September 30, 2015

Wicked Photo Diary: September 2015

Wicked Photo Diary is a feature on the blog where I recap what happened in my life, bookish and non-bookish, in the form of my Instagram photos. Do follow me on Instagram here.

Well hello~ October is upon us and then it'll be Christmas...*insert distressed noises* Here's what happened this September!

September 6, 2015

This is from Pamana Restaurant in Tagaytay City, a vintage restaurant that serves feel good and authentic Filipino cuisine. My family and I feasted on bulalo, that's soup made from the bone marrow of the cow, and sisig, sizzling pork belly, in celebration of my grandparent's and my brother's birthday.

September 7, 2015

#lategram. Pamana Restaurant looks like an old Filipino home. Complete with gorgeous decorations and bad-ass wooden furniture.

September 9, 2015

September is QUEEN OF SHADOWS MONTH! I had to go to my local bookstore thrice to scout copies of Queen of Shadows (UK White Edition Cover) and lo and behold I finally have it!

September 12, 2015

I really had to. I took advantage of the last few days of the Powerbooks Store Sale and got these babies~!

September 13, 2015

I bought this a few months ago because that cover is absolutely GORGEOUS. The story is equally gorgeous and phenomenal as well.

September 14, 2015

I got my first ever book mail. *insert happy flailing* This book is just so good. the hype certainly lived up to it!

September 19, 2015

Another phenomenal read that I CAN NOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON THIS OCTOBER!!!!

September 20, 2015

I crashed #KCinPH and met Kiera Cass, the lovely woman who created my first ever Captain of the Guard crush Aspen Leger. I missed her interview but my friends looped me in the alternate ending of The Selection Series and my heart is happy. P.S I forgot to take my glasses off so obvs, I look hella weird here.

September 21, 2015

#lategram 2.0. These are my friends whom I haven't seen in a looong time because I've been absent during the book signings they attended. I decided to surprise them. We have here America Singer, Aspen Leger and King Maxon Schreave doing a photo shoot to the delight of fans.

September 23, 2015

I watched the PHENOMENALLY AWESOME, BAD-ASS HISTORICAL MOVIE OF THE CENTURY  that is HENERAL LUNA. This movie has been out in the cinemas for quite some time now. It actually started as a film to be shown for a limited time only but due to popular demand, regular showing was provided for. The pride and joy of Philippine cinema, HENERAL LUNA is the Philippine's entry to the 2016 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film Category.

September 24, 2015

Well, that was a handful. Literally, my arms hurt when I lugged 9 books home from MIBF. But it was the best experience ever.

September 25, 2015

Yes, you saw that right! Carry On by Rainbow Rowell will land on Filipino soil on October 10, 2015~ mark your calendars, fellow Pinoy bookworms. Come join the fun over at Powerbooks, Greenbelt 3, 3-5pm. There will be giveaways and more. Hope to see you guys there~!

September 26, 2015

I visited my local Starbucks branch because I haven't done so in a long time while reading this devastatingly, beautiful book.

September 28, 2015

I did the #WhereIRead tag on Instagram. This is the 2nd floor section of my university library. I love our library because it's very cold inside and the lights are bright unlike in my room which has crappy lighting. I'm going to miss this place when I graduate.

What Else Happened on the Blog?

There you have it folks! I do hope you guys had an amazing September!

September 27, 2015

Wicked Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Published: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: Starbound Trilogy #1
Acquired: Paperback

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. 

Taking a break from reading contemporaries because I need some fantasy/sci-fi in my life. On a whim, I decided to pluck this out of my shelf. Can I just say that this cover is the most beautiful cover I have ever seen? It's perfect for #bookstagram, I swear.

I enjoyed this book. It had the right amount of mystery and sci-fi and of course, romance. It reminded me of Titanic, minus the tragic ending, because, you know, it involves a carrier crashing but this time, it's in hyperspace. Icarus is considered to be one of the best spaceliners out there, just like Titanic was back in the day.

Lilac, aside from the fact that she's uber rich, is knowledgeable on technology and engineering which blew Tarver away. She has lived a life constantly protected by her father that she wants to break free. So, when spaceliner Icarus malfunctioned, she drags Tarver with her into an escape pod. During the whole process though, Tarver was so dumbfounded that this girl, underneath all that class, is a lot of brain.

They come crashing down into an unknown planet and this time Tarver takes the lead. Trained war hero, Tarver takes Lilac into this unknown planet in the hopes of surviving in the said planet. This is where their hate for each other grows. Lilac is still hopeful that a rescue ship will come and find them soon and that somehow, Icarus survived. Tarver is not feeling hopeful.

There's a lot of emotional baggage in this story that made me love Tarver and Lilac because they became so real to me. The mystery just added a lot of drama into the mix. They were both in this unknown planet and suddenly there are voices drawing Tarver and Lilac to a different place that changed their lives altogether.

Change their lives they did. I was blown away by the turn of the events as I neared the end of the book. I DID NOT EXPECT THAT. I'm at a loss for words right now because that's how amazing the story was.

Even if you're not a fan of sci-fi because admittedly they are very confusing. But this one can be the sci-fi book to draw you in. 

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. 

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

September 26, 2015

Wicked Musings: Why I'm Such An Introvert

Well, hello~ I'm presenting a new feature on the blog. Wicked Musings is where I'm going to post my non-bookish feelings and a part of myself on Internet for all the world to see.

I'm a self-confessed introvert. And it's weird that I'm about to finish my bachelor's degree in Mass Communication, a not-so introvert kind of degree program. I didn't realize I was one until I stumbled upon this Buzzfeed post about introverts and I realized why I act a certain way. Because of my introvertedness ( I know that's not a word. I made it up. Deal with it. ), people think that I'm a snob because I wouldn't glance your way or that I have this certain air about me that makes people stay away from me. They say I always have my resting bitch face, but I highly disagree.

I rarely attend parties. I used to when I was 18 but not anymore because I grew tired dressing up and going to bars and drinking till I drop. I got tired of meeting random people who I wouldn't remember or wouldn't remember me the next day. I had to study that's why I rarely go out anymore even if I really wanted to. My grades were falling so I had to bring it back up again. But even then, I realized that I have better things to do with my time rather than going out.

Ever since I stopped going out with friends, I became socially awkward. It's hard, okay. People think that talking to others is really easy but it's not. I'm always nervous. I'm nervous about not saying the right thing. I'm nervous because people judge and I don't like being judged. Who does right? I'm so awkward like that. I feel bad about that actually. I don't like my friends to think that I don't like hanging out with them. I just do. But I really prefer being by myself. (Unless, you treat me out, then I'm game!)

I partly blame my love for  reading for my introvertedness. And the TV shows I watch. I have so many books I have to read that I need more time alone to read it! (What an excuse, I know.) But bookworms like myself know that this is a real problem and we deal with this on a daily basis. *insert evil smirk*. I enjoy reading. I enjoy immersing myself into different worlds, different stories, different places and I could do that in the comfort of my comfy chair.

To set things straight, I'm not a snob. But I will be if you're a snob to me. My resting bitch face will always be there and there's nothing I can about it. God made my face like this. I love "me time". I highly value "me time". If I'm being quiet, that can mean so many things. Just know, that I will never make the first move. As I said, I'm socially awkward and this will probably live on until I die. But that doesn't mean I'm not approachable. I really am, okay. It's just that, I don't make the first move. (This is probably why I won't ever have a boyfriend or any guy talk to me. Heh.)

I hope that shed a light to who I am as a person. Until next time~!

September 22, 2015

{Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway} Shifter: City of Wolves by Avery Burch

Welcome to Day 2 of the Shifter: City of Wolves Blog Tour! Special thanks to Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours and to Avery Burch! Today, I'll be sharing my review and how I fell in love with this hot, romantic book.

Shifter: City of Wolves by Avery Burch
Publication Date: August 3, 2015
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance

He'll risk anything to be inside me. I'm his fated mate.

What the hell am I thinking? I can't fall for a wolf. He's a criminal and an outcast. I'm an elite. If we get caught, they'll destroy us. I'll be disgraced. He'll be tortured and killed. But his wolf instinct has locked on me. He says I'm his fated mate. And every time we're alone together, he melts my heart ... and makes me so wet I'll risk anything to feel him throb inside me.

Everything they told me about fated mates is true. And that means I'm in a lot of trouble. I'm risking everything. As a shifter, I'm used to living on the edge. The regime wants me dead. But now it's so much more complicated. I'm obsessed with this girl. I can't get her out of my mind. I need to devour her, body and soul. I know I should resist, for her sake as much as my own, but I physically can't. My wolf lust has locked onto her. There's no way we get out of this alive, but one night inside her will be worth any punishment.

I would like to thank Giselle of Xpresso Book Tours and to Avery Burch for this opportunity to review this book.

Lyla has lived the privileged life. She's used to wearing pretty clothes, riding fancy cars, surrounded with bodyguards yet she's burdened with her duty and the reputation she has to live up to. Shifters are those who can shift into wolves, are considered a nuisance in thee country. It's the job of the enforcers to keep those shifters out of the elites way. Lyla's father was a revered enforcer during his time. He ruled with an iron fist. Since Lyla has the ability, meaning the ability to sense shifters in crowds, she's enrolled in the enforcer academy.

But as any caged and privileged heroine, she longs to be a normal person. She longs to break free from the vice grip her uncle, who's also her betrothed (I know, it's weird), and the society she lives in. Until one day, she met Zac.

Zac is on a quest to look for answers about his father's past. In the countryside, shifters can live freely. But in the city, he's wanted. Zac meets other shifters and lives with them in the city, trying to stay out of trouble and the watchful eyes of the enforcers.

Unfortunately, that's not the case for Zac and Lyla.

They were caught up in a steamy, whirlwind forbidden romance. Since I'm such a sap and I love forbidden romances, I got hooked. I absolutely loved this book. Seriously, it's so steamy that I had to take a cold shower afterwards. The only problem I had with this book was the ending was a bit rushed. But, I know this is just the first book in the series. I would love to know more about shifters and there history and how the elites hated them.

If you're not 18 and above, I suggest that you wait till you're 18 and then you can read this book. *insert evil smirk*

 Avery Burch is a hot new paranormal romance author and her series, Shifter: City of Wolves is going to have a huge impact. She writes chilling tales of shifters and heart-wrenching stories of love and lust. If you like your romance spicy, your shifters sexy, your love stories intense, and your heroines passionate, then her books are for you.

She lives in Toronto, Canada.

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September 18, 2015

Wicked Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Published: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Acquired: Hardcover

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

I would like to thank Dianne over at Pinoy Book Tours for the opportunity to read this phenomenal debut novel.

Where do I even start? This book is just so good that I don't know where to start.

All her life, Madeline has been living inside her house, quarantined from the world. She has only seen three people in her life; her mother, her nurse, and on occasion, her architecture teacher, Mr. Waterman. She only goes out through the books that she reads.

Her new neighbors changed her life. She watched them from her window, curious of these new people in her life. The moment I read this line on the blurb on the dust jacket:

He’s tall, lean and wearing all black

I was hooked! I knew I would love everything in this book. What starts as an innocent friendship turns into an all-consuming romance. Madeline falls in love with Olly even if she knows that doing so could change her life forever.

In my head I know I've been in love before, but it doesn't feel like it. Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.

Madeline's mother, Pauline, is a doctor. Her relationship with Madeline is something you only see in a Hallmark Channel movie. It's picturesque and ideal. Even my mom and I don't have that kind of relationship. But I guess, it comes with the territory. Madeline is everything her mother has left now. For any mother, losing your child is very painful and they'll just do anything and I mean, ANYTHING just so they can protect them that they sacrifice their happiness and sometimes, their child's happiness in the process.

prom·ise (ˈpräməs) n. pl. - es. 1. The lie you want to keep. [2015, Whittier]

Olly is the ultimate dreamboat. *insert heart eyes emoji* His love for Madeline is above and beyond. It's the kind of love I can never explain because I never experienced it. All I know is that his love for Madeline is the kind of love that all of us has to have. (P.S Where can I get my own Olly?) Madeline and Olly went on an adventure. Madeline took the risk. She got out of the confines of her house. I never felt so happy for Madeline. I never felt so happy. PERIOD. They went on a journey to discover Hawaii and to discover their love and just how far it can go.

The only thing I know for sure is that this, being here with Olly, being able to love him and be loved by him, is everything.

Nicola Yoon definitely hit the right marks with her debut novel. Her characters are just so easy to love. Their story is just so easy to love. This book is so easy to love because love is everything. The illustrations in this book is just so adorable. (P.S Nicola's husband, David, illustrated them. How cool is that?!)

Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.

I recommend you to have this book on your ever growing TBR list. You will not regret it.

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

September 14, 2015

Wicked Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma


Published: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Acquired: Paperback

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: A love this devastating has no happy ending.

I found out about Forbidden through some of my friends over at Facebook. Some two years ago, there was this Forbidden Support Group on Facebook and I joined it. I bought an ebook copy of the book and I was utterly devastated. I bought the book last year and I reread it last month and I'm still devastated.
 I love books that are challenging to read. This one was challenging because it talks about the taboo: incest. I was raised to believe that brother and sister are not allowed to love each other more than the sibling kind of love. But things change. I learned how to see things differently. I learned how to open my mind and welcome whatever the world of literature throws at me.
Lochan (I still have no idea how to pronounce his name) loves his siblings so much. They are the only ones who see the real him. To them, he's not the socially anxious teenager. He's the hero. He's the protector. He's the the big brother. He can be a normal person in front of them. Social anxiety is more than just being shy and the way Lochan's point of view was written, I felt everything. He had the worst time being around his peers. He was so smart that he could be on top of the world but he can't. His day to day struggle in school was painful. Every conversation with his teachers about encouraging him to speak up in class is almost painful to read.
He draws his strength from Maya. Now, Maya is a whole other character. Where Lochan is dark, Maya is bright. I understand why Maya and Lochan has chemistry. Neither can live without the other. Maya is unlike any sixteen year old I have encountered. She manages to be a pretty normal teenager while playing "Mom" to her younger siblings. If she were a real person, I would love for her to be my best friend.

You've always been my best friend, my soul mate, and now I've fallen in love with you too. Why is that such a crime? 

The dialogue is minimal here even if it's 400+ pages. It's 400+ pages of beautiful writing. Since incest is such a sensitive topic, a lot of people tend to veer away from this topic. (Save except for George RR Martin. Okay I had to put that out there.) The mere thought of a sexual relationship with your sibling is enough to churn your insides. But with Maya and Lochan, it's different. I threw my moral compass a long time ago and I wanted them to work. I wanted them to end up together. Come to think of it, we all came from incest. I mean, in the Bible, how else would the population grow if the only people were Adam and Eve and their children? Right? Just think about it. But anyways, there love for each other is so, so rich and so pure. Their love is the kind of love you're supposed to fight for with all your heart, come hell or high water. But it's also the kind of love that will destroy you. It's beautiful and dangerous at the same time.

At the end of the day it's about how much you can bear, how much you can endure. Being together, we harm nobody; being apart, we extinguish ourselves.

I clung on to the idea that they will get their happily ever after. But I knew the ending. I knew that Lochan died in order to save Maya. In the end, Lochan still thought of his siblings. He sacrificed himself in order for his loved ones to live a normal, happy life.

If I die too, his ultimate sacrifice would have been in vain.

 I am happy; happy that I have encountered a book this poignant and so beautiful. I am devastated because the ending wasn't a happy ending. This story will move you. It will rock your world. I promise.

Tabitha Suzuma was born in London, the eldest of five children. She attended a French school in the UK and grew up bilingual. However, she hated school and would sit at the back of the class and write stories, which she got away with because her teachers thought she was taking notes. Aged fourteen, Tabitha left school against her parents' wishes. She continued her education through distance learning and went on to study French Literature at King's College London.

After graduating, Tabitha trained as a primary school teacher and whilst teaching full-time, wrote her first novel.

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