Saturday, February 22, 2014

Adventures of a Bibliophile: Gayle Forman in Manila 2014

January 18, 2014
National Bookstore Glorietta

This would be my fifth book signing event. Well third from an international author and I couldn't get anymore excited. Her books are unique since they come as a duet and not the normal trilogy or 4-part series.

From my experience on having my books signed, readers would go before 10AM yes...that is before the venue even opens. In this case, I arrived at 11AM and as expected there was a long line and I got number 277 *freaks out* Oh well, serves me right for not being at the venue before 10AM.

What saddened me is since National Bookstore sponsored the event (I guess I should have expected that) they wouldn't allow books purchased other than National Bookstore and Powerbooks. And books, Just One Year and Just One Day, were bought in Fully Booked they didn't allow it. Why the heck didn't I remove the price tag. See? I'm honest.

So here are my books and only 2 of them would be signed. *sad*

This is what's happening while I was waiting. National Bookstore swarmed by readers waiting for their turn to get their books signed.

This would be my only picture of Gayle Forman up close. Side story: I was 3 persons away from her and I decided to ready my phone for that mandatory photo-op. But my phone decided to die on that moment. That very moment. I was so devastated, why was this happening to me. Note to self: next time bring a powerbank. UGH.

my signed 'If I Stay' book. Can't wait for the movie on August

'Where She Went' book signed. Maybe she was tired from all the wasn't personalized. HAHAHAHAHA. Just like the Nicholas Sparks book.

She even gave everyone bookmarks with her books printed on them. Cool.

And she knows fangirlisms. Definitely cool.

As, always I loved the book signing. Though 2 of my books aren't signed and that I had no picture with her, I guess its still a wonderful experience.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

From the Shelf: The Marriage Mistake (Marriage to a Billionare #3)

Title: The Marriage Mistake (Marriage to a Billionare #3)
Author: Jennifer Probst
Genre: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Date read: February 15-16, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (2.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

Carina Conte has had a crush on her brother Michael’s best friend, Max Gray, since she was a teenager. Now she’s earned her MBA and come to work at Michael’s new venture, America’s fastest-growing bakery empire. But some things never change: her family still treats her like a child. With three drop-dead gorgeous siblings, she’s still the ugly duckling of the bunch. And Max, the company’s new CEO, still barely notices her.

Max knows Carina Conte is strictly off limits. But hot-blooded lust wins out at a conference when the two share a scorching one-night stand—and are busted by her mother! Now, forced by old-world Italian tradition into a marriage he’s not ready for, Max is miserable—and Carina is furious. Her new husband is about to realize that hell hath no fury like a woman transformed….

My Review: (also in goodreads)

Lookback: The Marriage Bargain, The Marriage Trap

Aside from having that interesting cover...again, the connections from the other books in the series and most importantly that spellbook; we now have Carina Conte as the protagonist. The story is set 3 years after the end of the second book which is 4 years after the first book ended. Alexa is pregnant with baby number 2 and Maggie is pregnant with twins. What is interesting is that Carina's better half is the same person she has been crushing on since forever and that is Michael's best friend, Maximus Gray. A reformed Carina: proud, intelligent, confident and independent shocked Max to the point where he couldn't handle it. Till they were assigned to go to Vegas and that is where the main point of the story happens. Once again, the plot revolves around the protagonists being trapped in an abrupt marriage and how the hell would they handle it.

Till the next read...

From the Shelf: The Marriage Trap (Marriage to a Billionare #2)

Title: The Marriage Trap (Marriage to a Billionare #2)
Author: Jennifer Probst
Genre: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Date read: February 13, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (2.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

To satisfy his late father's wishes, hot and single billionaire Michael Conte must find a bride; someone who will fit into his traditional family back home in Italy and fast, so his engaged sister will be allowed to wed. With no intention of being tied down, Michael proposes to fiery, free-spirited photographer Maggie Ryan: if she will play the part of his fiancee during her trip to Milan for a photo shoot, he will keep away from her married best friend, Alexa, and stop making Maggie nuts with their too-close-for- comfort flirtations. 

But once in Italy, sexual tension sparks the hottest no-strings- attached arrangement on any continent. Could marriage be the most enticing trap of all?

My Review: (also in goodreads)

Gaze withdrawn from that interesting cover, well. Anyway, this was one of those series wherein all stories are in the same universe; that in some way everyone is connected. This is what happens in the second book. Maggie, who suggested her best friend to her brother in the first book is somehow the protagonist of this sequel and the hot guy? Michael Conte, the Italian whom Nick was jealous of at the first book and who is somehow their close family friend now. The story is set a year after the first book happened and it seems like Maggie believes that Michael is in love with her married best friend. On the other hand, Michael is pressured into getting married since his sister wants to get married and by tradition, she couldn't tie the knot if he didn't first. That's where the story starts. Compared to the first book, I just liked this. There were parts where I was bored but I guess I finished it in one sitting somehow. And the book! That spell book is somewhat involved again.

Till the next read...

From the Shelf: The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionare #1)

Title: The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionare #1)
Author: Jennifer Probst
Genre: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Date read: February 12-13, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (3/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

A marriage in name only...

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend's older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…

My Review: (also in goodreads)

I have read my fair share of novels whose plot revolves around being thrown in a relationship just because it benefits the both of them and this one is no exception. Aside from the fact that the cover sparked my curiosity..well. Back to the review, got lost a bit there, Alexa was looking for someone she could depend on particularly someone who has a lot of money. Someone who could help her save their family house. Crazy as it seems, she did the whole prayer ritual to the Earth Mother based on a book of spells she has and waited. But her best friend Maggie set her up with her brother Nick knowing that he too needed somebody to get his company. All in all, the story was a bit amusing with some hot scenes (hence, the cover) and their path to true love.

Till the next read...

From the Shelf: Eleanor and Park

Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Date read: January 19 - February 5, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (4.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

My Review: (also in goodreads)

I was so curious about this book that I had this on my wishlist for our Christmas Party last year and I got it. No one should write about a teenage love story if they haven't felt the whole experience and for me Rainbow Rowell did. She captured the story of Eleanor and Park in the most realistic way possible. At first I was bored of the fact that instead of chapters, the story goes back and forth between Eleanor and Park's point of views. Theirs was a complicated, full bloom experience of what its like to have one's first love. The ending was so realistic and not what I had in mind but I guess as everyone would know, most of the time first loves aren't successful. The experience however makes it worth it.

Till the next read...

From the Shelf: Ang Boyfriend Kong Artista

Title: Ang Boyfriend Kong Artista
Author: ModernongMariaClara
Genre: Filipino Chick-Lit
Date read: January 20, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (2.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

One night, I waited for hours to see a falling star. But when I finally caught sight of it, it was gone bago pa man ako makapag-wish. That night, I vowed to never look up at the sky again. Siguro kasi na-realize ko that no matter how long I wait, hindi mapapasaakin ang tinitingala ko at kung bumagsak man ito, malayo pa rin para maabot ko.

Fast forward to the present. Enter Bryan Lim sa eksena.Guwapo, matalino, mayaman, pinagkakaguluhan. Every inch a star. At ako, si Daniella, isang simpleng high school girl, hindi kagandahan, hindi kayamanan, hindi katangakaran (lahat na yata ng hindi gaano, ako na, pero matalino naman, sabi nila), biglang naging girlfriend niya?


Hindi kaya ito na yung star na hinihintay kong bumagsak sa lupa?

My Review: (also in goodreads)

It's amazing to see famous Filipino wattpad stories being published. And even more amazing to know that people are beginning to love reading. I read this story out of sheer curiosity. The title already summarized what to be expected in the book what I wanted to read about was how did it come to end. Daniella is that simple girl surviving a break-up caused by her boyfriend and her traitorous ex-best friend colliding to the world of a world-famous artist. I know that these type of plots are cliche and sure some scenes were cringe-worthy but if you are looking for a book you could read in one sitting, I guess these ones are for you.

Till the next read...

From the Shelf: Diary ng Panget 4

Title: Diary ng Panget 4
Author: HaveYouSeenThisGirl
Genre: Filipino Chick-Lit
Date read: January 18, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (2.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

Ito na ang ika-apat at huling libro ng Diary ng Panget series. Nagasimula sa pagkadapa ni Eya sa may Corridor at sa pagtawa sa kanya ng antipatikong si Cross Sandford na naging amo niya, napunta sa walang katapusang bangayan hanggang ang inis sa isa't isa ay unti-unting nauwi sa isang damdamin na parehas nilang hindi maipaliwanag. Ano nga kaya itong namumuong damdamin nila para sa isa't isa? Pag-ibig kaya o gutom lang? Seryoso ba si Cross sa pagtatapat niya bigla ng damdamin niya o nauntog lang niya ang ulo niya nang malakas sa pader? Kung tila mga pusa't asong ito ay papasok sa isang relasyon, ano kaya ang mangyayari? Magkakagulo kaya? Parati pa rin kaya silang mag-aaway? O ito n ng oras na magmamahalan na talaga sila at kikiligin na tayong mga mambabasa? Pero teka, paano kung may umepal? Silang dalawa na nga lang, magulo na, paano pa kaya kung may dadagdag na mas magpapagulo pa?

My Review: (also in goodreads)

Just to finish this series, I held my breath and carried on. Okay, I did this to pass time while waiting for my turn at Gayle Forman's book signing. Cheesy, mushy, cringe-worthy are all the things I dread to read and see, unfortunately that would sum up everything about this book. So Cross and Eya are now a couple..I get it. But having them do stupid mushy things...UGH. The ending? Unexpected. Let's just circled around the beginning. That's it. Again and again, I would say that my teenage self would've liked this more, but now I'm starting to doubt myself.

Till the next read...

From the Shelf: Just One Year

Title: Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Date read: Jan 12-18, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (4.5/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

 My Review: (also in goodreads)

This isn't what I expected to be my first full read of 2014. But I'm glad it was. After that frustrating cliffhanger on Just One Day I immediately dove into reading the sequel. And this is Wilhem's side of the story. Before I wring his neck on what he did to Allyson/Lulu, I guess we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. This is his story. A story set on the time skip before he meets her again. His journey on self-discovery, forgiveness and knowing clearly what he wants. I think this was for me the best ending of his journey onward to the beginning of their story together but at the same time such a huge cliffhanger. I especially loved how the author mentioned Adam Wilde from the 'If I Stay' series...a small cameo.

Oh, by the I was writing this review, I'm waiting for my turn to get my books signed. Gayle Forman in Manila. Yay!

Till the next read...

From the Shelf: Just One Day

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Date read: December 2013 - Jan 12, 2014
Dawn Rates:  (4/5)

Summary (cr: goodreads)

A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

 My Review: (also in goodreads)

I would've finished this sooner but I was reading this in between everything. Anyway...

After enjoying Gayle Forman's duet books: If I Stay and Where She Went, she released another set of duet books which brought me to a whole new level. Even thinking of being adventurous and spontaneous for one day gives you this thrill. And in Paris no less! Allyson and Wilhem has this amazing chemistry. I did felt bad for them when they were apart for a year due to misunderstandings. This was self discovery on Allyson's part; her path to become brave and independent enough to spread her wings, confront the past and move on. The ending is such a cliffhanger that I want to start on Wilhem's side of the story on 'Just One Year'.

Till the next read...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2013 Reading Challenge

Yes, this is a failed challenge. I only read 62 out of 75 books.

Here are the books I've read for 2013:

01.  Hunter, Evie - The Pleasures of Winter
03.  Carmack, Cora - Losing It
04.  Riordan, Rick - The Lost Hero
05.  Riordan, Rick - The Son of Neptune
06.  Riordan, Rick - The Mark of Athena
07.  Stephens, Holly - Second-Rate Chances
08.  Mellom, Robin - Ditched: A Love Story
09.  Murphy, Monica - One Week Girlfriend
10. Murphy, Monica - Second Chance Boyfriend
19. Estes, David - The Sun Dwellers
20. Smith, Jennifer E. - This is What Happy Looks Like
21. James, Julie - Just the Sexiest Man Alive
22. James, Julie - Practice Makes Perfect
27. Whitney, Mary - Beside Your Heart
28. Colasanti, Susane - Keep Holding On
29. Millay, Katja - The Sea of Tranquility
30. Ford, Michael Thomas - Suicide Notes
31. Young, Samantha - On Dublin Street
32. Riordan, Rick - The Son of Sobek
33. Young, Samantha - Down London Road
34. Young, Samantha - On Dublin Street Christmas
35. Young, Samantha - Until Fountain Bridge
36. Moyes, Jojo - Me Before You
37. Clayton, Alice - Wallbanger
40. Roberts, C.J. - Epilogue (The Dark Duet # 3)
41. Ragan, T.R. - Abducted (Lizzy Gardner # 1)
44. HaveYouSeenThisGirl - Diary ng Panget
45. HaveYouSeenThisGirl - Diary ng Panget 2
46. Angelini, Josephine - Starcrossed (Starcrossed # 1)
47. Angelini, Josephine - Dreamless (Starcrossed # 2)
48. Angelini, Josephine - Goddess (Starcrossed # 3)
50. Moseley, Kirsty - Always You
51. Moseley, Kirsty - Free Falling
52. HaveYouSeenThisGirl - Diary ng Panget 3
57. Merkin, Fanny - 50 Shames of Earl Grey
58. Perkins, Stephanie - Anna and the French Kiss
59. Perkins, Stephanie - Lola and the Boy Next Door
60. Forman, Gayle - If I Stay
61. Forman, Gayle - Where She Went
62. Riordan, Rick - House of Hades

So you see I fell short on 13 books. Maybe because I was a bit busy last December. As for my 2014 reading challenge? It will still remain to be 75 books. I hope I can do this. Ah, the joy of reading.

Let the challenge begin...
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