Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #23: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we will showcase that one book we can't wait to hit the market!



Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Details: May 3rd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Link: Goodreads

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

-o-

I have already read the first book and quite liked it. Though I am apprehensive about this second book due to the looming love triangle, I am still looking forward to knowing more about Feyre's fate.

But seriously, love triangle has got to stop.

-o-

That's all folks!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Publication Details: May 7th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Link: Goodreads


In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

I've been planning to read this sooner, but never got the time until recently. I was not able to attend the author's book signing event, but it's okay. Perhaps, some other time...

Plot
Throne of Glass follows Calaena, an assassin, as she tries to win her freedom by first competing to be the King's champion. But as she continues with the competition, a mysterious murderer lurks around the castle eliminating her competitors one by one. What follows is Calaena's fight not only for the first step in her freedom but also for her life, and her struggle in setting her priorities straight.

Being my first read about assassins, I find the premise intriguing. The pacing in the beginning was not as dragging as I thought it would be, except for that one part where the protagonist is getting cleaned and being prepared. Nevertheless, it kept me wanting to know more about how things will unfold.

As the path of the story clears, I found myself in a guessing/solving game with Calaena trying to piece together the clues for the murder mystery. Though I was able to predict some parts, it was still quite surprising to know some of the characters' roles both in the competition and the murder mystery.

I have heard a lot about shipping Calaena with either Prince Dorian or Chaol. Thus, I expected a major romance plot in the book. But thankfully, it's just a side plot. There's an attraction going on and budding romance(s) but yeah, side plot. Haha! Though I was grateful for Calaena keeping her priorities straight, I'm still looking forward to where this plot thread is going.

By the way, I am team Chaol. Haha!

Plot-wise, Throne of Glass was a page-turning and enjoying read for me.

Characters
Calaena is an interesting, strong character to begin with. Not only does she know how to fight and defend herself, but she also knows herself- her priorities and goals. She can be stubborn at times, but nobody is perfect. Haha!

Prince Dorian is as charming as any other princes (and also stubborn). He hates his father, the King, so though difficult, he tries to find ways to rebel. I think he has a good heart but I am yet to find out his real character.

Chaol, on the other hand, is the loyal Captain of the Guard and also best friend to Prince Dorian. Behind the strong, serious façade is a good heart, that is willing to do everything for the people he cares about. Like Prince Dorian, I am yet to find his true character but at the moment, he has my shipping heart. Haha!

As for the other secondary characters, I think they are all written well. No one annoyed me, thank you very much. And I think the major secondary characters were all able to contribute to both the plot and Calaena's development. I especially admire Nehemia for her bravery and will to stand for what is right even though her safety is on the line.

Writing
Throne of Glass is written in third person perspective, Celaena's POV. I liked the writing style of the author, in that the events are easy to follow and understand. The author was also able to keep an interesting flow that made me want to finish the book in one sitting (if only I do not have other things to do).

Also, I liked that it has a map in the beginning, thus, helping me to picture their world more clearly.

-o-

Overall, Throne of Glass is a good read about trust, making choices and the will to go not only after one's want but also the will to do what is right despite opposition.

I was not totally amazed by it. But I definitely recommend Throne of Glass especially if you are a fan of the fantasy, adventure genre with a strong protagonist. And I can't wait to continue with the series and explore more of their world and character development.


Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Glass Sword
Series: Red Queen #2
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Details: February 9th 2016 by Harper Teen
Link: Goodreads


If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul (Goodreads).


It'll be difficult to review without spoiling anyone, but I will try my best. :)

An engrossing installment to the Red Queen series.

Plot
Following the events of Red Queen, Glass Sword started in an action-packed, fast-paced manner. Setting the mood that way made me look forward to the succeeding events, consequently making the book hard to put down. Along the middle through the end, the pacing varied as Mare and her group started their mission. But even so, my reading did not get dragging, and the story still kept its gripping factor.

Glass Sword mainly revolved around finding and training the new bloods. Thus, more characters were introduced, and more depth to Mare's world shown. Albeit partial, more information was also given about Scarlet Guard and their inner workings. I liked that there are still a lot of rooms to explore in their world, and I'm looking forward to reading more of it.

Along the plot-driven story is Mare's internal struggle with her character, as she's becoming an anti-hero. Throughout the book, Mare is somewhat constantly finding herself in decision-making situations, inconspicuously defining her character, and losing a bit of herself in the process.

Characters
Mare's circumstances made her a little bit less likable than who she was in the first book. Even so, I liked the way her character development (though quite negative) was presented, and how there might be an opening for her redemption. I am very much looking forward to how things will play out for Mare and how she will choose to deal with what's going on in her life.

Maven did not get a lot of exposure in Glass Sword, but I think I got enough that made me want to know what happened to him that made him who he is. Cal, on the other hand, seemed distant but with his situation, it's understandable. I'm also looking forward to knowing what will happen to him, especially now that he's slowly losing his place in the world he has ever known.

As for the other characters, likewise, I am interested to know how their fight will continue, and how each will play a role not only in their cause but also in Mare's character development.

Writing
While Red Queen has an almost equal mix of predictability and unpredictability. Glass Sword has more unpredictability in it. Still told in Mare's POV, the author was able to deliver her character well, and the story line easy to follow and understand.

-o-

Overall, I enjoyed reading Glass Sword. It brought too many feels. And I think I liked this one more than I liked Red Queen. Nevertheless, I can't wait to read the third book and continue with Mare's adventure.




After growing up in small town Massachusetts, Victoria attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She graduated with a BFA in Screenwriting, which is exactly the degree being sought after in a recession.

She tries her best to combine her love of history, explosions, and butt-kicking heroines in her writing. Her hobbies include the impossible task of predicting what happens next in A Song of Ice and Fire, road trips, and burning through Netflix. (Source: Author's blog)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

ARC Review: Adulthood Is A Myth by Sarah Andersen


Title: Adulthood Is a Myth: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection
Author: Sarah Andersen
Publication Details: March 8th 2016 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Humor
Copy: Free PDF from the publisher (through NetGalley)

Do you love networking to advance your career? Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared? Ugh. Please go away.

These casually drawn, perfectly on-point comics by the hugely popular young Brooklyn-based artist Sarah Andersen are for the rest of us. They document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, and dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life. Oh and they are totally not autobiographical. At all.

Adulthood Is a Myth presents many fan favorites plus dozens of all-new comics exclusive to this book. Like the work of fellow Millennial authors Allie Brosh, Grace Helbig, and Gemma Correll, Sarah's frankness on personal issues like body image, self-consciousness, introversion, relationships, and the frequency of bra-washing makes her comics highly relatable and deeply hilarious.

Hilarious but seriously on point!

Through comic strips, the author was able to voice out what most, if not all, of the adults (introverts, especially) are feeling and thinking. From procrastination, work life, being a book lover to dealing with people, I was able to relate to most of the illustrations. Though I live in the Philippines, I find it very amusing that "new adults" (and those in denial) are feeling the same things when it comes to adulthood. Haha!

The book is only ~100 pages, one topic per page, but even so, it gave me an entertaining reading experience. And because it's a short read, Adulthood is a Myth did not require much of my time (and commitment). I actually read this in less than an hour. I also think it would be fun to reread this once in a while.

Hopefully, physical copies will be available in the Philippines, because I would definitely buy one.

Here are 6 of my favorite pages:







I definitely recommend this book, especially to those trying to go through adulthood, and still not sure about it. Haha! And of course, to my fellow introverts and book lovers, I think you will be able to relate to the comics too! :)


Sarah is a cartoonist and an illustrator. She graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014 and currently lives in Brooklyn. Her comics are semi-autobiographical, following her adventures, as well the adventures of her friends, and her beloved pets.

Adulthood is a Myth is Sarah's first book.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bookish Thoughts and Feels #8: 25 Bookish Facts About Me

Hi folks!

In lieu of my 25th birthday last March 4, here's an about me feature. :) I first saw this on YouTube and I think it would be fun to write about and share with you. So here goes the 25 bookish facts about me. :)


#1: I often buy original covers.
I am not sure why, to be honest. I just prefer the original covers.

#2: I don't listen to music when reading.
I find it hard to focus when there's music, or any noise actually. This also includes people talking, or TV in the background. I prefer silence, thank you very much. :)

#3:  I adore hardcovers but I prefer to read paperbacks.
They're just easier to carry around and read from.

#4: I am a cover and title buyer.
When browsing for books, I tend to check out those with catchy covers and titles.

#5: My reading time is mostly before I go to sleep and when traveling to and from work.
But of course, when I don't have to go anywhere else, I read whenever I want. :)

#6: I do not review every book I read.
Unless they're ARCs or review books, of course.

#7: I seldom DNF books.
And I dislike DNF-ing books.

#8: I rarely watch movies based on books. I just read the book.
Although there are movies that I have watched, but have never read the book.

#9: I don't reread as much as I wanted to.
Hopefully this year I will be able to reread some of my books, especially the Vampire Academy series.

#10: Browsing through bookstores is my stress-reliever. And I can go out of one without buying anything.
I used to do this a lot when I was in college. Before going home, I used to drop by a local bookstore and just browse. I would then go home with a list of to-buy books. Haha!

#11: I don't buy new releases within months from their release dates.

#12: I prefer to complete a trilogy/series before reading them.
Less emotional damage for me, especially when there's a cliffhanger.

#13: I don't eat while reading.

#14: I do drink coffee or tea, however, but very seldom.

#15: I don't like too cheesy scenes.
I cringe whenever I stumble upon one.

#16: Character development, plot uniqueness and social relevance mostly determine my review rating.

#17: I always have a hard time arranging my books.
I just don't know how to categorize them. Haha!

#18: I only own single copy of each book.
Because books are expensive... And I don't have enough shelf space.

#19: I love book sales and discounts!
Who doesn't?

#20: I rarely receive books as gifts.
Sad, I know.

#21: I rarely lend out books.
And whenever I do, only to those people I trust.

#22: I don't read novellas.
One exception though: The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas :)

#23: I can control my book buying habits.
I can, if I just put my mind to it. :)

#24: I find it therapeutic to just look at pictures of pretty bookshelves and books.
I find it calming. Haha! Thank you Tumblr and Instagram for the beautiful pictures.

#25: I appreciate it, a lot, when people comment on my blog posts.
They do make my day happier and less stressful. And they make me want to improve this blog more. :)

-o-

I didn't know it would be difficult to think 25 bookish facts. Haha! Any similarities with me folks? Share your thoughts! Or better yet, post 25 bookish facts about you too and then tell me so I can check it out. :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Book Signing Event #8: Victoria Aveyard

Hi folks! How are you? I hope you're all doing fine.

Last Sunday, March 6, I went to another book signing event sponsored by National Book Store. And this time, they brought Victoria Aveyard, the author of Red Queen!

Now, on to the few pictures I have...

I arrived at around 6:30 AM and was 267th. I expected to be less than 100th, but oh well. Haha! I think the number of participants reached 1,200!


 The interview proper. Victoria shared bits about Red Queen.


I was so happy to meet Victoria! :) PS: Not my best angle. 

My signed books, plus a free book mark.

-o-

Thank you National Book Store for this event! :)

I still don't know if I'll be going to the Sarah J. Maas signing event, because 1) there's a cut-off (350 participants), and 2) I'm sure there'll be a lot of people. And my introvert side is screaming for cover.

So yeah, I'm still not sure. -_-

-o-

Anyway, that's all folks!
Have a nice day!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Book Review: Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Series: Red Queen #1
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Details: February 10, 2015 by HarperTeen
Copy: Paperback bought from Power Books


This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...

Plot
A story about identity, trust and power.

Red Queen follows Mare Barrow as she plunges into the world of power, where great abilities are both security and a threat; and trust cannot be given freely to anyone.

The story started with the usual introduction of the characters and the world they are living in. Then followed the events that would break the monotony of Mare's life. The progress of the story was quite slow, especially in the beginning, but picked up pace especially toward the end.

Most of the plot elements are very much known to YA dystopian books, but even so, the way they were threaded together make up for an entertaining read. I especially liked the separation by blood plot element, as it depicts the separation of society classes in the real world. Though the concept of class separation is not new, I liked how it reminded me that not all dictates of the society is true, and that norms and status quo can be changed.

Though there were predictable bits, there were also unpredictable parts that made my reading experience enjoyable. I think the dynamics between the characters played a huge part in this, as well as the flow of some events pushing the story into a quite refreshing path.

Plot-wise, Red Queen is a good read. It can be cliché at times but the flow of the story will make up for it.

World-Building
I liked how the author sets everything up. Their world is believable and quite realistic, making it easier for me to dive into the story. One thing I wish for though, is a map. I think it would be easier to picture everything with a map. :)

Characters
As I have mentioned previously, I liked the dynamics and interactions of the characters. Most of them are easily relatable; and I was able to feel the "right feelings" for most of the characters. Though I had a hard time connecting to Mare, I, at least, was able to understand her circumstances. She already has a strong character when the story started, but I can still see rooms for her character development, which made me look forward to the next book.

The other characters, though not explored well yet, are okay too and thankfully, no one annoyed me. Haha! I also had a hard time choosing between Cal and Maven until later in the middle toward the ending. :) (If you have read Red Queen, do you know which part I'm talking about? Haha!)

Anyway, I think the characters are all well-written and am looking forward to knowing them more.

Writing
I really liked the writing style of the author. Told in a first person perspective (Mare's POV), the story was easy to understand and follow. The story-telling and the plot itself seemed to be just the usual YA way, but I saw some diversions. Despite the cliche parts, the author was still able to inject twists to the story, creating a gripping read.

-o-

It took me a while to finish the book, but overall Red Queen is an entertaining, quite addicting read. I am very much looking forward to reading Glass Sword, and read more about Mare's fight.



After growing up in small town Massachusetts, Victoria attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She graduated with a BFA in Screenwriting, which is exactly the degree being sought after in a recession.

She tries her best to combine her love of history, explosions, and butt-kicking heroines in her writing. Her hobbies include the impossible task of predicting what happens next in A Song of Ice and Fire, road trips, and burning through Netflix. (Source: Author's blog)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What Happened: February 2016

Hi folks!
Welcome to my monthly recap...

While I had a productive reading month in January, February was a meh. Haha! I've been busy outside my reading world, thus I only managed to read one book. -_-

Book I Read:
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Currently Reading:
Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard


Reviews Posted:

Bookish Thoughts and Feels:

Book Haul:

-o-

I am excited for March because two authors will be coming to the Philippines. And, it's my birthday month! I'm not sure how my reading will go, but hopefully, it'll be a productive one.

-o-

Have a nice day folks!