Friday, February 27, 2015

Feature & Follow #5

Hi folks!
Happy Friday!


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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This week's question is by Alison.

Your house is burning down and you have time to select three books you own to take with you. What three books?

Choosing three is impossible. And I most definitely will get as much books as I can, if not all of them. Haha! But to answer the question, I will save: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Fault in our Stars by John Green and 1984 by George Orwell.

Those three are some of my favorites. And also, I really want to reread them. Haha! Soon though!


 

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How about you? What three books will you save?

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Love for Books

Hi folks!

I just thought of sharing with you guys my love for books.

The current state of my bookshelves
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I can't really remember the title of the book I first read. I do know, however, that I started with reading fairy tales and other children's short stories.

I think what really got me into reading was when I read Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember back in high school. That book left me in tears. After that, I read his other books as well. I then started reading fan fictions and books by other authors like Paulo Coelho, Bob Ong (a Filipino author), and of course, JK Rowling.

I wasn't an avid reader in high school, but I really enjoyed reading. In college, I started devouring books. I was not collecting physical copies then. I was content with ebooks. In 2012, I think, I started buying physical copies. I used to only buy books that I really wanted to read, but then came Warehouse Sales, and so was my hoarding habit. I would read the blurb, and if I liked the book I would put it in my basket. Well, it's not really hoarding because I would only buy five or so at a time, and I didn't (still don't) have much money for books. But my TBR pile is growing nevertheless.

Currently, I am known as a book lover (I think. Haha!). I read books and review them. I love everything about books, from deciding what to read or what to buy, to reading them, to thinking and talking about them. I love the feel of books, the smell of papers, the sight of them in bookstores. I even love looking at other people's bookshelves on Tumblr. Haha! Books give me happy feelings.

When I read books, it's like I am transported to another world and another time as a different person. I get to experience things I wouldn't experience in the real world. I get to feel things, and learn a lot from the circumstances of the characters. Reading is indeed a wonderful experience.

I love to share my love for books through this blog. And perhaps someday, I would be able to share it through having my own library/ bookstore. Someday. 😊

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That's all folks!
Have a nice day!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Feature & Follow #4

Hi folks!
Happy Friday!


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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This week's question is submitted by The Realm of Books.
Do you like fantasy or realistic books?

Hmmmm... I don't think I have a preference. I enjoy both of them equally. I love to read contemporary and relate to the characters and what they're going through. But I also love to experience other worlds, and get to know different creatures. That's one of the great things about books, you know. You get to experience different worlds, go to adventures, feel all sorts of emotions, without losing yourself in the real world.

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What about you folks? :)

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jesus, Jihad, and Peace by Michael Youssef: ARC Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: Jesus, Jihad, and Peace: A Prophetic Vision for the Middle East
Author: Michael Youssef
Publication details: February 17th 2015 by Worthy Publishing (first published October 14th 2014)
Copy: e-ARC through NetGalley

We live in a world changed forever by 9/11—a world still very dangerous, where Westerners in general, and Christians in particular, remain targets of terrorism. People are wondering: What next? Is there any hope for peace in the world? Or is terror our destiny?

Bible-believing Christians have even more questions: What does the threat of Islamic extremism mean in terms of Bible prophecy? What do today’s turbulent events in Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Russia mean in prophetic terms?

Youssef provides answers that are concise, biblically accurate, and targeted on the challenges that confront us in a world that is increasingly fraught with peril. We must seek to understand who is attacking us, how these trends fit into the flow of prophetic history, and how we should respond.

I read God, Just Tell Me What to Do by the same author, and I loved that book! I was inspired and I learned a lot from reading that. Thus, when I saw Jesus, Jihad and Peace on Net Galley, I immediately requested for access.

In his new book, Jesus, Jihad and Peace, the Michael Youssef talks about the difference between Islam and Christianity. Though the subject matter is deep and serious, the discussion in the book was written such that it is easy to understand; and the flow of information was sequenced such that the points are easy to grasp. Starting from a brief background of Islam, the discussion then slowly makes way to the core of Islam faith, quoting the Koran and some statements made by their notable leaders. He then compares Islam with Christianity, emphasizing how different the two are from each other, as well as giving some misconceptions most people have.

Personally, it was kind of scary reading through the book, knowing what's really happening in our world, but I couldn't stop. I wanted to know. I wanted to know how everything is connected. I wanted to know and understand what the Bible says about the subject matter.

I liked the section about the delays and the spiritual battle. I especially loved the appeal in the last chapter- how we can have divine peace through Jesus, and how we can choose to surrender everything to God for us to experience divine peace. I was really inspired by that.

I know that for some people this book will have a negative impact, that some will be offended. But I believe that Michael Youssef wrote this book in good faith. I believe that he wrote this book out of love for the people, both Christians and non-Christians. Let me quote the author's Preface:

"Throughout this book, I have tried to distinguish between Islamic ideology and Muslims as people. I have many dear friends and acquaintances who embrace Islam. While I risk being criticized for my sociological, economic, political, and religious assessments of Islam, my ardent desire is that no one misunderstand my genuine affection and appreciation for Muslim people.


Yet the fact that I, as a Christian, understand Islam to be a false worldview does not mean I look down on Muslim people in any way. On the contrary, I am compelled by my love for Muslim people. I feel a deep burden for them, and I humbly yearn for them to know the fullness of life that comes only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

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I am a Christian. Therefore, everything discussed makes perfect sense to me. If there's anything this book made me, it is that I want to be more ready, to be more Christ-like. Even before I read Jesus, Jihad and Peace, I already believe that the we are in the last days. But this book strengthened my conviction to be a good Christian, to live a life of love.

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Jesus, Jihad, and Peace may have a sensitive subject, especially now that terrorism is making the news all over the world. However, I do recommend this book not only to Christian and to all those wanting the truth about the last days, but most especially to all those wanting peace that surpasses human understanding.



Source: Harvest House

Michael Youssef received theological degrees from Moore College in Australia, Fuller Theological Seminary in California, and a PhD in social anthropology from Emory University. He traveled around the world on behalf of the Haggai Institute, speaking to thousands of leaders. In 1987 he founded The Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia, which served as a platform for Leading the Way’s international television and radio ministry, where Dr. Youssef is heard daily by millions at home and in over 190 countries (Source: Harvest House).



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean (ARC): Book Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: Where the Road Takes Me
Author: Jay McLean
Publication details: February 10th 2015 by Skyscape
Copy: e-ARC from NetGalley

Chloe has one plan for the future, and one plan only: the road. She’s made a promise to herself: don’t let anyone in, and don’t let anyone love her. She’s learned the hard way what happens if she breaks her rules. So she’s focused on being invisible and waiting until she can set out on the road—her dream of freedom, at least for a little while.

Blake Hunter is a basketball star who has it all—everything about him looks perfect to those on the other side of his protective walls. He can’t let anyone see the shattered pieces behind the flawless facade or else all his hopes and dreams will disappear.

One dark night throws Chloe and Blake together, changing everything for Blake. For Chloe, nothing changes: she has the road, and she’s focused on it. But when the so-called perfect boy starts to notice the invisible girl, they discover that sometimes with love, no one knows where the road may lead.

When I read the synopsis, I thought that it sounded pretty much the same as other contemporary romance novels. I don't remember why I added this to my reading list, but thankfully, I did. I'm not really a fan of New Adult genre, but I really enjoyed reading this book.

First that got me was the Prologue and this "change" thing I was really curious about. Then came the first two chapters, where Chloe and Blake's chemistry is undeniable. It's just too strong. Haha!

I also liked how Chloe's life is a mystery in the beginning. The first few chapters were told in Blake's POV so like him, I really wanted to know who Chloe really is and what she is dealing with. Chloe's POV in the later chapters did not give much information though. But I liked how her story slowly builds up. Along with hers is the slow unwrapping of Blake's background.

It's crazy thinking what they're experiencing at a very young age, but I loved how strong Chloe and Blake are. Each has their own struggles, but they fight them together. I liked how Chloe is trying to fight her choices, and then commit to change not only for the people she loves, but also for herself. And I liked how Blake is willing to sacrifice for Chloe. Oh, young love! (Haha!)

There are a lot of things going on in this book, not only in the main characters' lives but also the supporting ones. But even so, I did not find it slow and overwhelming. I actually liked how the author also gave focus to the supporting characters. They weren't in-depth but the glimpses were enough to know their stand and to know their love for Chloe and Blake. I just loved their relationship with each other. There's so much love and support. Aaah!

Two other things that inspired me were the red-letter concept and the magnetic quote thing. For me, they emphasized the message of the book more. And it really, really made me want to have my red-letter person/day, my unexpectedly phenomenal one. *sigh* :)

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And folks, I read Where the Road Takes Me in one sitting! I just couldn't stop reading. Given I wasn't too keen on some parts, especially on the last half of the book, due to personal reasons/ principles, but overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read, the flow was really smooth, and it was really inspiring.

Where the Road Takes Me is not only about love and relationship, but is also about making choices and change. Sometimes, we need someone to have that change we wanted so much to happen. That change, though difficult, is not too bad especially when faced together with the people we love.



from: Goodreads
Jay McLean is the author of the More Series, including More Than This, More Than Her, More Than Him and More Than Forever. She also has two standalones- Where The Road Takes Me and Combative.

Jay is an avid reader, writer, and most of all, procrastinator. When she's not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, or devouring some tacky reality TV show.

She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her smile, make her hurt, and make her feel (Source: Goodreads).


Friday, February 6, 2015

News: Book Signing Event: E. Lockhart

Oh my gosh! E. Lockhart, the author of We Were Liars, will be visiting the Philippines for a book signing event! Aaah!

I haven't read We Were Liars yet, but I've heard nothing but good reviews about it. Aah! I'm so excited! I seriously need to get a job ASAP to fund my bookish escapades. Haha!

Here's the pub mat from the National Bookstore Facebook Page:

Aaah! Thank you in advance National Bookstore! Haha!

Feature & Follow #3

Hi folks!


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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This week's question is submitted by Words I Write Crazy

Do you read more than 1 book at a time, and if so, how, like a certain amount of pages per book before moving on to the next one in the queue?

I do, but not always because it can be confusing. I usually read two books of different genres when one of them gets a bit dragging, I don't have a system, just whatever I feel like reading.

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That's all folks!
Have a nice day!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How To Love by Katie Cotugno: Book Review


Title: How To Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Published: October 1st 2013 by Balzer + Bray (first published Jan. 1st 2013)
Copy: Paperback [Purchased at National Bookstore]


Before:
Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he's never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After:
Almost three years have passed, and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena's gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she's finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn't want anything to do with him, though she'd be lying if she said Sawyer's being back wasn't stirring something in her. After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

When National Bookstore featured this book on their Facebook Page, I was really intrigued by the synopsis. So intrigued that though I was in a book buying ban because of my board exam, I headed to National Bookstore one lunch break and bought this book. I didn't read it though until after the board exam results were posted. Haha!

I've never read anything like this one before so it was an enjoyable reading experience for me and in a way, refreshing.

Written using two time frames- Before and After, How To Love gave me wider view of the characters, especially their development and how they dealt with the things that happened. This made my reading easier too since I don't have to invest too much effort analyzing each character.

This book made me feel different sorts of emotions because while I've never been in Reena's shoes, her character is easily relatable. From the first few Before chapters, I saw how she works hard to get out of her present life. Reena is this simple, introvert girl with plans and dreams for her future. I guess one of the reasons why I was able to relate well is because I have plans too, and personally, it scares me to have the opportunities just pass by because of one action. One thing I couldn't understand though was how a man can make someone irrational. I know love and emotions are irrational, but it doesn't have to affect everything. Does it?

Anyway, How To Love reminded me that no one can best decide for our own lives but ourselves. Yes, poor choices are inevitable. But those mistakes cannot define a person. And while it's okay to commit mistakes, what we do after will have bigger impact. I liked how Reena bounced back after Sawyer left. It might have been a slow process and she might have yielded when Sawyer came back, but I liked how she fights to be stronger, how she is taking her baby steps toward reconciliation and giving life another try.

How to Love is a story of second chances- for our family, for that special someone, and chances for ourselves. Nobody is perfect. Living requires mistakes but it is an active choice whether to relive those mistakes or be a better person.




How to Love is a cute, inspiring read. I totally recommend this book! Also, I cannot wait to read Katie's second book, 99 Days, which will be released on April 21, 2015!


Source: Goodreads

Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.

Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Nerve.com. Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013.

The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston with her boyfriend, Tom (Source: Goodreads).