May Wrap-up and June TBR

I feel like everything in the past month just flew by. It’s already the third day of June which means I have exactly 37 days left of freedom. But to be honest, (I can’t believe I’m about to say this!) I kinda miss school. Some days I’d like to start on those big and intimidating medical reads but most of the time, I dread the arrival of July coz that’s when the real thing starts. But before I jump into the other life that I’ve also been dreaming of, I have planned how my June’s gonna go, as bookish as it’s supposed to be. And before I share it with you guys, here’s a wrap-up for the month of May. I have read 6 books in total and I’d say it was a quality over quantity kind of book month.


Clean Break
(4 out of 5 stars)

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I got a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review and honestly, this book was surprisingly engrossing and full of humor. You may read my full review HERE!

The Mansion Twins
(4 out of 5 stars)

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I also got a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. A very exhilarating read! It was all funny, adrenaline-packed and magical. I have enjoyed the adventures of the Senka twins and I can’t wait to read more about them and their world. You may read my full review HERE! 

Knife of Never Letting Go
(5 out of 5 stars)

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Patrick Ness is a cold-hearted storyteller in the most hauntingly awesome way! I have probably held most breaths reading this books than in any real life events. It was an exhilarating read and the writing was so captivating and engaging you simply cannot resist the urge to read the next page. This novel is dark, brutal, full of suspense and kept my awake at night until I finish it. Full review to come.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods
(4 out of 5 stars)

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A book that talks about life, death and an unlikely friendship between a young man and an old man. The story was a mixture of happiness and sadness. It is insightful and very much a great read. Full review to come. 

Six of Crows
(5 out of 5 stars)

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I am lost for words. Damn it, it was so badass and dark and aaargghh. Inej and Kaz oh my gosh. I am drawn to the darkness in both of them. Jesper and Wylan, I love reading through their conversations.  And oh my gosh Matthias and Nina made me feel love both the good and bad side. I can’t wait for the sequel *grabby hands* and I still can’t move on from this world. *stares into the abyss* Full review to come. 

The Forgotten Flapper
(4 out of 5 stars)

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I got a free copy of this novel from the author. A great read. It felt like I was brought back in time when everything else happened. Because clearly this was a well-researched story. Honestly, reading it feels different, like even though I have to put it aside for awhile, the moment I get back to it again, I’m instantly drawn into the story like I never even put down in the first place. Full review to come. 


There you have it, my kind of May. See how every book I’ve read is a great book? What a way to live this year indeed! *contented sigh* And if you have noticed, I have yet to publish a lot of reviews, so stay updated. And without further ado, I present to you my reading plans this month of June! drumroll please….


Note: Click on the titles to read a synopsis from Goodreads.
The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness

This is actually my current read. And I’m more than half-way through the book. Slow-paced than the first one but boy the premise is still hauntingly unique and engrossing. This is the second book of the Chaos Walking Trilogy.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Yes, I recently purchased yet another book of Haruki Murakami because why shouldn’t I?

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I know your shocked. I’ve been eyeing this one off in every bookstore that I pass by last year. But I have to summon every self-control I have left not to buy it just yet because I might ravage my way into reading it and fail another exam. And now that vacation’s still here, I will be perusing its pages before it’s too late.

A Court of Thrones and Roses &  A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

The hype around this book series got me into a not-to-be-disregarded kind of curiosity. And also, I’ve enjoyed reading fairytale retellings. I usually take a step back around books with so much hype by not reading any reviews about it to avoid destructive expectations. So yes, I am picking it up this month with one blind eye.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

I am also currently reading this book because yes, I get distracted easily too. Deciding to read this book took me a lot of courage because I may read crime fiction but this one is on a whole new level. All these mysteries, murders, secrets and horrors of killings is just way too dark and eerie I am shocked I picked it up at night. But I’m really drawn to it already so there is no turning back.

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

I found this book while I was supposedly window shopping in a bookstore. It;s a coming-of-age classic novel that talks about friendship and growing up during the time of World War II.


Note: Source for all book images is Goodreads. 

And there you have it! I have 7 books on my June TBR and I do hope to read all of it this month. I will also be posting the promised reviews mentioned above along with the other review requests from authors anytime starting next week. 😀

I hope you have/had a wonderful day wherever part of the planet you are! God bless you, readers 😘

 

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Some Books For This Summer Heat

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As most of you may know, I’m currently on my summer vacation. And well, since I live in the Philippines, summer is a big thing. Aside from the fact that we only have 2 seasons—wet and dry, the months of April and May means that classes are temporarily at halt and we can do whatever the hell we want under the summer sun! Summer usually gets people to go outside and spend most of the time anywhere there’s water, like a beach or a waterfall. And usually a book in hand in places like these is a blissful way to spend a warm weather. I mean I may have spent most of my afternoons reading by the beach which is only like a 3-minute walk from my house, so you know.

Anyways, in honour with the current season of the Philippines, here’s a post about the books that could possibly make your summer more interesting. So basically this is a combination of genres and does not necessarily have summer as the season in the story. Without further ado, let’s go over it.


Everyday by David Levithan

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This is the first book I’ve read that’s written by David Levithan and boy was it soooo good. I really can’t talk about specifics here as I don’t want to spoil you but it introduces you into some metaphysical stuff. This book is thought-provoking, poignant and hits you right in your soft spot. And it makes you go over the meaning of love, sexuality and life. Plus, it’s not a dark or heavy read, I mean I read it in one sitting so it could be a perfect companion the next time you go exploring a waterfall. 😉

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before & P.S. I Love You by Jenny Han

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I guess most of you have read this duology. If not, well, these are YA romance novels about a girl named Lara Jean who has this secret thing of writing a letter to the boys she falls in love with but she has no intention of sending it of course. I mean that would be crazy right? Anyways, if you know me very well, it may shock you that I have read a genre of this kind but to be honest, I have loved it so much. Whilst reading it, I fell in love with boys as well. HAHA But really, these novels are funny and cute, yes, but it’s also emotionally gripping and very insightful. I suggest you pick this up if you want some light reading.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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I believe that summer is expected to be fun. And what a way to have some fun by reading some hilarious book right? So this novel along with the rest of the series is ridiculously amazing! Plus, it is science fiction and it may not be the hard-core kind but trust me if you’re looking for a mixture of both science fiction and humor this is the perfect book. I may have had a collection of odd stares from people whilst reading it in public but who cares, I had an epic fun time with this book.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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This is a science fiction novel that talks about two bestfriends in college who are both wickedly brilliant in the science department. They are working on an extremely dangerous and totally out of this world research to prove something but things turned real bad and it severed their friendship. Gosh, this novel is written so fiercely and the premise is riveting. Plus, reading through the perspective of someone who isn’t really a hero got me hooked. If you are looking for some action this summer, this sci-fi read would give you that.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I’m not done with the whole series actually, the final book, The Raven King, was just released this May and I still haven’t got a copy of my own. I know, it is appalling. But, we should not focus on that. Now I started reading this book exactly the same month last year. I actually did a review on the first book, The Raven Boys and since then, I couldn’t get these boys and Blue out of my system. It is an urban fantasy novel about four unforgivingly handsome boys who have deep dark secrets of their own, finding for a lost king. These boys are now drawn to a girl named Blue who lives with a family of psychics and ironically, she didn’t have that gift. So together, they go into an adventure of finding this said king. One thing I specifically admire in this book is the writing style. Gosh Maggie Stiefvater could literally paint a picture with words. So if you’re looking for some big reads this summer, this series could be of help. Also, it is set in a place where described as having an extremely warm weather.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Now this book! I am certain that words won’t be enough to justify how beautiful this book is. But let me tell you a little something about it. So this book talks about a wonderful friendship between two boys, finding their identity, exploring their sexuality and accepting reality. The first time I read it, I just couldn’t stop until I finished it. In my opinion, it is one of the important books that our society needs right now. It is insightful, inspirational and honestly beautiful. I really recommend this book to anyone.

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

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If you know me, Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite authors. There is just something in his words that strikes me every time I read it. It makes me think about life, appreciate the little things and be grateful of what I have so I think basically his writings are insightful. And particularly this book, has so much to teach to its reader. So it talks about a woman who is blessed to have everything actually but then she feels that something is missing and somehow it’ll forever stay missing. So one day, she decides to die by taking some pills but then she ended waking up in a mental hospital. There she found solace and a meaning of what life is. This book is one of those poignant and thought-provoking reads you’ll ever have.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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I’d say this book was a breath of fresh air. Reading it was like seeing life in a child’s perspective and surprisingly it was insightful, simple as expected yet honest. This is a coming-of-age novel and I think I was particularly drawn to this book because it made me feel nostalgic about my childhood. About the once easy and carefree life I’ve had before everything seems to be so big and I started being sensitive. And I really think this one is good for a summer read because it is light, fun, insightful and all at once nostalgic.

Note: All book images are taken from Goodreads.

And those are just some of the books I’d recommend for this summer heat. I hope you have a fun time reading it. God bless and enjoy! ❤

Clean Break: ARC Review

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Author: Abby Vegas

Expected Publication: May 16th 2016

Genre: Chick Lit, New Adult Fiction, Crime novel

Synposis (via Goodreads):

Lane Haviland can’t seem to catch a break. She’s dead broke, barely functioning as an adult, and completely alone in New York City. Her so-called “apartment” is a six-by-nine cell in a Brooklyn basement. And her new boss hasn’t ever met a personal or professional boundary she can’t bulldoze through.

Still, Lane’s determined to at least attempt to claw her way back to respectability. But she can’t seem to get her mysterious handyman, Viktor, out of her apartment – or her headspace. Maybe that’s a good thing: Viktor’s easy on the eyes, and that deep-voiced Russian accent is beyond sexy. But as he and Lane grow closer, he can no longer hide his connections with a dangerous criminal underworld – where secrets can be deadly.

Note: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

Clean Break talks about a young woman fighting her way back into life. To be honest, the first few pages was hard to get into because it all sounded too cliché for me. But after spending nights with Lane Haviland and her adventures I realized that I’m already hooked. I guess it’s the authenticity of the characters that got me engaged with the whole story. What I’m trying to say is that the author managed to give the truthfulness of how things actually happen in real life and how a person would naturally react to such things.

Now, that brings me to the characters in this story. First of course is our protagonist, Lane Haviland. Before everything went south, Lane had everything in her life-a wonderful family, money and love. But, it’s not life if everything seems to go by your way right? So life happened.

Now that part sounded cliche know, but hear me out. An accident happened to Lane’s family that got her messed up real bad. But one thing I admire about her character is the urge in her to live even though grief claws its way back into her life. I personally enjoyed reading about her character because first: all her references (ex. Dolores Umbridge hem-hem) were about the things I love,

second: she can be so real, funny and logical if need be. I admire her growth and independence as a woman.

But of course, there should be a man. For those who know, romance genres are not really up my alley but I read some as long as it’s not in its pure state. I can’t handle them in the pure state.

Now this book, thankfully, is diluted. I was actually hooked with the budding romance between Lane Haviland and his Russian man Viktor. Why? Because again, it was just the right amount, there was mystery in it and it was carefully told.  And nope there is no love triangle in this one. THANK GOODNESS! Yes there is a third man, Detective Jarrett but I disliked him as much as Lane does so he really doesn’t count. I have an extremely negative feeling towards the man.

Maybe again that is why I connect with Lane, she kinda thinks the way I do, with respect to the events in the story of course.

With regards to the writing and the plot, you’d be expecting secrets, mysteries and plot twists! Totally got the plot twist way ahead of schedule 😀 Anyways, this novel is an amalgam of genres to be honest. There is humor, a little action, mystery, a touch of romance if you’d ask and a walk through life. The life of Lane Haviland is surprisingly interesting, hilariously fascinating in some ways yet honest if need be.

So to my lovely readers, you should definitely check this out when it’s out in the market! 🙂

My Rating:


 

Check author (Abby Vegas):

Twitter: AwkwardCeleb

Add book on: Goodreads

Kafka on the Shore: A Book Review

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Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Knopf Publishing Books

Published on: January 26th 2005  (first published 2002)

Genre: Magical Realism, Cultural

Synopsis(via Goodreads):

Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.

Review:

There are books that could make you cry, laugh or even fall in love.

Then there are books that would go deep into the core of your being and stir your consciousness. Books that provokes you to critically challenge once again your pre-constructed thoughts and thereby opening up your mind into the ambiguities of existence. In my honest opinion, Kafka on the Shore is that kind of book. Haruki Murakami’s writing makes me dive deep into the realms of make believe and yet at the same time exposes the realities of life. Of all the thought-provoking books I’ve read, this one probably brought chaos into my mind in the most beautiful way possible.

For the characters: Kafka, the fifteen year old protagonist, is weird like most of HM’s character. But this boy interests me in ways I couldn’t fathom and it is hard to put into words since I’m trying my best not to spoil it for you. However, the way he perceive things allows me to ponder my thoughts carefully.  The fears he’s trying to fight along with the independence and strength he manages to hold on to amazes me in a way that it makes you see life in the most pragmatic point of view.

Another character I’d like to talk about is Oshima—the assistant librarian who was a friend and a brother to Kafka.  Gosh, I fell in love with his brain.

I am certain that there is an intricate process on how his brain works to make sure it coincides with the workings of his mouth. I wish I could be as erudite as him. Let me share to you a very much on point line of him:

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And the last character who deserves a mention is my favourite of all—Mr. Nakata. Nakata describes himself as dumb due to an incident that occurred during the war. But there are things that only he is capable of, which makes him rather more special. I extremely adore his character and I guess I’ve learned the most from him. You know those mantras we live for today like forget about the past, live in the moment or worry about tomorrow when tomorrow is here? Well, that is exactly how Mr. Nakata lives his life and to be honest it is the most carefree living I have ever read/imagined. He is a very interesting and amazing character. I’d love to spend a day with him and be worry free!

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With regards to the plot, Haruki Murakami introduces us to the concept of a metaphysical reality. How the existence of some things are different from what humans perceive it to be. In my opinion, this book aims to make humans become open-minded and critical. Honestly, there are times when I read and I actually have to put the book down for awhile to gather my thoughts and understand the lines.

The struggle is real but I enjoyed it so much.

Kafka on the Shore is an important book. And I will most certainly recommend it you my lovely readers!

My rating: 


Have a nice day and God bless you all :*

The Book Thief: A Book Review

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Author: Markus Zusak

Publisher: Knopf Books

Published on: March 14, 2006

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

It’s just a small story really, about among other things:

a girl,

some words,

an accordionist,

some fanatical Germans,

a Jewish fist-fighter,

and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

Review:

Historical fiction is one of the genres that made me fall deeply in love with reading. The Book  Thief is probably now my favorite book of the said genre. Honestly, it’s the first book that I’ve finished this year due to my self-diagnosed reading slump.

And I must say, what a way to start my reading for 2016. So here’s my thoughts:

First with the writing. You know when you read or hear someone speak about something and you just see it? Like the words literally painted a picture for you to see? We all get that a lot when reading right? Now, that is exactly what I felt the whole time about the writing. It was totally engaging. The words alone stole my heart.

Now with the characters. To have death as the narrator is interestingly captivating! In my opinion it gave the story an additional depth. It’s actually one of the reasons why I love this book. Then we have our protagonist, Liesel Meminger. I get why death is particularly drawn to this girl. For me Liesel is somewhat the child in all of us. The way words captivated her soul and heart. The way books offered her solace and joy.

She was an interesting character to read. Her relationship with the other characters showed how strong-willed she is. I just have to mention how deeply moved I am with the bond she has for her Papa and Rudy. It was both happy and sad.

And of course the plot. Probably the most emotional I’ve ever been in my lifetime of reading.

This book is poignant, brutally honest yet tragically beautiful. I know that I don’t have much to say about Nazi Germany but I live in the Philippines and once in our history we were also ruled by a dictator. I’m fortunate to have not experienced the brutality, the loss of freedom and the oppression that happened during the reign of these dictators. However, the truth survives in the words of the people who were there. And words are passed on through pen and paper. And just like this book, it may not show us exactly what happened but it somehow manages to show us a glimpse of what it was like during those times. I have to say that this book maybe fiction but there is truth behind every story. This book allows the reader not to be blind about certain things. Also it reminds us how powerful words can be and just like what this book says, words will always be an integral part of one’s soul.

I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars in Goodreads


Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? Just comment it down below.

Have a wonderful day ahead and God bless you always! :*