Friday, March 27, 2015

E. Lockhart: Book Signing Event #6

Hi folks!

Last Sunday, March 22, I attended another book signing event sponsored by National Bookstore. This time, E. Lockhart visited us here in the Philippines. Some of her popular works include the Ruby Oliver novels (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys and Real Live Boyfriends), Fly on the Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau- Banks, and her latest one, We Were Liars.

The event was held at National Bookstore, Glorietta 1.

I arrived at around 7 AM. The queue was a bit long by then. Haha! I was 68th. :)

Before the signing was the interview with the author. Oh folks! Emily Lockhart was so funny and nice! :) I actually filmed the interview. I will try my best to edit the video and post it on YouTube or perhaps, I will just transcribe it for another blog post. :)

In this picture, she was showing us a Sidney Sheldon book she's currently reading. She said that Sidney's books aren't for kids/minors at all. Haha! The book doesn't have a cover and is battered already. She picked it up in New York and thought that it would be a good plane read. :)

Pardon the quality of this picture. And my face! Haha! I always look haggard in book signing photos!

I was not able to get the free bookmark! I think they forgot to give me. =(
E. Lockhart brought with her these two stamps of quote/ motto. They're mentioned in We Were Liars.

My signed book!

Overall, it was a nice experience. Had I not been sleepy, I would probably enjoy it even more. But again, I had a nice time. E. Lockart is nice, funny, and really inspiring. She is currently writing/revising her new YA book. I'm really looking forward to that since I really liked We Were Liars.

My review of We Were Liars will be up soon!

That's all folks!
Have a nice day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Blogging Tools

Hi folks!

For today’s Bookish Thoughts and Feels post, I want to share with you my blogging essentials.

Well ok. I may not be a famous and a full-time blogger. And I may just be doing so for fun. But hey, I’m committed. Haha! For the love of books and reading, folks! For the love of them! :)

Anyway, let me list my blogging tools:

1. Book/ Blog Planner
I made my own planner solely for bookish and blog stuff. I wasn’t able to print my customized planner so I just bought a notebook and decorated it with scrapbooking papers and washi tapes. Comment below if you want a photo tour of my planner!

Now that I’m working during weekdays, I only got the weekends to read and update my blog. I still have a lot of books to review and bookish discussions to post so I really need to plan everything so as not to get behind. :)

2. Notebook
I also have a small notebook for when I have blog post ideas and any bookish notes. I also list here the books I need to buy for signing events and during the Manila International Book Fair.

3. Camera
Since my book blog is also somehow a personal blog, I need a handy digital camera to document my not-so-adventurous life. Haha! I also use my camera when I go to book signing events and book fairs. And hey, I love taking photos of books! :)

4. Laptop
This is self-explanatory. Haha! Anyway, I use my old laptop as of the moment. Haha! And it’s dying on me now. I do need to get a new one!


I think that’s all folks!
How about you? What are your blogging essentials? :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Feature & Follow #6

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!


This week's question is by Take Me Away.

Have you come up with any special memes or features on your blog that you'd like people to visit more?

Uhm, I'm not so sure. Haha! I am relatively new to book blogging. I mostly post book reviews, memes, book signing experiences and other personal stuff, but never bookish discussions or short essays.
Last February 23, I decided to post my first Bookish Thoughts and Feels post (here). It's nothing special really. Bookish Thoughts and Feels will just be short posts about certain topics concerning books and anything book-related. I already have a line-up of topics. Haha! I just have to write posts about them. :)


How about you folks? :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cities by Carla de Guzman: Book Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: Cities
Author: Carla de Guzman
Publication details: November 30th 2014 by Midnight Books
Copy: PDF copy from the author

Celia has dreams.
She dreams of going to Seoul for that scholarship she never took, of leaving everything behind and moving to New York.
In all those dreams, she finds herself attached to Benedict, the boy she has always loved, who didn’t love her back.
Ben believes in parallel worlds.
Worlds where the things you didn’t do come true—worlds where he went to London and fell in love with Celia, where he shows up on the day she needed him most. He believes that dreams are glimpses into that parallel world, and it’s not a coincidence that Celia’s been having them too.

It’s the day of Ben’s wedding, in the middle of a typhoon in Manila. How will these dreams and unmade decisions change their lives? Will they bring them closer together, or just drive them further apart?

"What if in another universe, you loved me too?"

I got my copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. When she announced on a Facebook group that she was willing to provide a free copy, I immediately checked the blurb because the cover is cute. Haha! And fortunately, the synopsis sounds intriguing so I contacted the author right away. :)

First Impressions
The first that got me, to be honest, was the cover. The art cover is simple yet nice. Later, I would find out that the book has little drawings at the beginning of each chapter which I find really cute.

At first I thought Cities was going to be a cheesy, fan fiction-y (is this a word?) read, but when I got to the third chapter, I knew that I would really like this book.

Cities revolved around the idea of multiverse or parallel universe. I didn't get it at first. I was confused because there was a sudden change in the setting. I was like, why are we in Seoul (one of the settings)? Haha! But when Ben later explained in the "present universe" his theory on multiverse, I immediately got the whole theme. And the idea fascinated me.

Personally, I don't believe in other universe existing right at the moment we're living, but how the theory was played out, how it was integrated into the story, was really amazing. And while the whole love story was not really something new, the parallel universe made the premise of the book unique. I really liked it. Whilst reading, I could clearly see in my head the changing of one world to the other. Ugh! I couldn't explain it well, but it was just amazing. :)

The story was a bit sad, but it has a happy ending. And the thought that perhaps, in other universe, the story might have been a lot different, made my feelings somehow better. It left a hole in my heart, seriously. But I loved this book nevertheless.

My favorite part, I think, would be the idea that even though in the other universe, one can be of different nationality, career or family background, he or she still maintained the core of his or her being, his or her personality. Another would be the Filipino references, because… I'm Filipino! The inevitable traffic, insane rain, and that annoying neighbor singing karaoke. I can totally relate! Haha!

My least favorite part would be those that tend to be cheesy. Know folks, that it's just me. I don't like cheesy parts. #bitter Haha!

I loved the characters. Normally, I would dislike anyone who will get in the way of the main ones, but I totally love every characters.

Celia is one of the main characters. I really felt sorry for her. I haven't been in love (?) nor have I been really hurt because of love, but I felt Celia's sorrow and pain. *sigh* Her character development, if one will look at it only in the present universe, was a bit too fast. But factoring in the parallel universe theory, I loved how she is able to accept her reality. And though moving on was difficult, she is willing to move forward.

Another main character is Ben. I don't think it was mentioned how he and Celia became friends after the Senior incident. He's still a mystery to me, to be honest. Surprisingly, the unknown did not bother me. Haha! Anyway, I felt that his feelings for Celia and even for Vivian are true and real. I liked how visible his conflicted feelings were.

All characters (Celia, Ben, Henry and Vivian) were three- dimensional. They were relatable. They're not perfect, and they can be annoying at times. But they were perfectly understandable.

The story was told in a third person perspective. And while, the POVs were mainly Ben's and Celia's, there were occasional Henry's and Vivian's. Therefore, I was able to look deeply into each characters' feelings and I was able to understand them.

I think the author was able to explain the theory of parallel universe well. It may or may not be believable but I liked how it was incorporated into the story to create a unique premise. I don't think I've ever read anything like Cities before. :)

I liked the author's writing style. I liked the transition between the universe, the smooth flow of events and the consistency between the characters.


More than the theory of parallel universe, Cities is a story of friendship, love and moving on. There are times when we are enslaved by our what ifs. But those are in the past. What we have is the present- the circumstances and the people in it. We can choose to be miserable by wallowing in what could have been, but we can also choose to live the best of our today.

We may dream of a parallel universe where we are better and happier. But we’re here in this universe. We have our present lives. Let us make the best of this universe and be what our parallel selves dream about.
I definitely recommend this book folks! Come March or April, if I have money already (Haha!), I'm going to buy a physical copy and reread it! I just loved it folks! :)

To order a copy, just contact the author through her e-mail: or through her Facebook account. You can also visit her blog: Some Midnights. :)

That's all folks!
Have a nice day!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Thirteenth Tower by Sara C. Snider: Book Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: The Thirteenth Tower
Author: Sara C. Snider
Publication details: March 17th 2014 by Double Beast Publishing
Copy: eARC from NetGalley

In adversity lies strength beyond imagining.

Abandoned as a baby, young Emelyn’s life as a housemaid in the quiet village of Fallow is unremarkable—and empty. That is, until a host of magical creatures arrives and inflicts terrible misdeeds on the townsfolk. Inexplicably immune to their enchantments, Emelyn joins a pair of Magi intent on stopping the cause of the trouble—and who claim to know of her parents, promising Emelyn answers to a lifetime of questions.

But the answers Emelyn seeks prove to be more elusive than she hoped, and the world outside Fallow more perilous than she imagined. Magical creatures roam the land over, attacking yet another town before coming after Emelyn. The key to her survival—and finding her family—lies deep within her, if only she can conquer her doubts and believe she is more powerful than she ever dreamed.

In a journey that explores facing one’s fears amidst the uncertainties of an unknown world, The Thirteenth Tower is a magical tale of discovery, growth, and of love’s enduring strength.

Just a short review folks! I read this about a month ago, but I wasn't able to make a review immediately for some reasons. :)


I did enjoy reading this book. I liked how it piqued my curiosity at the beginning. And there's an air of mystery around the world they live in and also around the characters. It can be a bit slow, especially towards the middle, but I liked how the author took time in preparing Emelyn, in presenting her with snippets of who she might be. However, I felt like the momentum was cut short when Emelyn finally knows what happened to her parents, making the latter part a bit less thrilling.

At the beginning, a lot of characters were mentioned but as the story progresses it becomes too focused on the main character, making the others seem less significant even though I feel that they're not. I would like to know, therefore, more of the other characters, like Mrs. Beryl, Mr. Hibberly, Tilly and Derron. They are minor characters but I would like to know what happened to them and how they influenced or will influence Emelyn's life.

With regards to the ending, I was only so-so with it. As I've said, the events following the reveal of Emelyn's parents became less thrilling for me. I found myself reading just for the sake of finally ending it. It has an open-ending though, so a lot more can happen. And a lot more to look forward to.

Another thing I liked is that Emelyn doesn't have a love interest here, or rather, she has but it wasn't explored (yet?), emphasizing more the lessons on friendship, family and identity.

I don't think the premise of the book is unique, as it has a lot of similarities with other medieval, fantasy books. It can also be predictable. I was able to predict Emelyn's parents halfway through the book. What kept me going, I think, was Emelyn's friendship with one of the characters (I forgot the name! Ugh! I'm sorry!), and the mystery that still somehow hang around Emelyn's identity.

I think there will be a sequel? I'm not 100% sure. But I would still like to read the second book and know the rest of Emelyn's adventures. There are still a lot of possibilities for Emelyn, and a lot more relationships to be explored. I am looking forward to those (if there's a sequel... Haha!)

Source: Goodreads
Sara C. Snider was born and raised in northern California, but now lives in Sweden with her partner and two beastly cats. She has a bachelor’s degree in Archives and Information Science that is currently sitting on a shelf, collecting dust, as she pursues her literary dreams.

When not reading or writing, Sara enjoys wandering in the woods, playing computer games, and eating dumplings as often as possible. She loves all things faerie, and has grown to accept she will always be covered in cat hair (Source: Goodreads).