackjob. And a good kind of wackjob. She's so crazy with her beliefs and her stories that it drove Winnie and everyone around them nuts. I think Helen was Winnie's rock. When Winnie's relationship turned turbulent with Wen Fu and she suffered a lot, Helen was there to pick her up. Winnie suffered a lot. She suffered several miscarriages. I lost count of how many times Winnie got pregnant and all of her children died. It was really painful.

Winnie then met Jimmy Louie, an American born Chinese. He was charming, smart, and loving; everything that isn't Wen Fu. Winnie fell in love with him but then divorcing Wen Fu proved to be difficult. I just really wanted to reach out and punch Wen Fu in the face but obviously I can't do that.

In the end, Winnie got her happily ever after. There was one setback though. She was pregnant with Wen Fu's child when she left China. That later on became Pearl.

The way Winnie's whole story was written was beautiful. It was as if I was Pearl and Winnie was just right there telling me her story, having a mother and daughter bond. Pearl didn't mind that she was Wen Fu's daughter. She was loved by her father and her mother and that's what's important for her. Winnie on the other hand, as soon as she found out that Pearl was sick, she did what mothers do best: she took care of Pearl.

This is probably my longest review ever but hey, there's a first for everyone. I truly, truly loved this story. It will open your eyes into why mothers are mothers.

Amy Tan  is an American writer whose works explore mother-daughter relationships and what it means to grow up as a first generation Asian American. In 1993, Tan's adaptation of her most popular fiction work, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film.

She has written several other books, including The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Bonesetter's Daughter, and a collection of non-fiction essays entitled The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings. Her most recent book, Saving Fish From Drowning, explores the tribulations experienced by a group of people who disappear while on an art expedition into the jungles of Burma. In addition, Tan has written two children's books: The Moon Lady (1992) and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat (1994), which was turned into an animated series airing on PBS. She has also appeared on PBS in a short spot on encouraging children to write.

Currently, she is the literary editor for West, Los Angeles Times' Sunday magazine.

August 18, 2015

{Blog Tour: Giveaway + Review} Belong To Me by Laura Howard

Welcome to Day 2 of the Belong To Me Blog Tour. This tour is brought to you by the wonderful people over at Xpresso Book Tours.

Belong To Me by Laura Howard
Publication Date: March 26, 2015
Series: Moore Crossing #1
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Kate and Noah thought they had the kind of love that could last through anything. Until their world crumbles out from beneath them.

After months of separation, the tragic death of Jack, Kate’s twin and Noah’s best friend, throws them back together. As they try to heal from the horrific loss, will they be able to overcome old wounds or are they destined to live separately forever?

They were each other's first. They were best friends and what was supposed to be a no strings attached relationship went haywire. It was painful to read, really. Kate fell for Noah and Noah fell for Kate but they were too scared to admit to each other. Their relationship resulted to a baby that unfortunately passed away after Kate gave birth. Double pain.

Kate was too wrapped up in her own wounds that she left home to go to England to study. I can't even imagine how that must feel like. Kate lost her baby and then later on she would lose her brother, her twin brother at that!

She didn't realize that Noah, the love of her life, was also in pain. She didn't realize that he too was hurt by the passing of their baby. And now, his best friend is gone.

It's been said before. Love hurts. A band even made a song for it. But that's just how it is. You have to endure the pain that comes with that four letter word. Even if this book was really short, I definitely felt all the pain and all the love that came with this book. The characters are developed well and I fell in love with them immediately.

Belong To Me is just the first book in the series and I'm excited to know what happens next.

Join this Rafflecopter giveaway and win  $25 Amazon Gift Card! (INTL)

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

Follow the Tour here!

August 3, 2015

Wicked Photo Diary: July 2015

Hello, everyone! Wicked Photo Diary is a monthly feature where I share what has happened in my life through my Instagram photos. Think of it as an organize photo dump...only wicked!

Well, would you look at that? It's already the eighth month of this year. July flew by so fast. Everything got so busy especially with my prelim exams. But now, they're done! I can finally breathe! Here's what happened to me last July!

July 5, 2015

Got this meme on Facebook because everyone in my news feed is sharing it and this is what I really felt last July. Swamped with tons and tons of work for school! Whew~

July 7, 2015

Probably the last clear blue sky I saw for that month because it rained so hard afterwards.

July 8, 2015

July is also Book Discrimination Month hosted by my good friends, Faye and Erin, who are sisters! Book Discrimination can be in so many different forms and I'm really happy that I was able to share my experience with the whole community. You can check out my post on Faye's blog here.

July 9, 2015

Random photo of the grey skies that followed.

July 10, 2015

I don't know why it took me so long to start reading Confess by Colleen Hoover. It was just beautiful. This is my favorite artwork inside the book made by Danny O'Connor. Just. WOW. You can read my review here.

July 11, 2015

This is what the river at the back of our ancestral home looked like after the storm. Pretty high, I know! The sound of the river rush is so calming.

July 17, 2015

This is one of the first books that I'll be reviewing for after a long time. Watch out for my review on August 18th! This is such a lovely book. You can follow the tour here.

July 20, 2015

I'm also a part of the Alexa Crushed Blog Tour. You can follow the tour here.

July 21, 2015

One of two required readings for my creative writing class. This is my first creative nonfiction book written by a Filipino author and I loved it so much!

July 24, 2015

I watched Paper Towns with my brother and we both loved it. Cara Delevigne can act. She really portrayed Margo very well.

July 27, 2015

This is what I look like, just so you know.

July 30, 2015

Yup, we're inside the recording studio recording our radio drama.

July 31, 2015

I did miss reading this series. Which means I should totally continue reading it because this series is just amazing. Ever since Vampire Academy, my heart belonged to Adrian Ivashkov. *swoon*

I still managed to squeeze in some reading time because I can. Heh. Here's a list of the books I reviewed on the blog:

I hope you guys had a wonderful July!