10/24/2015

Loving Local: The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

Hello, purposefully grainy picture
Timing. 

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.

10/18/2015

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

10/17/2015

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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9/16/2015

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!

Then.

5/31/2015

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (+giveaway)



Everything used to seem so final, inevitable, predestined. But now I'm starting to believe that life may have more surprises in store than I ever realized. Maybe it's all relative, not just light and time like Einstein theorized, but everything. Like life can seem awful and unfixable until the universe shifts a little and the observation point is altered, and then suddenly, everything seems more bearable.

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It's been a while since I've read anything fiction and I'm glad I stumbled upon My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. The funny thing is, I only bought this book because I thought the title perfectly sums up my personal drama. (in Filipino: hugot) If you're a regular on this blog, you'd know that I often purchase books without checking the summary on the back or cover flap first. So imagine my surprise when I discovered what this book is actually about!

I'm gonna clue you in: suicide

This book is far from easy breezy. It deals with depression and suicide — a theme that is difficult to tackle. What sets this apart is the way Warga depicted Aysel and her suicide partner, Roman. Unlike other books, this has characters that are believable and relatable. I guess it was in the way their thoughts on the matter were laid out. Aysel's take on depression and death was quite insightful.  There was none of the pretentiousness that a lot of young adult contemporary books tend to have. Like, I could totally imagine a teenager narrating the whole thing. (*coughs* Augustus Waters and the cigarette metaphor *coughs*)

4/04/2015

March Means More Books!

But who am I kidding? March doesn't mean more books. The whole year means you get to stack up your already stacked up shelves! That's just the way booknerds roll.

One thing I noticed about my book buying habit though is: it's getting harder and harder to stop buying books on a whim. I tell myself, I've been dying to have this one! And often times, it's true. The question is though: do I even have time right now to read this? 

Honestly   —

I don't.

No regrets though! *cackles*


(I'm sure my 25 year old self is doing the facepalm right now somewhere)

Here we are again with a book haul post, folks! I'm pretty psyched to share last month's buys because a lot of them have been on my wishlist for so long. I can't remember what took me so long to get them but one day I just decided I would buy them. Or maybe I had a hard day at work so my book buying is justified. Take a look!

4/03/2015

I Need Anastasia Steele Bangs (and Other Thoughts While Watching Fifty Shades of Grey)

Source: starcasm.net
So I recently had the chance to watch Fifty Shades of Grey for the very first time... and it was uncut too! No black ovals, thankyouverymuch. I wanted to watch it for only two reasons:

1. Jamie Dornan (duh)
2. Dakota Johnson — because people said she was ahhmazing and I had to see for myself. I wasn't one of those who actively expressed their dislike of the actors chosen because I'm not a fan of the books. However, I also wasn't entirely sold with the casting. So yeah, I wanted to see if they had chemistry. 

Aaaand okay, maybe I was a wee bit curious how they handled the softcore porn *coughs* 

 But ANYWAY! Let's get on to my reactions, shall we?

I'm splitting my FSoG reactions into parts because I just have soooo much to say and I don't want to dump everything in a very long entry. 

ENJOY (hopefully)

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1. I'm loving their soundtrack already. So sexy.

2. GASP. THE TIES. GRAY TIES SPOTTED, PEOPLE!

3. I love Jamie Dornan's shoulders. And back. I'm a shoulders-and-back girl.

4. I am loving Dakota Johnson's bangs.

5. Lip-biting? Already?

3/14/2015

My (Overdue) February Book Haul


Hey guys! I haven't posted anything in a couple of weeks and I'm sorry. I can't really explain right now why, but hopefully in the future I would be able to. Once thing's for sure though: everything's fine. ;-)

Today though I'm going to share the books I got last month. I quit doing book haul posts a while back but I figured now's a nice time to start since I frequently buy books given how stressed I usually am. My stress level is directly proportional to how many books I buy at a time. The more stressed I am, the more books I buy, BASICALLY. I don't always go to the bookstore now but when I do, I can't leave with just one book. This counts as retail therapy, yeah? Aside from that, I realized I share my books on Instagram and Twitter anyway so there's no use keeping it a secret here.

Without further ado... my February haul!

The Powerbooks Book Lovers Sale pity haul. I was quite envious of people who were able to snag LOTS of young adult books from the big sale. I was only able to go to one branch — the one near my office — and it was a small one so it was pretty much slim pickings. I found these though and bought each one for only 50 pesos (less than a dollar!). I had to buy something. If I didn't I'd only feel super sad for not getting anything during the sale period. Also, I feel like I'm going to complete my Blue Bloods collection from book sales alone. Most of the books I have from that series are from bargain bins! I'm gonna take it as a challenge to buy the rest of the books not in full price. LOL


2/22/2015

What's in My Bag? (Old Receipts... and Books!)


Hello, lovely book nerds. I present to you: THE CONTENTS OF MY BAG! Huzzah!!!

(I say that like I carry around magic but it's really just a bunch of girly stuff and crumpled up receipts. LOL totally not kidding with the title b-t-dubs.)

The picture I used for my banner is indeed mine. It's not all that I bring daily but that's the bulk of it and the only things you'd want to see. So here's a rundown of what I carry to work (and anywhere else for that matter) everyday:

1. Kikay kit. 

Quick Filipino lesson for the benefit of everyone who doesn't speak the language:


So a kikay kit is basically a tiny pouch where I store all of my girly things i.e. some makeup, some hair scrunchies etc. (I also store my toothbrush, toothpaste and contacts solution there but let's file that under "girly things" too) I can't leave the house without this. I don't put a lot of makeup on my face though but it's sort of comforting to know I have something with me if I'd ever need it. Don't want to be caught unprepared! And trust me, if you live in a tropical country where it's almost always humid, you're gonna need something to make your face not look so greasy. Ack!

2/21/2015

Spoiler Alert: Gwen Stacy is So Dead



It’s love month and here on Nerd Book I wanted to make you guys a little something-something that would fit the theme. *totally unsuspicious wink* I’m totally trustworthy, just ask the Bookeater. *another totally unsuspicious wink* Okay my winky eye is getting tired, so I’d say it’s about time to jump into the thick of this article, so let’s go!

This article is going to be about the two most recent Spiderman films, and just so you can’t say I didn’t warn you, 
SPOILER ALERT.

You can be a DC fan or a marvel fan but you gotta love you some Spidey right? I mean back in 2000(ish) Tobey Maguire awkwardly brought Peter Parker to life on the big screen. It’s not hard to relate to a nerdy guy that’s always picked on by most of his schoolmates. Kind of hard to argue with this point, it’s like he was created so that high school loners across the world would have a hero to relate to. To my knowledge, and personal experience, he was the first hero any normal person could relate with (unless you were a popular kid in high school), you could actually go up to Peter Parker and go “oh hey bro, I kinda feel you.” Imagine saying something like that to ultra-bourgeois psychopath Bruce Wayne, or alien from another mother Clark Kent. Right? Right. Now after 3 movies, the last one including an awkward emo strut from Tobey Maguire, we immediately got word that they’re rebooting Spiderman. Whoaaaaaa. That was big for me, it kinda just shakes me so hard whenever someone reboots a franchise, off the top of my head I can't help but think there was an executive that just went “oh hey that was nice, but I think we can top that.” And reboot they did.

Enter the Spiderman of the new generation, Andrew Garfield. Okay I’m not gonna go in depth with this guy because he’s not the main point of this article. What? A Spiderman article that’s not focused on Spiderman? Why Melo?? I WILL TELL YOU READER. But you’ll have to wait to hear the answer. Hahah

2/19/2015

Blogger Woes: OMG How Do You Spell That? And More



Each time I create a blog post, I start with one tab in my browser. By the time I finish, I have multiple tabs open. This is why I take waaaay (way) too long working on a single entry. I constantly need to check something online. There's the usual buy links and book covers but the more time-consuming ones are what I'm going to share with you today. If you happen to do any of these, then WUHOO! I AM NOT ALONE IN THE WORLD!

1. Spell-check pro

I can't be the only one who abuses Google, right? I can articulate myself just fine in the English language but sometimes I find myself needing some help from everyone's dear ol' friend Google. (There's always the print dictionary but come on...) I mostly check out spellings because I am not always on my A-game. Grammar? Sure, I can handle it. But spelling? Uh... *kroo kroo* And sometimes I come across words that are very unfamiliar to me. Take for example, bildungsroman. I was transcribing my audio copy of the blogger forum with Marie Lu I attended last year. She said bildungsroman but to a non-writer such as myself, I thought I heard buildings roman. I was like, hey, wait a minute! That can't be right? I had to look it up and so I did. HEHE.

And GOOGLE IS SMART, YOU GUYS (duh):

2/15/2015

Happy Valentine's to Every FANGIRL Out There (A GIVEAWAY!)


HAPPY (post) VALENTINE'S DAY, BOOKNERDS!!! How's everyone doing? I hope everyone had a good February 14th as I surely did. I must admit though, I barely read over the weekend because of all the hot air balloon happiness but no worries! I have the entire month of February to catch up. I'll be reading only contemporary romances this month, mostly YA if I could help it, and fingers crossed I find something worthy of a 5-star rating (or four... four's not so bad).

So anyhow, this post was supposed to go up yesterday — Valentine's day itself! — but I apparently failed to click "schedule" when I drafted my post. Eep! I had to add this whole intro otherwise my post would sound weird and a little blast from the past. Heehee.

In case you don't know yet, I'm a proud fangirl... or fantard as some people call it. Meaning, I'm not ashamed to obsess about books, movies, or series. As in I would go on days just talking about that one topic to the point where my friends and family tell me to shut up... they don't but I reckon they want to. They're just too nice to tell me outright. (LOVE YOU!!!) So I figured, for Valentine's day I'll share the love and  pass on the fangirling to YOU. Plus, I'm making it a wee bit Valentine's-y because WHY NOT? Hey, love comes in all forms, right? Excuses, excuses. 

2/10/2015

I was MEANT to Read 'Meant to Be' by Lauren Morrill – and so are YOU!

The book cover matches my sheets. Coincidence? I think not! MEANT. TO. BE. LOL.
View synopsis HERE
Reading slumps are the worst. I was on a slump that stretched for about 2 months when I started reading Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. I remember being in Fullybooked three weeks ago, January 22nd to be specific, (the receipt is still in the book!), browsing the young adult contemporary shelves in search of a book that would hopefully help my reading mojo back. Like always, I consult Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again via SMS. She may not always be available to reply to my senseless and often random text messages, but I text her just the same. I feel like I just need someone to go all out book nerdy with, you know? So anyway, Dianne and I were texting and I asked her if she had any easy reads (i.e. nothing too intense, feels sprinkled all over) to recommend... SPOILER: if you think she said MEANT TO BE! well, she didn't. Nope. Heehee. She eagerly told me to pick up any Kasie West book. So... yeah.

Phase 1: Pick a book you WANT to read

What's the point in telling you this side story? Well... I don't have one actually hahaha but!!! I'd like to think I was meant to read this book (HAHA yeah, I totally found a way to say that) because just when I was able to leave the aisle, Pivot Point by Kasie West in hand, I saw Meant to Be and picked it up as well. I asked Dianne about it, naturally, but I knew I was going to get it no matter what. It's been on my TBR list for so long that I forgot about it already. It's pathetic.

2/05/2015

The Dynamic Duo: Jennifer E. Smith and Lissa Price (& a giveaway!)

Why hello there, booknerds! Welcome to another round of #FlashbackFebruary! Inasmuch as I would love to transcribe yet another recording of our Q&A with the authors for all of you to read, I just simply can't. The truth is -- my audio sucks. I must've been behind the speakers or maybe I was was holding my phone the wrong way. *scratches head* Oh well, there'll be other times I suppose. 

So instead of sharing an entire (nearly verbatim) Q&A on the blog today, I'll share some tidbits. You ready?

Day 4 of Flashback February! Yahoo! Almost there!


On what 'happy' means for Jennifer E. Smith:


When asked what Jenn's happy looks like (as in her book, This is What Happy Looks Like) she answered: "Being in the Philippines with all of you." I remember she smiled so sweetly after writing this that we couldn't help by collectively say, awwwwww! Such a sweetheart! She said that Ellie's happy in the beginning of the book is very similar to hers. i.e. thunderstorms (did I hear this one right?!?! Damn audio), ice cream on a hot day.

2/04/2015

Flashback February: A Day with Claudia Gray and Madeleine Roux (Q&A + Giveaway)

Hurray! We made it (rather, I made it) to day thuuureeee of #FlashbackFebruary! (why does everything have to be hashtagged nowadays?) I'm kind of groggy as I'm typing this so bear with me. Don't worry though, there's not much of a difference compared to when I've had a full 6-hour sleep. Say, when did 8 hours stop being the normal length?

Just in case you need reminding about my giveaways:


And we fly!

DAY 3 OF SAB-GIVES-AWAY-BOOKS-AND-TRANSCRIBES-AUDIO-RECORDINGS-BECAUSE-IT'S-FLASHBACK-FEBRUARY!
*jazz hands and crazy eyes*


October 18th of last year (it's crazy how time flies!), National Bookstore brought Claudia Gray and Madeleine Roux to Manila for a book signing day at Glorietta 1. I swear, they sure spoiled us last year!

I got the opportunity to meet Claudia Gray -- the woman responsible for making me cry when I thought there weren't any physical copies of her book anymore at the store. (Backstory: I read the eARC of A Thousand Pieces of You and went absolutely gaga over it. When it came to the book signing, I was told there were no more copies of it. I cried... a bit... SERIOUSLY just a bit. Like, it didn't even roll down my cheek. I looked like this though. But as it turns out -- there were still copies in the backroom and I quickly felt like a huge dork for loosing mah cool like that. As if I had any cool to begin with.) And of course, I was also excited to meet Madeleine Roux. She just looks super badass -- with her do and her books? Hellz yeah.

A side story: Madeleine was wearing a yellow House Baratheon shirt-dress that day. I think I love her.

Here were are again with yet another Q&A! I actually arrived 20 minutes late this day! So while the other bloggers in attendance have 40-minute recordings posted on their blogs, I only have 19 minutes and 55 seconds of Q&A to share with you all but I promise, they're worth the read. 

And don't forget! Giveaway at the end of the post!

At the book signing. Photo from: National Bookstore
If you were born sometime in  the 19th century, or earlier, and were suddenly transported to the 21st century. What would be the first thing you would want to understand or learn about?

Claudia: It would depend on where I was born exactly. Because if I'm from the Roman Empire, I'm gonna have a really different set of questions than if I'm from like 1888. I'm sorry, you just reminded me of something I saw years ago. It was a comedy of list of like things Abraham Lincoln would say if he were alive today. And they were all sort of these wise sayings, sort of this and that... tweets for the modern era. And then one of them was: Ahh! Iron bird! 'Cause, you know, he wouldn't know what an airplane was! He would freak out! And so I might just be going, what are the iron birds? I don't know... I think probably, one thing that is probably pretty consistent from virtually any time of the past except maybe sort of pre-history is I would be pretty excited at how far women have come. And also wondering why we have not come even farther, probably. Although for most eras in the past I would be really thrilled and impressed with what's happening now.

Madeleine: Pants! Pants on women!

2/03/2015

Flashback February: The Legend and The Young Elite, Marie Lu, in Manila (Q&A + Giveaway)

What's up, nerds? It's day 2 of Flashback February and this time around, I'm taking you back to November of 2014! In case you missed day 1, I featured the recently concluded James Frey book signing tour

DAY 2! 
Cue the dancing Stormtroopers! 
Because. Darth Vader. Marie Lu.... nevermind, keep reading and you'll see. ;-)


On November 23rd, 2014 Marie Lu came to the Philippines to meet fans in Manila and in Cebu for a book signing tour with National Bookstore. (yay!) I knew lots of readers were very excited to meet the talented writer behind the Legend series and her newest book/series -- The Young Elites. I know I was! I put off reading Legend for months before I decided it was 'time'. And I quickly regret procrastinating! I instantly became a fan of Marie Lu's brilliant writing. 

So yeah... "excited" is an understatement. I just knew I had to meet her no matter what!

...

Today, I'm sharing with you the Q&A with Marie Lu. Like day 1, I'm also giving away a SIGNED copy of her book so be sure to read on! (I know you'll probably just scroll to the very end but... hey, thanks for dropping by! Hah!)

Photo from: National Bookstore


What made you decide to write books for young adults? 

I actually didn't know that I was writing books for young adults until I was writing Legend and gave it to my agent. I pitched Legend to my agent as just science fiction. And it was my agent who was the one who told me, this actually fits into a category called young adult. And I have never really heard of young adult until that point. So I kind of fell into it by accident because my writing style apparently fit it really well. But looking back I'm not surprised because, you know, when I was in highschool I read almost exclusively fantasy and science fiction. And a lot of those books, even though they're categorized as adult fiction tend to have teenage protagonists so I've always kind of thought of stories in that way, with teenage characters at the center of it. I think the process of growing up, you know, the bildungsroman story line falls within really well with fantasy and science fiction because you're growing up! and also, the world's ending! Which just makes everything more extreme. And I think that's what makes it fun for me to write about. And I love reading young adult now. I read almost exclusively young adult. 

2/02/2015

Flashback February: That Time I Met James Frey (Q&A + Giveaway)

From Monday to Friday, I'll be sharing recaps of author events I've been to. I'm calling it Flashback February because I was on a slight hiatus for most of last year so I wasn't able to properly blog about all the bookish things I've been up to. However, I'm back now and that means...

DAY 1 OF FLASHBACK FEBRUARY! 
*cue confetti and bacon*


That means recaps and more giveaways! I'm already raffling off Anna and the French Kiss. There's still 3 days left so make sure to get your entries in!

I'm starting the 5-day bonanza (ha-ha I feel weird just typing that! Bo-nan-zahhhh) with a recap from the event just last Sunday, February 1st!

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Last week, James Frey was in the Philippines for a book signing tour with National Bookstore. It was a two-day event for fans in Manila and in Cebu who were very eager to meet the man behind I Am Number Four and his most recent work -- The Calling (Endgame #1). In the weeks leading up to the signing, National Bookstore got the go signal to mention in their promos that James Frey is the creator of Lorien Legacies and that he'll be signing books from that series as well. Needless to say, lots of readers were doubly excited for this event!

I'm so excited to be sharing the Q&A we had with James Frey. He's such a cool dude (yes, "dude") and I appreciate how straightforward his answers were. Read on and stick around because I'll be giving away a SIGNED copy of The Calling at the end of this post!


Which part of the book was hard to write: beginning, middle, or end? And why?

Of Endgame? I mean, books aren't really ever hard that way. You know, it's just all sort of the same. We changed the ending like four times. So I guess, that would be the hardest, only because we redid it. There are four different endings and kept redoing it so I thought it was the right ending. But you know books are... I think all books are kinda equally hard to write. In the beginning it's hard because you know there's hundreds of pages in front of you. The middle is probably the easiest. And then the end is hard because you gotta get it right. If the end stinks, the whole book stinks, right?

1/31/2015

Fifteen Minutes with Michelle Hodkin (Plus A Giveaway!)

A couple of weeks ago, Fully Booked brought Michelle Hodkin, New York Times bestselling author of the Mara Dyer trilogy, to Manila. We sat down for an interview and it's possibly the best lunch break I've ever had. I don't have quality photos to show. I only relied on my phone's front cam. I would've brought a more decent camera to capture the epicness but it was a workday so bringing equipment would be a challenge. (LOL "equipment"? does that make me sound legit or what?!)



A brief description of what happened before the interview: Michelle and I were introduced. We shook hands. I sat down and accidentally knocked over my bag. I said, "Well I'm off to an awkward start." Michelle said, "It's okay!" because she's plenty awkward too. I brought out my phone and set up the voice recorder. It occurred to me to ask, "Do you mind?" She said no. I then thought out loud (like usual) and blurted out, "Woah, Fifty Shades of Grey moment right there." She said she hasn't read the books. I then explained how Ana set up the recorder before asking Christian if he's cool with it. Yep. That happened.

Sab The Book Eater, awkward 24/7.

ON TO THE INTERVIEW!
(Warning: there is a spoiler somewhere towards the end of the interview but I made sure to put up a big warning sign for you guys, in case you haven't read the book/s yet!)

1/30/2015

The Nerd Book #4: Cover Bash, 2015 YA Releases Edition

Welcome to The Nerd Book where my good friend and part-time co-blogger Melo joins me on the blog to talk about all the nerdy cool things he likes (and dislikes). And sometimes he requests to bash some covers. And that's what we're doing today.

Sab: Everything I type from here on out will be posted on my blog. Starting... NOW.

Melo: Hahah okay, COVER ME

S: UGH YOU RUINED IT. I was supposed to start! But since you already went and did it, here's my line: Before everything else -- allow me to warn the readers: these are the opinions of a 23 year old dude-dude. He doesn't review the books. I do. Aaaand let's get on with it. Melo, I will be posting our entire chat so be decent. As in... pretend we're on live TV. Except we're not. Also, these are books that are primarily for girls so expect lots of girly stuff.

M: I'm 23? I think I'm 22.

S: I KNEW IT! I knew I was going to screw up your age! I just assumed you were older because HAHA you're tall.

M: That was the only thing I fixated on. Okay I'm ready!

Round 1!

M: Hahahahahahaha okay

S: ...I don't get it. 

M: My mind literally jumped to, this is a book about sex

S: BUT THERE'S FOUR PEOPLE ON THE COVER

M: That's why it's, "we said yes" not I said yes.

1/29/2015

Late to The Party: My Take on The 'If I Stay' Book and Movie

Image from Fandango
If I Stay was one of the books that kept me company when I had way too much free time in between my college classes. I wasn't expecting too much out of it to be honest. I read Just One Day months before I cracked open my copy of If I Stay and I did not like it. I don't know if it was the writing style or the plot that bugged me. Maybe it was a combination of both. So I wasn't very enthusiastic about reading another Forman book. More than that, I normally avoid books that deal with loss in any form because I don't think I can handle them. I want to be able to cruise through a story and if it's too heavy, I might give up half way. it's happened before and I was worried it'll happen again. However, all my doubts were soon forgotten when I read chapter after chapter of Mia's moving story.

The thing about Gayle Forman's writing is: YOU EITHER LOVE IT OR HATE IT. I realized, I didn't actually hate her writing after all. I simple didn't find Just One Day believable so I had trouble appreciating her careful storytelling. A girl having an out-of-body experience is much more likely to happen than a girl falling in love with a complete stranger in less than a day. OF COURSE.

1/21/2015

Drop Everything and Read: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Sometimes there are long periods where I read lots of good books but none that truly shines bright like a diamond wows me. This is why I'm so happy to have discovered Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley. It wowed me and then some.


























To be honest I wasn't really that excited to get started on this book. The cover is too bland and unappealing to me. Plus, it looks really intimidating. Dog tags on a black background? I didn't have to read the synopsis to know that it's not an easy breezy book. I get nit-picky over book covers so YES, I read too much into the cover of this book. But I read it anyway with a lot of enthusiasm and determination to devour it in one sitting (I didn't but let's pretend I did) because I had to know what my blogger buddies were gushing about. Whenever any one of them obsessively recommends a book, I do my best to check it out.

So I did. And I'm glad I'm weak against peer pressure because dudes, Rites of Passage is AMAZING

What sets this book apart from most young adult contemporary books is how it'll captivate readers in spite of all the terrible things that goes down in ninety percent of the story. Okay, I'm not doing a very good job selling the book. What I mean is: reading the book will take you on a journey -- one that's difficult and often unfair but will keep you flipping pages. That's how engaging it is.

1/16/2015

My Love for Stephanie Perkins Runs Deep (& a giveaway!!!)

Photo from National Book Store on Facebook

Yes, I'm aware the title sounds creepy on a whole different level but hear me out.

.....

I'm the type of person who'll fan girl hard on anything that gets me hooked. Granted, one can only obsess over a number of things like TV series and music, but once I'm there -- baby, I'm there. (See how dramatic I'm getting with my intro?)

Side story: my co-worker introduced me to green apple Yakult tea some months ago and it's been my default order ever since. It's acceptable to fan girl on drinks, yeah?

This all started when I was in my senior year in college. I decided to shift degrees (I know but better safe than sorry, right?) and naturally, I had to deal with the changes. I had to pick classes and more often than not, irregular students were left with the schedules that weren't actually ideal. I ended up with a schedule that had long breaks in between classes. At first I was bummed because I didn't know what I would do to kill time. Studying is the first option but get real. It's called BREAK for a reason. (Unless I'm cramming... which happened a lot) The second option would be, of course, to read. Now, I already had a number of books lined up but when my friend introduced me to Anna and the French Kiss with A LOT of enthusiasm and encouragement, I gave in. I thought it was just one book and it wouldn't disrupt my reading schedule.

Oh how wrong was I.

1/12/2015

It's Time to 69 My Shelf



I don't know. There's something about the number 69 that throws people off the second they see it somewhere. Well, before your mind wanders off, let's keep in mind: I run a (mostly) YA blog. 'kay? Even if, I uh, used that blog entry title up there.


Recently I came across an article on Epic Reads testing out the effectiveness of John Sutherland's hypothesis, which he talked about in his novel How to Read A Novel: A User's Guide. Basically, he said that in order for you to know if you'll enjoy a particular book, you should flip to the 69th page and read just that. Yep, JUST that page. Why the 69th page? Well, apparently a lot could happen between the 1st and the 69th page and it should be enough to give you a proper glimpse at the plot. If you like what's on page 69, there's a big chance you'll like the rest of the novel.

Photo from 4freephotos

1/11/2015

And Now I'm Back! From Outer Space!

Ahhh! Ohhh~ look at this cool gif image! Get it... outer space? 

Hello book nerds, yes, I am back! I have returned from my hiatus and hopefully I can do better this time ;)

So what happened? To be honest, I got burnout. Okay, that's a little dramatic but I did get tired. Tired from work. Tired from reading. Tired from blogging. Tired from trying to keep up with my activities prior to starting my job. I've always said I wouldn't pressure myself when it came to blogging; that I'll do my own thing. The thing is, I don't think I took myself seriously. In some way, I did pressure myself. I worried that I wasn't coming up with posts that were interesting enough for blog readers. I worried I wasn't producing enough content on a regular basis. I worried that I wouldn't able to finish my Goodreads reading challenge (FYI: I didn't). I constantly thought of how horrible my blog is getting that I didn't accomplish anything for months. I think in the end, I let myself get to me. I forgot why I started blogging in the first place: to have fun. Blogging can appear to be pretty competitive but it truly doesn't have to be. It's all in the mind, right?