Category Archives: 5 stars

Review: Lending Light by Rose Christo

image

image

Title: Lending Light
Author: Rose Christo
Publisher: Amazon
Publication Date: August 2012
Series or Standalone: Gives Light #5
Format: Ebook, 306 pages

image

“Sometimes my imagination bleeds into reality.”

Eleven years ago a serial killer menaced the Nettlebush Indian Reservation. Rafael Gives Light is his son. A loner, Rafael relies on his startlingly overactive imagination to escape the distrust and vitriol of his peers.

In the summer of 2000 an exceptionally blond boy moves to Nettlebush. Rafael learns that the boy is his father’s last living victim. The boy wants to be friends.

image

I had the idea that maybe kissing Sky was my natural, default state, and the reason I’d been such a disagreeable person all my life was because I hadn’t been kissing him all my life.

This review almost goes the same with book one. Because this story is in fact based on the first book and the only difference is that Rafael narrated this. Oh, how I loved that guy. It’s very heartwarming to see Sky through Rafael’s eye. How Sky changed Rafael’s life and how Rafael tried to be that person.

So let me just tell you why I freaking loved this series. Let’s start with the characters. Probably this series has one of the best set of characters in young adult contemporary. Everyone has depth. Everyone is remarkable. Every single main or secondary ones tugs your heart. Rose Christo doesn’t need to make her characters to be too perfect to gain a strong connection with them. You’ll love them just the way they are.

And for the romance, it just so happened that we’re introduced to a society where a boy who likes a boy is not a crime by law, a disease, a sin, or whatever ridiculous name they call it. So this is not me-and-you-against-the-world or i-love-you-you-love-me-but stuff. This is a fresh take for us to the mm genre where no one give a damn who you love.

“I have a boyfriend,” I said

Meredith smiled warmly at me. “That’s wonderful! What’s his name?”

“Not telling” I said

“You made him up,” Holly accused

“Bite me,” I said again

Why so adorable, Rafael?

image

image

Advertisements

Review: Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

image

image

Title: Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
Author: Rick Riordan, John Rocco (Illustrator)
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: August 19th 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone but a companion to Percy Jackson & Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series
Format: Paperback, 336 pages

image

A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don’t need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.

So begins Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic–and sarcastic asides–to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who’s who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus.  Percy does not hold back.

“If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that.”

image

Rick Riordan made me love the greek mythology. No doubt with that. But I have zero intention of reading the actual greek mythology. Just seeing that thick book with the smallest font I’ve ever seen before. My brain says no. My body says no.

This book is actually a compilation of different stories of the twelve olympians and some gods and titans. Hades, Artemis, Persephone, Zeus, Atlas, Hestia and everyone. Name it. Every stories is narrated by Percy Jackson himself. So imagine a 21st century teenager telling you all this greek stuff with overloaded persassyness (if such word exists) on it. Just imagine. Cool right? The stories never get boring with Percy’s pov. It never will. You know. It’s Percy. And John Rocco’s stunning artwork made the book more enjoyable. I mean, I literally spent more than a minute devouring its beauty. Yeah, that’s me.

Unlike Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series which are both middle grade. Is HoO middle grade or young adult? It confuses me, actually. But I don’t think this one is. Why? It contains rapes in different forms. Yes. Zeus in snake form to snake-Demeter or horse-Poseidon to horse-mortal woman? nymph? (I forgot, sorry). Do you think it’s weird enough? Wait and see.

It also includes putting your ugly children down to underworld, killing your own dad, swallowing whole your children, killing your own baby-eating-dad, cooking your own son into stew, and kidnapping a goddess to make her as a wife. You know. Just a typical day for your favorite gods.

Well if you’re a fan and a demigod, this is a must-read for you. And Percy narrates it!!!! I know you miss him too as much as I do. Higly recommended.

image

image

Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

image

image

Title: Vicious
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 340 pages

image

A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability.

Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

image

“I want to believe that there’s more. That we could be more. Hell, we could be heroes.”

Time really passes by quickly. I remember myself that day lying on my bed while cuddling with my pillow and eagerly holding my phone. Reading a book from an author unknown to me with no expectations at all. Without realizing that it’d be one of my favorite reads of all time. That it wouldn’t be my last read from her. Now, it’s been months since the last time I read something form her that only I realized after reading this, how much I missed Victoria Schwab’s writing. Her irresistible and addictive writing.

I really don’t how to make this review proper but let’s start things off by saying, Vicious suprised me. And I really had a hard time putting this book down that I had to stay up till 4 in the morning just to finish it. Every pages read leaving you craving for more.

Even the story takes us into different set of times. Last night. 10 years ago. A week ago. Two days ago. Last year. This morning. It might be a confusing way of telling a story but Schwab handled it very well. Because the excitement never breaks and it made the story unique and beautiful. And it amazes me how she managed to do it because it’s not every day you come across with that kind of writing style and it’s a tricky way to handle with. Because some books failed to do that.

Every one of the characters even the secondary ones is used well in the story. I mean, they’re not there just to become someone’s life background. Everyone has something to do with the development of the plot and it’s easy to make a connection with them.

I particularly liked the partnership of the three: Victor, Mitch, and Sydney. Despite their differences the group still fits perfectly together. And I liked it how they trust each other even if it means death.

Victor. I liked how he handles himself as the group’s leader that he really knows what he’s doing. And how he plans things out, is incredibly cool. Especially how he ends the story which have left me in awe. Because I didn’t really see it coming. And probably that’s one of the best conclusion I’ve ever seen. Mitch, despite his hulking appearance with tattoos all over his body. A good heart rests in him and Sydney is just adorable. She turns out to be this strong character with a great determination but the innocence is still visible.

Well I had zero sympathy with Eli. He reminds of Teren from The Young Elites and of Light from Death Note. He’s given his own pov so we get to see what’s going on in his mind. Eli thinks EOs are unnatural and affront to nature, and to god. And what ever reasons that crawl in his mind, I just don’t buy them. And calling himself as ‘god’s servant’ by eradicating all EOs. What? Don’t. You’re messed up, dude.

I thoroughly enjoyed it considering this is Schwab’s first adult book. And it’s interesting to associate NDE with creating EOs and the explanation is pretty simple not the brain-cell-burning way. Highly recommended!

image

image

Review: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

image

image

Title: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice
Author: Jane Austin; Stacy King; Po Tse (Illustrator)
Publisher: UDON Entertainment & Morpheus Publishing
Publication Date: August 19th 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 377 pages
Source: eCopy from the Publisher via NetGalley

image

Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.

image

Classic is not really my cup of tea. I always avoid it, in fact. I remember my first classic way back in high school. I had to read it for school, of course. It was a good read but not an enjoyable one. But having able to experience classic in another clever way is fantastic. I got to see their manga adaptation of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne first, which is really incredible with that stunning artwork.

This is also a great adaptation but the repetition of the words “Pride” and “Prejudice” throughout the story ruins the dialogues especially in the ending. The artwork Po Tse provided in this manga is totally gorgeous. I liked how he portrayed each characters and how he turned them into cute chibi version especially Mrs. Bennet character. It made the reading more enjoyable and humorous. But the roses that sometimes surround the character quite bother me. I mean, girls will surely appreciate and love that but a typical guy, I think it’s a no.

Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable and fantastic read.

image

image

Review: ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! (Mga Kwentong Chalk ni Bob Ong) by Bob Ong

image

image

Title: ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! (Mga Kwentong Chalk ni Bob Ong)
Author: Bob Ong
Publisher: Visprint
Publication Date: February 2001
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 181 pages

image

Bakit namamalo si Miss Uyehara?
May mga notebook bang lumilipad?
Bakit masakit sa ulo ang Mafhemafics?
Ano ang sikreto sa pagkakaibigan nila Pepe at Tagpi?
Bakit may mga taong nakapikit sa litrato?
Masarap ba ang Africhado?
Sino si Tigang?
Bakit may mga classroom na kulang ang upuan?
Masama bang mag-isip nang malalim habang naglalakad?
Saan ang Ganges River sa Pilipinas?
Bakit may mga umaakyat ng overpass pero hindi tumatawid?
Sino ang webmaster ng bobongpinoy sa Internet?

No calculators.
No dictionaries.
No erasures.
No cheating.
Oops, time’s up!

Pass your papers.

image

ABNKKBSNPLAKo?! (Mga Kwentong Chalk ni Bob Ong) is one of the most popular filipino book ever written. If you’re a filipino and haven’t heard about this. Gods, where have you been??

Matutuwa ka sa libro na ‘to kasi lahat ng nagawa mong kalokohan noong elementary at high school maaalala mo rito:

1. Yung terror teacher mo na kapag tinawag ka eh kulang nalang maihi ka sa upuan mo.
2. Si crush mong famous.
3. Si best friend na crush din yung crush mo.
4. Yung tropa mong hindi ka iiwan.
5. Mga kaklase mong nagbigay kulay sa buhay estudyante mo.
6. Si Ma’am na cool.
7. Yung kakopyahan mo tuwing may test.
8. Si mokong umasar at inasar mo din.
9. Yung pesteng haircut policy na hindi ka tuloy maka-porma.
10. Yung late ka tuwing cleaner ka.
11. Yung teacher mong kwela.
12. Yung upuan at silya mong mala-World War II.
13. Si crush ulet.
14. Yung mga nasa Top 15 na hindi naman deserving! Anyone?
15. Yung canteen niyong nagiging mala-sardinas tuwing recess.
16. Yung pogi/maganda mong ST (student teacher).
17. Tuwing report na mukha kang tanga.
18. Si teacher na grabe magpakopya ng notes eh kulang na lang punuin na yung blackboard ng manila paper.
19. etc. etc.

Lahat yun maaalala mo kapag binasa mo yung libro. At syempre maiiyak ka kapag tapos mo na basahin yung libro. Kasi sobrang nakakamiss pala maging estudyante sa kabila ng mga bagsak na test.

Isa itong librong ginawa para sa mga estudyante at mga dating estudayante na magpapaala-ala sa atin kung gaano tayo kaloko noon. XD

image

image

Review: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

image

image

Title: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne; Stacy King; Crystal Chan; SunNeko Lee (Illustrator)
Publisher: UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 308 pages
Source: eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley

image

A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
tragic saga of Puritan America.

Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions.

Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

image

This classic to manga adaptation is incredible. It is a brilliant way of making classic literature more appealing to the younger generation who’s not really that fond of reading classics and hesitant readers alike, like me, who usually avoid it.

I haven’t read the original novel so I can’t do comparison between the two. But I’ll just look into how effective this manga is. First off, SunNeko Lee’s artwork is with no doubt very stunning and captivating. She made the characters and the backgrounds alive and vivid that will keep you engage with the story. And finish it in one sitting down. Also, Stacy King used the modern text in the dialogues instead of the original one. Which is very okay to those people who struggle with vocabulary. Well this is really an enjoyable read. Highly recommended!

image

image

Review: Sophronia L. by Tim Bridwell

image

image

Title: Sophronia L.
Author: Tim Bridwell
Publisher: Folded Word
Publication Date: December 1st 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 372 pages
Source: Physical Copy from the Publisher via Goodreads

image

Sophronia Lambert, a schoolteacher on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, lives a quiet life; that is until Nantucket whaling captain James Folger comes ashore. Realizing he is the man who killed her deaf brother, she decides to pursue vengeance – first at home, then at sea-sailing to the far side of the world as his bride. As she grapples with madness and morality, Sophronia’s quest mirrors that of her island community: to find a way forward amidst the pressures of a brutal industry, a nation mired in Civil War, and a past darker than the ocean’s abyss.

image

Okay. I really really loved this book. Tim Bridwell’s debut novel is fantastic. I never thought that I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this book. Because historical is not really my cup of tea, yet Tim managed to keep me interested with his captivating and beautiful writing.

It’s poetic. It’s dark. It’s gothic. It’s eerie. It’s thrilling. And very imaginative. With a sly humor and a hint of romance thrown out in the story. Though the scenes between Sophronia and Absalom were limited (yes, I’m one of those readers who crave more of them), the moments between them were heartfelt. The chessy stuff was carried well throughout the story. And from the beginning, I thought that there was going to be a love triangle. And I’m really glad it didn’t happen at all. Because Capt. Folger was your mad guy.

And if you’re asking me if there was a HEA, yes buddy, there was. But still you have to brace yourself for the death of some characters. It was painful. Or was it just me who felt too much for the characters? Never mind. The conclusion was satisfying with a glimpse of the future.

Tim Bridwell didn’t just take us to the history of Martha’s Vineyard and the old whaling industry but also explores the heart of human nature. It was an awesome read with this awesome book. Highly recommended!

image

image

Review: Le Portrait de Petite Cossette by Asuka Katsura

image

image

Title: Le Portrait de Petite Cossette
Author: Asuka Katsura
Publisher: TokyoPop
Publication Date: July 3rd 2006
Series or Standalone: Le Portrait de Petite Cossette #1
Format: Paperback, 194 pages

image

Based on the popular anime!

Eiri works part-time at an antique shop, where he becomes obsessed with Cossette, a girl whose portrait is on sale in the store. But Cossette has a tragic story: People who own the painting have all been murdered in bizarre ways. When Cossette’s spirit appears in front of Eiri, she asks him to save her…Filled with timeless themes of love and redemption, this tragic Gothic romance is an unforgettable journey into the heart of a tortured soul.

image

The story was about a guy named Eiri who was haunted by Cossette who insisted a help coming from him.

Okay. The book was so creepy in a good way. I like the killings in every chapter, the mystery of Cossette, the way Eiri helped the girl, and also the graphic was really excellent.

The manga has only two volumes, its very short. Based on the popular anime. This one is worth a shot.

image

image

Review: The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane

image

image

Title: The Bells of Times Square
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: December 15th 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Ebook, 326 pages
Source: eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley

image

Every New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.

When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beloved grandfather, he has no idea that Nate holds a similar secret. As they endure the chilly death of the old year, Nate is drawn back in memory to a much earlier time . . . and to Walter.

Long before, in a peace carefully crafted in the heart of wartime tumult, Nate and Walter forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos. But nothing in war is permanent, and now all Nate has is memories of a man his family never knew existed. And a hope that he’ll finally hear the church bells that will unite everybody— including the lovers who hid the best and most sacred parts of their hearts.

image

Walter was his, and no one could take that away.

Do you know Katy Perry’s Thinking of You song? It’s one of the few songs I fall in love with. Listening to it everyday. Devouring each lines. Such a beaufiful piece. Well, I’m not here to talk about the song, but that reminds me of this book. Especially, Nate’s life after the war. This was a beautiful piece like the song. So emotional and so inspiring. And heartwarming. Loved this story! By the way, this was my first Amy Lane book and this wouldn’t be the last.

But truth be told, I had a hard time liking the story at first. Because I felt disengaged with the characters. They seemed so distant and I couldn’t find a way to feel them. Like, Walter was doing this and that dramatic stuff, crying and shouting and I was in my room reading that part, emotionless. So I almost decided to DNF it. But, thanks God, as I gave it another try, everything started to click. From the characters, to the plot, to the tension. Everything started to be very good. And I found myself unable to put this down. And asked myself why the hell I even tried to stop reading this book? this heartbreaking beautiful book??

For you, Nate and Walter, why gave me such heartache?? But thanks Amy for the HEA. Don’t really know what to do without that.

image

image

Review: A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager

image

Title: A Tale of Two Mommies
Author: Vanita Oelschlager; Mike Blanc (Illustrator)
Publisher: Vanita Books
Publication Date: September 1st 2011
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Source: eCopy from the Publisher via NetGalley
My Rating: 5/5

BLURB:

A Tale of Two Mommies is a beach conversation among three children. One boy asks another boy about having two mommies. A young girl listening in asks some questions too.

True to a child’s curiosity, practical questions follow. “Which mom is there when you want to go fishing? / Which mom helps out when Kitty goes missing?” To which he answers: “Mommy helps when I want to go fishing. / Both Mommies help when Kitty goes missing.”

A Tale of Two Mommies is intended for 4-8 year olds. This book lets us look inside one non traditional family, a same sex couple and their son. As the children talk, it’s clear this boy lives in a nurturing environment where the biggest issues are the
everyday challenges of growing up.

REVIEW:

Vanita Oelschlager created an awesome book again! A Tale of Two Mommies is as beautiful and engaging as to A Tale of Two Daddies. The story is still bright and inspiring with a captivating illustration. Which is really cheerful and cute. The kids are really cute. And so adorable.

As time goes by, more and more same-sex couples are raising children of their own, and this book would help the kids to know that the different is not really that wrong, so they can grow up without confusion. This will explain to them that growing up with a non-traditional family is as normal as growing up with a mom and dad. The conversations are simple so the kids won’t find it hard to understand. And surely the art will keep them engage. Highly recommended for kids!!