Friday, November 30, 2012

From the shelf: Beautiful Chaos

Title: Beautiful Chaos
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance, Witches
Date read: November 25-29, 2012
Dawn Rates:  (4.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.

Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.
My Review: (also in goodreads)

"Eighteen Moons, eighteen nears, The Wheel of Fate herself appears, Then the One Who Is Two Will bring the Order back anew..."

After Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness comes the third book of the Caster Chronicles and it had one theme: the inevitable truth and the consequence of the claiming: Chaos has descended upon Gaitlin. 

There are several crossroads the characters have to face in this book:
  • Link facing the fact that he is part Incubus
  • Ridley facing the fact that she can no longer be a caster
  • Lena facing the fact that her claiming triggered the imbalance of the Order
  • Ethan battling his nightmares
There are moments throughout the book which I find unexpected (and I'm not spoiling those who hasn't read it yet)
  • The location of John Breed
  • The identity of the wheel of fate (I didn't quite expect got me baffled)
  • The turn of events at a certain trial (I laughed at the witty humor)
Old foes, memories of long gone, new love, new friendships, new characters, allies, new discoveries and death all of these were all throughout the whole book. At first, I was sort of bored with the whole cat and mouse chase at the beginning of the book it was like a whole detective thing (thus the 4 1/2 star rating). But everything became clearer as it neared the middle. I actually teared up at the events that happened at the the end, that was unexpected. I loved the story and I can't wait to read the finale.

"The right thing and the easy thing are never the same"
Till the next read...Beautiful Redemption for that matter...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

From the shelf: Beautiful Darkness

Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance, Witches
Date read: November 10-25, 2012
Dawn Rates:  (5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
My Review: (also in goodreads)

After Beautiful Creatures, the book starts where it left off: the funeral, a dark depressing event which brought Casters, Succubus and Incubus together. The title Beautiful Darkness was apt. There was a lot of darkness going on in this book and everytime I turn the page it just keeps on getting darker and darker. Lena seems to be battling something bigger than her that she pushes Ethan away. I really like Lena and I know she has issues and things to deal with but seriously, as I read more into the book I'm mentally shouting "Dump Lena!" to Ethan

There is something off with that Lucille Ball cat (which I finally know the reason later on). Olivia "Liv" Durand is a college intern at the library where Ethan has his summer job. Seems that she knows more than stacking books and quoting lines (as Link would say Marian Jr.) One of my favorite scenes is where Ethan, Link and Liv were hanging out at the fair but it all crashed when Lena wanted to talk to Ethan. And Ethan forgave her not staying angry for long. Seriously Ethan? Make her suffer a bit. Sheesh.

My favorite line (I feel for you Ethan): 
"It was one thing to be attacked by someone you hated, but this was something else. This was the kind of hurt that could only be inflicted by someone you loved, who you thought loved you. It was sort of like being stabbed from the inside out." - Ethan

So many secrets were revealed and so many unexpected  twists arose in this sequel and I think there were more to come in the next book. What I didn't like was Ethan and Link behaving like love struck idiots but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt since they live in a small town and their world hasn't expanded yet. Though them being in love has its pros and cons. Pro: lucky girl con: idiots. *Spoiler* someone comes back from the dead and someone becomes a supernatural.

Macon Ravenwood and Lila Ever's connection is the best thing that happened. 

I know that Ridley is dark but I can't but feel affectionate for her since she sacrificed a lot because of her sisterly love for Lena; whether she admits it or not. I love Link's "babe" and Ridley's "Don't call me babe" bickering.

Eighteen moons, eighteen spheres,
From the world beyond the years,
One unchosen, death or birth,
A broken day awaits the earth...

I love this sequel and I'm off to read Beautiful Chaos.
Till the next read...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

From the shelf: Table for Two

Title: Table for Two
Author: Marla Miniano
Genre: Filipino Chick-Lit
Date read: November 23, 2012
Dawn Rates:  (3.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

In Table for Two, a corner table at a quiet coffee shop takes center stage, the latest release from Summit Books author Marla Miniano. The table is the setting for pivotal moments in the lives of the main characters—who, as it seems, are quite the lovelorn bunch. First, there’s the long-time couple on the verge of calling it quits after college graduation. Then there’s the serial dater who accepts her younger brother’s challenge to go dateless for two months. There’s also a photographer who attempts to dissuade his best friend from getting married (and we’re curious to find out why). And finally, there are the two hopefuls: a young man who meets with the girl he never stopped loving, and a young lady who pores over romance novels, waiting for her turn to fall in love

My Review: (also in goodreads)

Just as I predicted, and as the summary provided, the book was a collection of short stories which circles around a single coffee shop. It seems that this magical place is the lone witness to the different stories. The book consist of five short stories entitled: Fresh, Timeout, All the Best, This Closure and Table for Two. Stories concerning heartbreak, search for love, growing up, the courage to say goodbye, the magic of hello and that realization that everyone is interconnected somehow. I read this book just to pass the time and I can say this is a perfect afternoon book and that I just breezed right through it. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a light read.

"When you think about it, everything is fleeting. Every second of every minute of every hour. The race and the rush and the choices and the chances. The love that grazed your fingertips, possibilities that brushed past you on your way out to wok or play or save the world, a happy ending you may have believed in with a faith beyond anything you could have imagined you were capable of. We shove each other for space, we lament the loss of time as we scatter it throughout the vast landscape of our lives. When we count the broken pieces, we realize that we will not be here forever, so we chase after these moments, seize them, and try to make them last and last and last. But maybe the best we can do is to understand that there is one thing in particular that should always come first..." - Table for Two (Marla Miniano)

Till the next read...

Friday, November 23, 2012

From the shelf: The Star Dwellers

Title: The Star Dwellers
Author: David Estes
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Date read: November 23, 2012
Dawn Rates:  (5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

After rescuing her father and younger sister, Adele is forced to leave her family and Tristan behind to find her mother in the cruel and dangerous realm of the star dwellers. 

Amidst blossoming feelings for Adele, Tristan must cast his feelings aside and let her find her own way amongst the star dwellers, while he accompanies Adele's father to meet with the leaders of the moon dwellers and decide the fate of the Tri-Realms.

Will Adele be able to rescue her mother and make it back to the Moon Realm before the President and the sun dweller soldiers destroy her family?

Can Tristan convince the moon dweller puppets of the error of their ways?

Was Adele's lost kiss with Tristan her one and only chance at love

In her world there's only one rule: Someone must die.

My Review: (also in goodreads)

Once again got this e-book from an event at goodreads because I posted my review for The Moon Dwellers. This is the second book of the Tri-Realm trilogy.

Unlike the first book where I was confused and slightly bored at the beginning, this book is fast-paced and a page-turner. The kind of book where you would always wonder what happens next and that one would reluctantly put down.

Well, I think nobody should blame Tristan just for the fact that he's a sun dweller and the president's son, a choice he didn't make. But I guess he has to work harder for everyone to trust him. On a side note, Roc's wit and humor leveled up, that's for sure.

So many secrets were revealed in this book that it made my heart race the entire time and that trust is a big issue in this sequel.

Mind blowing and heart-wrenching moments (and for the purpose of everyone who didn't read yet I'll be a bit cryptic):
  • The identity of one star dweller general. What a twist!
  • Roc has an interest got me on the edge of my seat, laughing.
  • The secret of president Nailin concerning Tristan and Roc
  • The video conference between Ben, Elsey, Roc, Tristan AND Anna, Tawni, Adele
  • The star dweller spy for the sun dwellers
  • Who was killed during the revelation of the star dweller spy
  • The forum between the star dweller generals
  • The reunion
  • The unexpected death at the peace summit
I got teary-eyed at the aftermath of what happened to the peace summit as I was saddened by this, sometimes a tragedy paves way for something better.

And with that, I can't wait and most definitely anticipate the third book. (Plus I want to know the true meaning of Anna's note about Tristan and Adele). I could honestly say this would be the best book of the series so far. That was awesome.

Till the next read...

From the shelf: The Moon Dwellers

Title: The Moon Dwellers
Author: David Estes
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Date read: November 21-22, 2012
Dawn Rates:  (5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms. 

After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents' crimes of treason.

Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.

At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.

When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.

In their world, someone must die.

My Review: (also in goodreads)

I got the book at a read to review event at a group I joined at goodreads. This book is the first of the series, another dystopian novel. At first I was confused as to what a sun dweller, moon dweller and star dweller were. The protagonist Adele is one bad-ass, distrustful loner who just cares about oneself. After all, living as a moon dweller would give you that mindset. The first few chapters seems confusing especially at how Adele describes her life and that comparisons to other things. It then passes the baton to Tristan, the other protagonist who like Adele, narrates the story in his point of view. The present situation is that this Tri-realm belongs to a world in the future where people live underground and that everything is bleak and gloomy for everyone.

Tristan's line "I fear for her, a girl I don’t even know." and the fact that they had this inexplicable connection got me curious and slowly interested in the story (thus the 4 and 1/2 star review) about the Tri-realms where as he quotes: "We call ourselves a democracy, but rule like a dictatorship." I love Roc's witty humor and Cole's sarcasm. 

If I would look and judge it by the cover, it would slightly disinterest me but this book gave took me into a wild roller coaster ride of emotions from utter disgust of the way the sun dwellers are living, remorse on what happened to Adele's family, Tawni and Cole's genuine friendship, Roc and Tristan's friendship, to heartbreak over what happened to Cole and my heart is racing as I turn the page. Loved the book and I can't wait on what happens next. If there was a paperback (or hardbound) version of the book, I will definitely purchase it.

And because of that, I earned the privilege to read the second book of the series "The Star Dwellers". Thank you David, I will definitely buy the book and I hope there is a hardbound copy ^^

Till the next read...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

From the shelf: Have Baby, Will Date

Title: Have Baby, Will Date
Author: Andrea Pasion
Genre: Filipino Chick-Lit
Date read: November 10-11, 2012
Dawn Rates:  (2.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

From the shopping list of Denise, 28, freelance pro photographer/new mommy:
1. Film for stock (you never know when digital will backfire)
2. Garbage bags XXL (for all those plastic kubyertos and takeout boxes for one)
3. Pills (last time you forgot them, well...)
4. Condoms (you can't be too sure - just in case he doesn't have any)
5. Calcium supplements (among other vitamins OB-Gyne prescribed)
6. Stretchy tops (didn't realize your tummy could balloon so much)
7. Maternity pants (never ever succumb to tent-like dresses)
8. Disposable diapers (lots and lots of them)
9. Breast pump (no, it's not a foreplay trick)
10. Infant formula (but breast milk is still best for babies)
11. Coke in cans (for your babysitter who makes more money than you, by the way)
12. Lipstick (the really nice, luxe kind, to make you feel better because it's not going to be over soon - it's only the beginning)

For on-the-go shutterbabe Denise. one night of fun quickly turns into a life extraordinary as she assumes a new title: Mommy. Er, make that: Single Mommy. With a demanding career, a brand new baby girl, and very little breast milk, she needs all the help she can get, including that from Coby: Father of the Child. No one said motherhood was easy but single motherhood sure raises the bar!
My opinion? This book is the kind of book that you could read in one sitting and I'm not lying if I say that. A typical feel-good book, it follows the life of Denise who got (forgive me for this) knocked-up just because she forgot the pill. Is the father of the baby a bastard? Wrong. He's a doting father and even offered marriage but I guess the protagonist didn't want long term commitments. This is the kind of book that you could read in a 3 hour trip or in my case an hour. The plot is cute and I was curious, yes. It is the kind of story that isn't so stressful, reading this book was a breeze.

Till the next read...
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