Loving Local: The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

Hello, purposefully grainy picture

People can have good or bad timing. Lately I've been feeling the same way with books. I seem to keep starting books but have trouble finishing them in one go. I crack open one book, get some chapters in, leave it, then head on to the next. It's not like the books are bad or uninteresting. I'm just not feeling any of them at the moment. And this is where timing comes in.

I know we've all been through this: we come across a book that we can relate to on so many levels that you fall in love with it instantly. You love it not really for the story or the writing or the characters. No. It's more than that. You love it because this is you in a book.

Well at least that's how I felt reading The Boyfriend Backtrack. Perhaps the book and I just had perfect timing because I've been "dealing" with something the past few weeks so I was more than glad to come across a book that described how I was feeling. Or Dawn Lanuza's honest writing got to me. Maybe it was both. 

That's the thing with this book; it paints you a picture that you don't often find in love stories. Usually we get either ends of the spectrum in romances: the ultra shy girl who comes out of her shell in the end or the fearless lover who freely expresses herself. But what about the girl in between? The girl who's confident enough to meet guys and go on dates but can't bravely handle confrontation and having to do "the talk" with someone? What about the girl who cruises along and pretends she's happy with something (or someone) until she can't take it any longer? What about the girl who simply can't deal right now but says I'll get to it when I have to... eventually? I'm probably making the protagonist, Regina, sound rather unappealing right now but trust me when I say this, she is as real is it can get. And that is precisely what made the book so enjoyable for me.


Third Time's The Charm: A Review of Colleen Hoover's Confess

I am not a fan of Colleen Hoover's work. At least not most of her work. I don't exactly hide the fact that I don't appreciate how overly dramatic her books are. On top of the already heavy plot is a mix of characters with colorful backgrounds. And when I say colorful, I mean over the top stressful. It's as if one bad thing isn't enough; there has to be more than one thing that's wrong with the characters. Oh, he's deaf, but he can create beautiful music because he has a tormented soul thanks to his horrible home life (or something like that... kind of blurred out Maybe Someday). It's not that I am against books that deal with themes that are hard to swallow. There's just always too much going on in a typical Hoover book.

However, such is not the case in Confess where there was a noticeably better balance. Auburn, our protagonist is strong, attractive, and an all-around "good girl" — much like Hoover's other female leads. The only difference is she's not as complicated. She has a secret that will explain a lot as the story goes, but it's nothing heavy and dark. Sure, it was a huge surprise (to me at least) but it's not like she was constantly tormented with this secret. The same can be said about Owen, the love interest. He's light (mostly) and quirky, which already sets him apart from a lot of male leads in the same genre. It was refreshing reading a Hoover book with characters who weren't too much of everything


Event Alert: #NBSColorPopFair An Adult Coloring Book Event

Color Pop Fair at National Book Store

National Book Store, in partnership with Lifestyle Channel and SM Mall of Asia, will hold its first ever “Color Pop Fair” on October 24, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Main Mall Atrium, SM Mall of Asia. Admission is free for all events and workshops. Registration starts at 10 a.m.

Enjoy a Saturday of free, fun-filled coloring activities especially designed for adults who are artists-at-heart.  Learn basic adult coloring, shade selection, blending techniques, choosing the right coloring materials and other great coloring tips. Participate in the day-long art workshops. Choose from Zig Kuretake adult coloring demo by Iris Babao Uy, The Secret Techniques in Making your Coloring Look Professional by Alex M. Roxas, Mapedize your Bookmark – DIY Adult Coloring Bookmark, Creating Gradients with Chameleon Pens by June Digan, Sharpiefied Coloring with Carlo Arezza, Stabilo Adult Coloring Demo by Mark Dean Lim, The Art of Doodling and Stuff – A Create and Collaboration Workshop by Nelz Yumul, Coloring Tips from the Googly Gooeys by Tippy Go, Tips on Doodling and Adult Coloring by Kerby Rosanes, Marvy Uchida Basic Coloring Demonstration by Tepai Pascual, and many more. 

All coloring sheets and materials will be provided. Plus! Get 20% off on all imported adult coloring books at the event only. Color your world and join the fun at National Book Store’s Color Pop Fair.

The event is made possible in partnership with Artline Stix, Colleen, Dong-A, Faber Castell, Marvy Uchida, Stabilo, Sharpie, and Zig Kuretake. 

See posters or follow National Book Store on Facebook for more details. Shop online and buy eBooks at nationalbookstore.com. For reservations, call 8888-NBS (627) for calls within Metro Manila, 1-800-10-8888-NBS for calls outside Metro Manila, or text 0998-8888-NBS and 0917-8747-269. The National Book Store hotlines are open Mondays to Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert). Tag #NBSColorPopFair to join the discussion. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is Color Pop Fair?
The Color Pop Fair will be on October 24, 2015 at the Main Mall Atrium, SM Mall of Asia from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Is there a registration fee?
No. There is no registration fee. Admission is FREE. 

When will the registration be?
Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. and will continue throughout the day. Each guest will be asked to fill out the registration form upon arrival. Venue capacity is limited. Seats are on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS.

Will there be coloring sheets and coloring materials provided?
Yes. You can choose from several designs of coloring sheets. Coloring pens will also be provided and for sharing. Kindly return the coloring pens so others can use it afterwards.

Can I bring my own adult coloring books and coloring materials?
Yes, as long as the coloring books and materials were purchased from National Book Store, NBS Express and Powerbooks.

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A Quick Review of The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins

Where do I begin? 

Well, first off, it's not a bad book. I found myself deeply engrossed in the story very early on. Full disclosure: I was mostly looking for the next Gone Girl. I don't read mystery/thrillers often so Gillian Flynn was basically "it" for me. You might say I set my peg too high or that my appreciation of Gone Girl has clouded my judgement. True, true. But! Even if! I simply did not think it was as mind-blowing as I hoped it would be.

Let's start with what I did like. Hawkins used three different voices in telling the story behind the disappearance of a woman. Rachel, Anna, and Megan were all very effective yet equally unreliable storytellers. We have an alcoholic, a liar, and a cheat. Doesn't exactly sound promising but the story becomes increasingly intriguing with each chapter because of how they relay the events that took place. If anything, their seeming insanity (at times) and paranoia is what kept me quickly turning pages. 

So I was there.

I was with them.

I was on a high trying to process everything. I wanted so bad to get to the part where the bad guy is revealed!