Feb 24, 2016

Unread Books in My Shelf {2}

In my feeble attempts to limit my book-buying, I thought it would be best if I actually knew what books are gathering dust in my shelf. This series of posts shall feature seven books each - now on to the first.

- The Lost Prince and The Iron Traitor were both impulse buys right after I'd read the original series. I should really get to these while I still remember what happened in the fourth book.

- I got Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, and Last Sacrifice for cheap from my good friend Nina @ The Bookish Confections around the time I watched the Vampire Academy movie and wanted to continue on with the series. Better get the fourth and fifth books while they're still available (I need them to match these, no matter how much I prefer the new covers. Sigh.)

- Madeleine Roux visited the Philippines back in 2014 for a book signing, and that's when I got Asylum. That was two years ago, god. I should make this one of my reads for November AKA Halloween season.

- And finally we have The Scorpio Races. I was so happy when the paperback came out with this beautiful cover because I can't even bear to look at the original cover. Eeek. However, I'm disappointed with this copy because it's one of those poor paperbacks, the ones that weren't bound so well and is kinda hard to open and read. Guess I have an excuse to buy the UK paperback lol.

Aaaand that's it for the second edition of Unread Books! Have you read any of these books? (I'm sure you have ;D) Tell me what you thought of them down below!

Feb 19, 2016

Mini-Reviews {5}

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel
Author: Ransom Riggs
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
When Jacob Portman was a boy, his grandfather regaled him with stories of his fantastic life at Miss Peregrine's home during the Second World War, even sharing photos of the remarkable children with whom he resided. As Jacob grew up, though, he decided that these photos were obvious fakes, simple forgeries designed to stir his youthful imagination. Or were they...?
Following his grandfather's death - a scene Jacob literally couldn't believe with his own eyes - the sixteen-year-old boy embarks on a mission to disentangle fact from fiction in his grandfather's tall tales. But even his grandfather's elaborate yarns couldn't prepare Jacob for the eccentricities he will discover at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children!
Graphic novels are even worse than hardcovers: they're beautiful and I want to pet them and read them but they're so damn expensive! That's the reason why this one's the only graphic novel I currently own. I was actually talking myself out of buying it but I just had to get one signed by Ransom Riggs when he visited my country years back. (Because yes, I read this back in *looks at Goodreads* 2014?! o.o)

Anyway, as this is the only graphic novel I own, this is also the only one I've read. I knew it would be a quick read but I didn't anticipate that I could read it in less than an hour. Wow. I seriously felt like I threw my money away but who cares because books are worth it! Also, the illustrations are really beautiful, just what I expected from Cassandra Jean whom I've been following on Tumblr for a long time now. 

What I appreciated most about this graphic novel is how I could revisit the first novel in half the time, especially since Miss Peregrine's felt too dragged out for me. I remember reading this before Hollow City, and now I can't wait to get my hands on the graphic novel for that second book so I can read it before I pick up Library of Souls!


Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Release Date: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life. 
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures. 
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
I'd probably get hate for what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway: I am in the opinion that this book is overhyped. I read this less than a year ago but I can't even remember much of what happens in the book, only that it reminded me so much of a John Green novel, particularly Looking for Alaska (which is my favorite JG novel, by the way). Even Cassidy Thorpe's first appearance was so much like Alaska Young's, the cool, smart, hipster dream girl with a long list of secrets.

According to my notes, though, I did like how Ezra coped with the accident. He was hopeless, often dreary, but he kept it to himself instead of running around moping and screaming how unfair life is. Ezra and Cassidy's love story is also very similar to 500 Days of Summer, with Ezra thinking of Cassidy as his savior and heroine and her being somewhat strangled because of his expectations.

Just because I think this book is overhyped doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, because I did. In fact, I plan to read it again, give it another chance. I had a worse tragedy in mind for the ending but when everything was revealed, it all clicked into place. It's not what most people would ask for, but I believe it did the characters justice, and for me that's what's most important.

MY FAVORITE PART was the overnight debate tournament. Now that is how nerds have fun.


Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Release Date: September 21st 2006
Publisher: Dutton Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. 
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. 
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.
At first I was only interested in reading this book because I loved Looking for Alaska, but then the cover got a redesign and I just had to own it in hardcover and naturally, I had to read it. I remember feeling up to something quirky when I picked this up, and boy, quirky was exactly what I got. 

Math is my biggest enemy. Like, I obviously love English (I love reading, duh), and Science is not so bad, but Math? Integral Calculus is what got me kicked out of two engineering programs, and although I totally - and finally - kicked the crap out of it last year, I still hate it. So to read a book that was filled with Math? My mind ran around in circles a few times while reading this.

Still, I really enjoyed it because it has John Green's signature wit, humor, and sarcasm that I will always love. No matter how inane their problems may be, his characters are always a redeeming factor in his books, and they sure are hilarious. This book made me want to go on a road trip, and I'm really looking forward to reading Paper Towns soon!


Feb 14, 2016

Unread Books in My Shelf {1}

In my feeble attempts to limit my book-buying, I thought it would be best if I actually knew what books are gathering dust in my shelf. This series of posts shall feature seven books each - now on to the first.

Feb 7, 2016

Book Review: Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Release Date: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.
Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
Steelheart went straight to my TBR list the minute I read its synopsis. I mean, a mystical orb appears in the sky and suddenly ordinary humans gain superpowers? Sold. I held off on reading it, though, because I'm not the biggest fan of its original cover. Thank heavens for UK editions. Also, I can finally say that I've read a Brandon Sanderson book! (And I sure plan on reading more *heart eyes*)

This stellar book grabs from page one and thrusts its reader straight into the action, and we learn right from the start that there are no superheroes in this story, only supervillains, and that is how it tells us that one does not need superpowers to be a hero, only the courage and heart to be one.
Did the Epics kill because Calamity chose - for whatever reason - only terrible people to gain powers? Or did they kill because such amazing power twisted a person, made them irresponsible?
Aside from David, our bright and talented main character with a thirst for vengeance, the story is kept interesting by the Reckoners, the group of humans dedicated to killing Epics. At first they are reluctant about trusting the newbie, thinking he's lying about seeing Steelheart - one of the most powerful Epics in the world, and certainly the most powerful one in town - bleed, but he soon proves his worth by being a useful member of the team.
Who had time for morals in a world like this?
Reading Steelheart is such a thrill, like sneaking out or riding a motorcycle (not that I've ever ridden one but I imagine that's how it would feel like). But aside from the car chases and explosions, it also doesn't fail to develop the characters and move them forward, especially with David as he realizes that his life should not be consumed by his wanting to kill Steelheart and avenge his father. 
All of these guns, they do not frighten him. They won't be what overthrows him. It will be the person clever enough, smart enough, to figure out the chink in his armor.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world that only lends an added oomph to the story, Steelheart is full of crazy action and even crazier, unexpected twists that will leave its readers breathless and desperate for more. I also enjoyed how the Epics themselves fought against each other in their quest to be the most powerful one around. The ending answered questions while asking some more, and because of that I'm thankful that I waited years before reading this because now I only have to wait months for the next books in the series!


Feb 1, 2016

Recap + Haul {January}

January was a good month. I kept my book-buying to a minimum (although that could be because I channeled my spending to Funko Pop!s, my new addiction), and I'm ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge because I decided not to enroll in school this term since I'd only have three subjects if I did. Bummer. Work was also good, stressful as always, but thank heavens for my friends. On to the books!