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.

(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!)


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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?