Sunday, October 21, 2012

From the shelf: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance, Witches
Date read: October 19-21, 2012
Dawn Rates:  (4/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

There were no surprises in Gatlin County. We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.At least, that's what I thought.Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.There was a curse.There was a girl.And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

My opinion? I wanted to read the series even before Beautiful Chaos came out. But it seemed like I didn't have the time, here I am now minutes after reading the first book giving my review of it. The male protagonist Ethan Wate (also the narrator of the story) is 16 years old. Yeah~ this is a paranormal YA novel AND yeah~ the character is almost 10 years my junior...seriously~ Anyway, situated in a small town named Gaitlin, here comes the typical "new-girl-in-a-place-where-everybody-knew-everybody-and-a-small-town-boy-who-wanted-to-live-away-from-the-town-he-knew-his-whole-life" scenario. She has this mystery vibe to her and that's where the plot thickens (another same-same situation). Truthfully, the beginning was a bit bland not until I made it to page 65 where they saw the locket in what it seemed to be like a token of distant past, a certain past which involves the mysterious Genevieve - Ethan couple. Interesting. The book captured me when Amma said, "you are not ready"  I thought, ready for what? HUH? What makes it different from the rest? The way the story builds up making you want to ask a thousand questions. Though I wouldn't give it a perfect score, it got better and better as I turned the page. This book at first was so-so but it became so addicting. The mystery in this novel extends to numerous possibilities. I wouldn't spoil it but I felt sorry for Macon Ravenwood, his character may be annoying but still...

Seventeen moons, seventeen years,
Eyes where Dark or Light appears,
Gold for yes and green for no,
Seventeen the last to know.

My favorite line: “Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was done long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures.” - Macon Ravenwood

Till the next read...and when I say next, on to the next novel in the series (Beautiful Darkness)
Do you smell lemons and rosemary? ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hikaru's Library

Yes~ I was even surprised myself that I took the time and allotted a section of this blog for my book reviews (a newbie at that). Just a brief review of this addiction (maybe it was~)  I love books. I love reading. I am one of those children who'd rather have a book for her birthday than a barbie doll...or polly pockets (maybe not polly pockets, they were the only girly thing I loved). I am one of those children that would willingly write a book report that would be submitted next week but would be done in a day. I am one of those people who would rather have people giving me books plus writing a dedication on it for me. That makes my heart melt.

I have been reading as long as I can remember. Although, I didn't preserve some of my 3 year old books *sigh* Milton the monster and his squeaky tummy, The Lost Kitten *sigh* most of them are still with me.

And thus, I decided to blog about it:
Hikaru's Library, yep...Hikaru has always been my favorite Japanese name and I wished I had that name. These pictures were taken on January 1, 2012, the day I took liberty on (finally) organizing my books.

A shelf for some of the popular authors of this time: Dan Brown, Paulo Coelho, Nicholas Sparks, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan
Back story: I have all of Rick Riordan's series (Percy Jackson series, Kane Chronicles, Heroes of Olympus series) yes~ I'm a fan. And that Paulo Coelho book, Brida? It was a gift from a dear friend, Ms. Liz.

Summit Media's W.I.T.C.H. series, I haven't completed the series and this was popular way back when I was in high school (10 years ago)

I had my fair share of Archie comics. But of course I'm biased to the Betty and Veronica series

This was my first "grown-up" book report in the 5th grade. Charles Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" The pages are sort of crisp and tattered.

Here are some non-fiction books

My college books

Here are some pre-teen books, Harriet the Spy leading the bunch

I love this series! Ann Martin's "The Baby Sitters Club" series. This was even made into a movie. I collected these books when I was in elementary-high school. A character there has a name same as mine.

Actually, it was my sister Marion and my best friend Dianne who read Francine Pascual's "The Unicorn Club" series. Jessica Wakefield and her friends.

And I was more into Francine Pascual's "Sweet Valley" series. And yea~ I had that phase.

This was mostly my brother TJ's baby books.

Some of my random novels

I collect manga too! (A japanese comic book) My favorite is "Yamato Nadeshiko Schihenge" or known internationally as "The Wallflower"

This book has been with my mother a long time. I think they were still children? Her favorite story here is "Teeny Tiny" The book is too old that the pages are yellow and crisp

I love the Filipino author Bob Ong's books. They are hilarious but also serious in a way.

Here are some of my books below the manga shelf. Yes~ I have the Twilight series (haters, so sue me) as you can see I also have the Harry Potter series. Don't ever, ever ask me to take sides coz I couldn't compare the both of them. They are of different genres. And I acknowledge that once not too long ago, I was in a phase where I was in love with Edward Cullen. To make things light, I want the Harry Potter treasure chest but it costs 7,000 PHP OTL (donations are most welcome, my birthday is coming up. LOL~)

I also have Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series but only up to book 9. 

Here are my books

Bookshelf number 1

Bookshelf number 2

It took me 5 hours to organize the books (maybe more). I organized the books based on classification (e.g. Childrens, series, pre-teens, manga etc). My mom even told me that I could open my own Booksale shop. She even told me that if I buy any more me and my sister's room would be more of a library than a room, that I would stack books on the floor again (that is why she bought Bookshelf number 1) All recent books were in the bookshelf nearest to my bed (Bookshelf number 1). The weird thing is when  my sister or brother borrows a book without permission, when I come home I could sense if someone has gone through the bookshelves.

This is my ritual whenever I buy a new book:
1. I feel the cover
2. I smell the pages
3. And most importantly, I read the last chapter. LOL~

I don't know why but I love the smell of old books, the older the better; maybe its because of the paper. Maybe leather-bound books smell good in an old library.

Oh~ and I love whoever wrote this that I re-blogged it in here last year. Entitled: Date a girl who reads

I could go on and on babbling about this but I guess, this is all for now.
Till the next read...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

From the shelf: Stranger in the Moonlight by Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux's "Stranger in the Moonlight"
This was the first time I would be reviewing a novel of contemporary romance. I have her "Remembrance" novel but sadly I didn't finish it. One day I may. Apparently "Stranger in the Moonlight" is the 7th novel in the Edilean series but the 2nd in the Moonlight Edilean series. Having "Moonlight in the Morning" and "Moonlight Masquarade" (to be published in 2013) completing the Moonlight trilogy.
"An enchanting new contemporary romance set in Edilean, about two childhood friends who are reunited after years apart, only to discover that the spark they felt even as kids still remains...

When Kim Aldredge was eight, she met a twelve-year-old boy named Travis who was visiting her hometown of Edilean, Virginia with his mother. Even though they were there under mysterious circumstances, that didn’t stop the children from becoming friends. For two blissful weeks they rode bikes, played baseball, and read out loud to each other. They were ordinary things to Kim, but to Travis, they were oh-so-extraordinary. And Travis helped Kim discover her love of making jewelry, the passion that became her profession. Before he left he told her that someday he’d return, and for years Kim kept the photo of her and Travis, their arms around each other and smiling, close to her. 

Travis is now a successful attorney in Manhattan—but there are things in his life that he doesn’t want made public. And even though he’s traveled the world, he still thinks about that summer he spent in Edilean, and the girl he met there. Those weeks changed his life forever. When Travis learns that his mother has moved back to Edilean and is planning to remarry, he decides it’s time that he return as well—not just to investigate this future husband, but to finally fulfill the promise he made to Kim all those years before…. 
(cr. goodreads)
My opinion? I'm biased with plots revolving around childhood friends torn apart not seeing each other for many years only for the relationship restored by fate and in the process have fallen in love with each other. That made me interested in this book. I don't read Jude Deveraux's books that much. Heck, I even fell asleep towards the middle of her "Remembrance" novel (but I will give it justice soon). I read romance novels and I find historical romances quite entertaining *cough* Barbara Cartland *cough* and this was no exception. I find the story interesting even the male protagonists' back story although I find it creepy for him to be stalking the female protagonist when he could have just talked to her all those years but it was kind of romantic (see the irony?). Though this novel is set in the modern times there were still references on historical backgrounds such as Kim looking for the missing link in her ancestry. I breezed through the novel and I guess its a good one time read especially if you want a good past time. I found out that it was the second book of the Moonlight Edilean series. Would I read the rest? Maybe not now or anytime soon, someday...we'll see.

"Stranger in the Moonlight" gets (3.5/5)

Till the next read...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

From the shelf: 50 Shades Trilogy by EL James

This trilogy has been my reference to two of the novels I reviewed, which has a similar genre. (Beautiful Disaster, The Stranger I Married) Though both of these novels could be classified as mature, 50 Shades Trilogy has taken it a notch higher.

EL James' "50 Shades Trilogy"

I have read the trilogy (in e-book form) since April of 2012 and only reviewed it now (seriously, I was procrastinating). First I was curious as to why it is often reviewed by book lovers everywhere. I was also amazed at how it started as a fanfiction to the Twilight saga, but since its too ero-mantic the writer had to change the names and do her own story. It was then when Delamar Arias, told the listeners of The Morning Rush (My favorite morning show on radio with Chico Garcia and Gino Quillamor - a recent addition) that she has been reading an interesting book of the mature genre and that it would be on sale in the Philippines very soon. I was curious but somewhat indecisive if I should read this, after all I have never read a novel this hardcore erotic.

The trilogy has been split up into books of these titles: 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed. In 50 Shades of Grey, we get to know the characters, Christian Grey a young multimillionaire oozing with charm and Anastasia Steele, a college senior. The two meet when her best friend, Katherine Kavanagh, asked her to fill-in for the interview with Grey since she was sick, that is where their attraction started. It is revealed that multimillionaire, charming Grey isn't so innocent after all. Ana who is kind of mesmerized with Grey is pulled in for a wild ride of BDSM, contracts and extreme emotions. Still not signing a contract of the dominant/submissive relationship, Steele breaks off what she has with Grey after peeking into his world; and that's where 50 Shades Darker start. In the second book, Grey copes up with the new emotions unveiled after Steele breaks it off. It is shown that even though Ana is very much attracted and there are already deep emotions involved, she would not like to settle in a dominant/submissive relationship with Grey. Christian at that moment was in a daze and rather confused on the emotions he has towards Ana. He feels jealous, possessive and caring towards her but at the same time keeps her at arm's length. At the end of the book he faces his emotions and  proposes to her, loving her but doubting if she loves him too; that's where the third book picks up. In 50 Shades Freed, Ana is coping up and learning to have her happy ever after with the man she loves who has trust issues. For them to be truly happy, they have to overcome Christian Grey's past, his trust issues and him willing for that to happen. And for that to happen Ana Steele has to be firm, always let her husband feel that he is loved and she must be patient. As what his psychologist would say, he may be mature with regards to the logical side (his businesses and work ethic) but he has the maturity of an adolescent boy when it comes to emotions. In this book they will have to deal with something life-changing that would make Grey think about things.

My opinion? These books are not just mature; this trilogy has taken the word erotic into a whole new level. Popularly tagged as mommy porn (this I do agree), I think this trilogy has a lot to offer. Amidst the bondage, BDSM, erotic scenes that could make a person palpitate, I think Grey's story is deep. The story isn't just about sex. It came from a dark past which he tries to cover up. He was like that because of what happened to his mom, to Mrs. Robinson and  his guilt on his adoptive parents. Finally he met someone who could be of equal standing and because its his first time to feel such emotions, he couldn't deal with them. The only thing he knows best is dominance and control, but somehow for the relationship to work he must learn to compromise. These books aren't for the minor audience. The readers should get past the erotic, out of this world sex scenes and understand the back story. That is where you'll get the essence of this trilogy.

"50 Shades Trilogy" gets(5/5)

For the record, since they are planning to make movies out of the trilogy, I would like Matt Bomer to take on the role. And yes~ I'm Greyessed

Till the next read... (Laters baby~)
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