Review: The Martian by Andy Weir


The Martian
by Andy Weir

Synopsis:
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

Review: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
by Julie C. Dao

Synopsis:
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress--and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins--sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

Wandering Thoughts: Things That I Want To Add In My Reviews But No Can Do

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories, fun posts, musings and discussions.

When I read reviews from reviews sites and fellow book bloggers, I sometimes stumble upon stuff that I find so pretty or brilliant or important that I want to also incorporate them with my own book reviews. I want to emulate them because they make their reviews so extra. Being extra means you love what you’re doing. Being extra shows passion. But most of the time, I end up not doing these things in my reviews because either I actually cannot do them myself or I could do them if I really try but it would eat up too much time. So here are some of the special stuff other people have in their reviews that I wish I have in mine but no can do.

Review: Satellite by Nick Lake


Satellite
by Nick Lake

Synopsis:
A teenage boy born in space makes his first trip to Earth.

He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.

Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.

Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.

Blog Tour: 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough (Review+Giveaway)




Hello and welcome to my stop for the blog tour of 13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough. I wanna thank Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the blog tour. 

Today's business is for me to introduce the book and share my thoughts about it. The tour is also hosting a giveaway for an advanced review copy (ARC) of the book for U.S. residents. At the end of this post is a rundown of all the participating book blogs, so be sure to visit them too on their designated tour stops.

Review: It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne


It Only Happens in the Movies
by Holly Bourne

Synopsis:
Audrey is over romance. Since her parents' relationship imploded her mother's been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn't mean things are easy. Because real love isn't like the movies...

The greatest love story ever told doesn't feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clich├ęs. Oh, and zombies... YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

Review: A Messy, Beautiful Life by Sara Jade Alan


A Messy, Beautiful Life
by Sara Jade Alan

Synopsis:
Life is funny sometimes.

And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer.

I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom.

And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die.

So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.

Stacking the Shelves (STS#10)

Image: Kaboompics

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

Huzzah, book wanderers! I am here for another book haul post. BTW, I noticed a shifting pattern in my last couple of book haul posts and it's that apparently, I am more inclined now to acquire digital copies because eBook sale!!! And I thought I'll always be a paperback girl. One pro that I see with this is that I don't get to worry about shelf space. We never stay the same, do we?

So here they are, have a peek at my new books! (Clicking the images will lead to Goodreads)

Review: The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis


The Temptation of Adam
by Dave Connis

Synopsis:
Adam Hawthorne is fine.

Yeah, his mother left, his older sister went with her, and his dad would rather read Nicholas Sparks novels than talk to him. And yeah, he spends his nights watching self-curated porn video playlists.

But Adam is fine.

When a family friend discovers Adam’s porn addiction, he’s forced to join an addiction support group: the self-proclaimed Knights of Vice. He goes because he has to, but the honesty of the Knights starts to slip past his defenses. Combine that with his sister’s out-of-the-blue return and the attention of a girl he meets in an AA meeting, and all the work Adam has put into being fine begins to unravel.

PH Blog Tour: How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat (Review)

Hello my fellow bookish wanderers! Thanks for ambling by here to join me on my stop for the PH Blog Tour of "How to Disappear" by Sharon Huss Roat. Thanks also to Hazel of Stay Bookish for letting me join the roster of Filipino book bloggers on a mission to spread the word about this #mustread. I've already seen reviews from other book bloggers saying good things about this book -- here's one from Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs -- and I am so stoked to share today my thoughts about it with you. But first, let's take a look what the book is about:


How to Disappear
by Sharon Huss Roat

Synopsis:
Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.

So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.

Review: What's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne


What's a Girl Gotta Do?
by Holly Bourne

Synopsis:
HOW TO START A FEMINIST REVOLUTION:

1. Call out anything that is unfair on one gender

2. Don't call out the same thing twice (so you can sleep and breathe)

3. Always try to keep it funny

4. Don't let anything slide. Even when you start to break...

Lottie's determined to change the world with her #Vagilante vlog. Shame the trolls have other ideas...

Wandering Thoughts: 6 Reasons Why We Should Not Ignore Backlist Titles

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories, fun posts, musings and discussions.

When books are already way past their publication dates, book people seem to overlook them. Most bookish sites and book blogs I see tend to highlight more on what’s upcoming or what’s new and shiny. This is evidenced by the blogosphere’ s abundance of “most anticipated releases” list for the year or for this month or for this season, etc. Everyone has their heart eyes and grabby hands on those can’t-wait-to-be-released titles. Me, you and the book blogger next to you covet those advanced review copies (ARCs). We happy-click on request buttons on Netgalley and Edelweiss even as our TBR pile starts collapsing behind our backs. Plus, we rarely post reviews for backlist titles.

Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco


The Girl from the Well
by Rin Chupeco

Synopsis:
You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night. 

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Stacking the Shelves (STS#9)

Image: Kaboompics

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual.


I might have went overboard with book buying because that's what we do, right? In all fairness with me, most of these are e-book deals. Below are my most recent purchases. Clicking the cover images will lead to Goodreads.

Wandering Thoughts: This Is Me Talking Myself Out of Writing Mean Reviews

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories, fun posts, musings and discussions.


It’s the end of a long day. You are really looking forward to some nice and quiet reading. You get yourself some snacks and drinks then settle on your favorite reading nook. You pick up a book that you’ve been wanting to check out and expects to have a good time. Plot twist: you did not have a good time. The book is bad, in ways you couldn’t have imagined possible. The plot is slow and the characters are dry. Halfway through, your brain is screaming for you to stop and just drop the book. But you  trudged on thinking that it can get better. Of course the universe is cruel because the book didn’t get better. Upon finishing the whole thing and turning the last page, your initial reaction is mild irritation. And then you remembered how excited you were looking forward to reading it and then it turned out to be garbage. You felt betrayed. You want to cry. And then you realized you lost something you will never get back: precious reading time. Plus the book cost you money. You wanna pull out your hair in frustration. Your blood vessels are bulging and your heart is pounding fast to keep up with the build up of negative emotions inside. Whatever happened to bibliotherapy, right?

Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck



A Short History of the Girl Next Door
by Jared Reck

Synopsis:
The unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heart-breaking debut novel.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him.

Wandering Thoughts: 3 YA Heroines Who Are Passionate Readers of Harry Potter

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories, fun posts, musings and discussions.


As any Potterhead next to you knows by heart, today is the glorious birthday of The Boy Who Lived and his creator, Queen Jo. *virtual toast to all the witches and wizards around the world* Most authors in the scene nowadays belong to this wonderful fandom are Hogwarts alumna and have incorporated a bit of the Potterverse in their works. While others drew subtle inspirations such as those with “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell and “More Happy Than Not” by Adam Silvera, some have direct references to the beloved book series. As a sort of tribute post for this special day, I will share with you three YA books with heroines who have definitely read the Harry Potter series and are passionate about it.

Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas


Little Monsters
by Kara Thomas

Synopsis:
For fans of Pretty Little Liars, Little Monsters is a new psychological thriller, from the author of The Darkest Corners, about appearances versus reality and the power of manipulation amongst teenage girls.

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

PH Blog Tour: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum (Review)




Hello and thanks for joining me on my stop for the PH Blog Tour of WHAT TO SAY NEXT by Julie Buxbaum, hosted by Fay of Bibliophile Soprano. Click the banner above to follow the tour along. We have an ongoing giveaway for three finished copies of the book, open to PH readers, so make sure to keep an eye for that, too.

Book Blast + Giveaway: This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes


Paula Stokes is giving away a copy of her newest contemporary novel, THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED, a story that Kirkus Reviews called “a sobering exploration of absolution.”

Find out more about the book, check out the link of the first four chapters and don't forget to join the giveaway!

Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley


Words in Deep Blue
by Cath Crowley

Synopsis:
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

Stacking the Shelves (STS #8)

Image: Kaboompics

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

Heya! It's been a while since I posted a book haul. Today I share my new eBooks I have obtained from the last few weeks. As I've shared in this post, I recently discovered a way to purchase from Amazon without using a credit card and we all know where that would lead, right? Yes, you guessed it right: adding more books to my TBR.

Also, I won an eBook from the Facebook Launch Party for Promdi Heart, an anthology of Filipino hometown love stories. And downloaded a freebie book from Ines Bautista-Yao.

So see below all my shiny new digital acquisitions! Cover images are linked to Goodreaads.

Love at First Sight: Chi Yu Rodriguez (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to Love at First Spark, a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Today, author Chi Yu Rodriguez is behind the wheel of this blog. Enjoy the ride as she talks about her new book, "The Art of Shifting Gears".

Love at First Spark: Farrah F. Polestico (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to Love at First Spark, a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

I am back at it again with bringing you another interview, this time with "First to Fall" author, Farrah F. Polestico.

Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying
by Karen M. McManus

Synopsis:
One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
  And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

How To Buy eBooks from Amazon Without Using a Credit Card via Codashop


I cancelled my credit card centuries ago and alas, last week I was consumed by a deep need to buy eBooks. So I thought that maybe I can use Paypal in Amazon, which turned out is a close to impossible feat because they are somewhat from competing owners? I googled and scoured the internet to no avail. Most search hits that I got advised that I go through a reliable e-giftcard store first then use Paypal as a mode of payment to purchase an Amazon gift card. But most of the e-giftcard stores that I have found accepting Paypal (Gyft, eGifter, Newegg) have territory restrictions. So I gave up clicking next page and re-entered my search adding “Philippines” to the keywords. And that’s how I found Codashop. It does not accept Paypal though but it will do for now.

Love at First Spark: Six de los Reyes (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to Love at First Spark, a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Today's featured author wrote a very summer-y book. Find out more about Six de los Reyes and discover her nerdy side (YAY, NERDS ARE SEXY!) from my interview.

Love at First Spark: Katt Briones (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to Love at First Spark, a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Are you ready to meet our featured author for today? Sit back and relax. Read on and meet Katt Briones, author of Chasing Mr. Prefect.

Review: Antisocial by Jillian Blake

Antisocial
by Jillian Blake

Synopsis:
Alexandria Prep is hacked in this exhilarating whodunit set in the age of social media and the cloud—Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks.

Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

Wandering Thoughts: One Simple Smooth Style of Book Pimping

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories musings and discussions. This post is linked up to Book Blog Discussion.


Look, I love listicles. Our thoughts are naturally and miserably messy (or is this just me?) but listicles are a neat way of expressing them. It’s quite an art form, really. Sadly, I have poor listing powers. One of the main reasons why I do not participate in Top Ten Tuesdays is because I CANNOT, for the life of me, reach making lists up to ten. But hey, I’ve already made this list once in the blog and got up to three items and I want to believe that it’s the start of my rise to list-making supremacy. (You just wait, world!)

Love at First Spark: C.P. Santi (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to Love at First Spark, a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

I'm back again to share with you my interview with C.P. Santi, author of Bucket List To Love. I am excited with this one because the setting of her book is in Japan, one of my dream destinations.

Love at First Spark: Brigitte Bautista (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to "Love at First Spark", a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Hello! Our guest in the blog is the only 2017 #SparkNA author whose book deals with LGBTQI characters and I think we need more of those books published,right? Fair representation in books is good for everyone so today, I'm glad to give you all the author of "Don't Tell My Mother", Brigitte Bautista.

Love at First Spark: Clare Elisabeth Marquez (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to "Love at First Spark", a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Fun fact: I share nickname with our featured author today. Both of us are called, "Jang" and I think that makes us instant friends. Join me today as Clare Elisabeth "a.k.a. Jang" Marquez takes us for a behind-the-scenes look on her new book, "Simply Joei".

Love at First Spark: Ines Bautista-Yao (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to Love at First Spark, a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Today, our featured author is none other than Ines Bautista-Yao. She has written a lot of romance books already including her most recent one entitled, "Letters About a Boy", one of the stories from "Promdi Heart", a romance anthology set in different Philippine provinces. But today, she will talk about one of her #SparkNA book babies, "All That Glitters".

Love at First Spark: Carla de Guzman (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to "Love at First Spark", a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Today, our featured author is Carla De Guzman. I've already read and reviewed "Midnights in Bali" here on the blog and I am dying to check out her other works but for now let's check out my interview with her.

Love at First Spark: Ava Feliz (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to "Love at First Spark", a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

I am very proud to present my very first author interview post ever! You guys, it's another blogging milestone! For the longest time, I've been meaning to interview authors that I want to support but I am one shy and awkward turtle. But now I think I was able to come out of my shell and ask all the important questions, so please cheer for me and join in on my interview with our first featured author, Ava Feliz!

Love at First Spark: Book Blog Event Launch Post

Photo Credit: Dan Whale/Unsplash

How are you all doing book wanderers? It’s dreadfully hot nowadays where I am from. The sun is glaring angrier than ever to us people in the tropics. Summer is here and the heat is on, what are your plans for the sunny days ahead? Whether you are thinking of chilling it out on a beach or arranging for a family vacation and/or reunion in your home town, I am inviting you for the whole month of April to join me in a blog event I am hosting, dubbed as “Love at First Spark”, featuring 2017 #SparkNA authors. 

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why
by Jay Asher

Synopsis:
You can't stop the future. You can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret. . . is to press play.

Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her.

Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes-- and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death.

All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town. . .

. . .and what he discovers changes his life forever.

Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three Things
by Julie Buxbaum

Synopsis:
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

Wandering Thoughts: Do Racially Indeterminate, Non Gender Specific Characters Hurt The Push For Diversity?

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is an avenue for bookish personal stories musings and discussions. This post is linked up to Book Blog Discussion.

Don't take me seriously, I'm just a clueless hag.

When we push for diversity, the obvious step of action is to denounce books that are racist or books that leave out the minority and mostly just depict white cis characters. We also hate it when art covers and screen adaptations are whitewashed. Or when stuff like Peeta Mellark’s leg amputation in The Hunger Games – a major plot point because this made him slower in Catching Fire—is not depicted in the movies. What I am a bit unsure of is how to deal with racially indeterminate,non gender specific (R.I.N.G.S. for short?) characters. Are these book characters hurting the diversity movement? Should authors confirm their character’s race and gender explicitly in text?

Review: Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

Everything That Makes You
by Moriah McStay

Synopsis:
One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Event Recap: #NBSFeelsCafe Spark Books Group Book Launch and Discussion

Last February 18, I was able to catch the Spark Books Group Book Launch and Discussion, one of the many events lined up for #NBSFeelsCafe. #NBSFeelsCafe is a series of events hosted by National Book Store featuring local authors. Spark Books is an imprint of Anvil Publishing which releases romance new adult titles.

Photo: National Book Store FB Page

Review: Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Mortal Danger
by Ann Aguirre

Synopsis:
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.

My 2017 Discussion Challenge Sign-up Post




One of the things I resolved this 2017 for this book blog is to do discussion posts. It's actually my goal number two in my lunar new year's greeting and resolution post. I resolved to do this last year and even joined the 2016 Discussion Challenge but I failed terribly so I was a bit hesitant to sign up this year's challenge. Yesterday however, I was able to make this resolution a reality. Congrats, self! I talked here about the instances when I can easily spot an author lurking the pages of the books and decided to call my discussion features as "Wandering Thoughts". So now with one discussion post up and live on the blog, I feel more confident in signing up for this year's discussion challenge.

Wandering Thoughts: Instances When I Can Easily Spot the Author Lurking on the Pages

Image: Kaboompics

Wandering Thoughts is where I let my mind stray, think and talk about non-routine things. This is Rurouni Jenni Reads’ avenue for bookish personal stories musings and discussions.


In a way, authors are like puppetmasters. The book is a puppet show. The stage is on the pages. The book’s characters are the puppets. An author pulls the strings and makes things happen. The author dubs dialogues and makes it appear that the puppets are saying the words.

A good puppet show is when the audience get absorbed by the story and forget that there is a puppetmaster behind the show curtains. One of the puppetmaster’s concern is not to be seen by the audience while the story is unfolding. So is also true with a good book. The author’s presence and machinations must not be felt by the readers in order for the story to build a strong sense of verisimilitude.

2017 Book Blogging Resolutions

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YES, WHY HELLO a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of  you my fellow book wanderers! I can sense those dagger stares from some of you right now, “What is this woman wishing us happy new year for when January is almost over?” So I am cleverly coinciding this long overdue post with the Lunar New Year so it’s still new year though lunar. I hope I am making sense here. Anyway I revisited my 2016 book blogging resolution post to check on how I fared on my previous year’s bookish endeavors. Fair warning: prepare to be extremely disappointed. And then I am also setting my 2017 goals because no matter how hopeless it is to find time to do it all, just keep on trying, right? So here goes:

Review: All My Lonely Islands by V.J. Campilan

All My Lonely Islands
by V.J. Campilan

Synopsis:
One crisp March evening, Crisanta and Ferdinand arrive on the remote Batanes islands for a mission: locate Graciella, whose son, Stevan, they saw die in a tragic accident a decade ago. But they need to confess something to her: Stevan’s death is not all what it seems. Oppressed by a decade of painful memories, Crisanta and Ferdinand must race against time—from the wild swamplands of the Sundarban forest in Bangladesh to the back alleys of Manila to the savage cliffs of Batanes—to offer Graciella the truth that they themselves cannot bear to face.

Stacking the Shelves (STS #7)

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's all about sharing the books added to our shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

What's up, book wanderers? I hope you are all spending the weekends having a nice and quiet reading time like me. I am currently reading All My Lonely Islands by V.J. Campilan, which is one of the bookmails I received this week, and I am loving it so far.

I am also sharing a haul from a book warehouse sale months ago. These books are actually not quite familiar to me until I bought them. While at the warehouse sale, I just piled all the pretty books, looked them up in Goodreads and decided to keep those with above three stars average rating. Come see and maybe you've read some of them.

Review: What About Today by Dawn Lanuza

What About Today
by Dawn Lanuza

Synopsis:
Aiden's stuck working for his family's amusement park, Funtastic World, for the whole summer. Nothing amuses him, until he met this terrified girl.

Gemma's stuck in Funtastic World thinking she could handle the park's rides. She couldn't. Good thing she met someone to guide her.

As the day comes to a close, Aiden and Gemma ask themselves if one day is ever enough to decide if they were better off as friends or strangers.