Book-ish Swags Winner

I did something unsual today today – drawing my giveaway winner the old fashion way! No rafflecapter or random.org, instead I wrote every name of giveaway particants in a pad paper, then cut each name, throw them in a box and asked my office mate to pick one from the box. I didn’t expect to have fun doing all those things.

You can check the photos of how I did it, just never mind my poor hand writing! :)

giveaway entries

bookish swags giveaway entries

swags giveaway entries

So here’s the winner of the Book-ish Swags Giveaway!!!

Giveaway WinnerCongratulations Mileventwelve!!! I will email you in a bit to get your shipping details. And you have 48 hours to reply. Otherwise I’ll be forced to draw another. To those who participated in the giveaway, Thank you very much! If you didn’t win, don’t worry, there will be another giveaway here on the blog soon. I have some signed books to share and few more swags, so watch out!

Quotes: Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

Every You Every MeI reecently finished another David Levithan’s book, Every You, Every Me and as usual I’m overwhelmed with many great quotes and words of wisdom from David. He is really a genius! So before I write my review for the book I decided to share first to all of you David’s clever and thought provoking words.

“You don’t know me. You know one me, just like I know one you. And you can’t know every me, and I can’t know every you.”

LIFE

“I don’t want you to think I got through this undamaged, okay? But I’m learning to live with it. Because otherwise, the damage is all you are.”

“My mind was getting away from reality again, and I reluctantly drew it back in. There is no getting away from reality.”

“Your life is inescapable. Unless you decide to escape it.”

“Everyone tried with me. And everytime, it felt like the whole point of life was to see if trying was ever enough.”

“There is no such thing as no choice. There is always a choice. The only question is whether it’s a bearable one.”

“That word again. Happy. It’s a curse. The pursuit of happiness makes us deeply unhappy. It’s a trap. 

LOVE / RELATIONSHIPS

“Let’s always love each other, and never be in love with each other.”

“This is the thing they don’t tell you about being a third wheel – it’s not like you’re the wheel that’s added on. You were one of the original two wheels, but suddenly you’re not so important anymore. The relationship drives fine without you.”

“If you zoom close-if you get really close to someone, if you really get close to yourself-then you lose the other person, you lose yourself entirely. You get so close you can’t see anything anymore.”

MEMORIES

“I was starting to think I was making up memories, just to have answers.
Our brain does that sometimes.
Or at least mine does.”

“There’s no way to release yourself from a memory. It ends when it wants to end, whether it’s in a flash or long after you’ve begged it to stop.”

“I couldn’t remember ordinary moments, only the ones that had made an impression. Ordinary moments were the ones that fell away first.”

“A photograph it a souvenir of a memory.
It is not a moment.
It is the looking at the photograph that becomes the moment. Your own moment.”

“Void is when there is absolutely nothing there and the nothing is natural, a complete vacuum. But empty – with empty, you are aware of what’s supposed to be there. Empty means something is missing.”

“I had gotten so used to being alone, but never entirely used to it. Never used to it enough to stop wanting the alternative.”

“I can’t stop looking, even when I want to have to stop. I get lost in ifs. They are always there if if if if and I should only be able to tune in to them if I’m on the right frequency. But that’s the thing about me: the frequencies don’t divide.”

“My mother said I should have a ‘change of scenery.’ The word scenery made be think of a play. And as we were driving around, it made sense that way. Because no matter how much the scenery changed, we were still on the same stage.”

“That whole week, we started to divide things into those two categories: anything or something. A piece of jewelry bought at a department store: anything. A piece of jewelry made by hand: something. A dollar: anything. A sand dollar: something. A gift certificate: anything. An IOU for two hours of star-watching: something. A drunk kiss at a party: anything. A sober kiss alone in a park: something.”

DEATH

“I have always been aware of how I break.
I know what kind of situations will break me.
I know what kind of people will do it.
I know how much it will hurt.”

“That’s the question, isn’t it?” you said one night. “Does death bring freedom, or is it the end of freedom?”

“But death is not freedom. For a moment, it can look like freedom. But then it’s death.

Bloggers Preview Night: Harper Collins (Winter 2015)

Technically we don’t’ celebrate winter here in PH but when Sarah of HarperCollins International send invites for W’ 15 Preview Night I can’t help but get excited. The House of Starks motto, “Winter is Coming” suddenly become like an LSS before the actual event. We don’t usually get an event like this here in Manila, as of I know it is the first that an International Publisher held an event like this for bloggers and being part of the event is a privilege for me.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but meeting Sarah last Saturday during Claudia Gray and Madeline Roux book signing event in Makati makes me more excited for the Preview Night. Sarah is so friendly and nice. I think she’s my new favorite publicist. Love her!

Basically, the Preview Night is where we got the chance to get a sneak peak of what HarperCollins is brewing for the next season. We got to see the upcoming titles, play games, and discuss some of the books and authors we like. Sarah is very accommodating and enthusiastic. She answered all our questions and share her experience with us – from the books, the authors she met, her work as a publicist, and the publishing industry in general. It’s a light and fun event overall.

Here are the list of books presented with their expected publication date:

The Jewel Falling into Place Endgame A Thousand Pieces of You Transcendent

The Jewel by Amy Ewing (September 2, 2014)
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang (September 9, 2014)
Endgame: The Calling by James Frey (October 7, 2014)
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (November 4, 2014)
Transcendent: A Starling Novel by Lesley Livingston (December 23, 2014)

Willowgrove Twisted Fate A Cold Legacy Playlist for the Dead Red Queen

Willowgrove (Hemlock #3) by Kathleen Peacock (January 6, 2015)
Twisted Fate by Norah Olson (January 20, 2015)
A Cold Legacy (The Madman’s Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd (January 27, 2015)
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff (January 27, 2015)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (February 10, 2015)

My Heart and Other Black Holes he Last Time We Say Goodbye Better Than Perfect A Wicked Thing Vanishing Girls

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (February 10, 2015)
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand (February 10, 2015)
Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor (February 17, 2015)
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas (February 24, 2015)
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (March 3, 2015)

The Queen & The Favorite The Orphan Queen Everything That Makes You Blackbird Fly The Wicked Will Rise

The Selection Stories by Kiera Cass: The Queen and The Favorite (March 3, 2015)
The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (March 10, 2015)
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay (March 15, 2015)
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (March 24, 2015)
The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2) by Danielle Paige (March 31, 2015)

Lies I Told You The Pretty App Forged 99 Days

Lies I Told by Michelle Zink (April 7, 2015)
The Pretty App (App #2) by Katie Sise (April 14, 2015)
Forged (Taken #3) by Erin Bowman (April 14, 2015)
99 Days by Katie Cotugno (April 21, 2015)
The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine (April 28, 2015)

Magonia The Heir

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley (April 28, 2015)
The Heir (The Selection #4) by Kiera Cass (May 5, 2015)
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider (May 26, 2015)

What do you think of these books? Which of the above titles are you most excited to read?

And here are some photos during the preview night:

HarperCollins Winter 2015 Preview Night

Sarah & Me

Thank you so much HarperCollins International, and National Bookstore for arranging this event. And of course a huge thanks to Sarah for inviting us to the preview night. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay here in Manila. We love to see you again.

Giveaway: Book-ish Swags!

I just feel like giving away these swags below. So who ever wants them just comment on this post and I will draw a winner next week. Good Luck!

The Giveaway:

What’s up for Grabs?

* All these Book-ish Swags

swags

*edited: I added few more swags from the original post so the photo changed :)

The Rules:

  • Open to everyone / international
  • Comment on this post to enter, one entry per person only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be announced here on the post & contacted thru email
  • Winner should response with their details within 48 hours
  • Ends next week, October 21st, 2014

Good Luck!!!

Update:

The contest is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who has entered. The winner was already drawn and announced via this post. I also sent email to the winner, who got 48 hours to reply or else I’ll be forced to draw another. Congrats to the winner and Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Black Ice

“You never know what you’re going to have to face, so you’d better be prepared.”

Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…

Book Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads | National Book Store

Black Ice Blog Tour Banner

Personal Thoughts:

I have read Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush saga (yes all four books of them) which we all know are paranormal books about fallen angels. Though I already know long ago that Becca is writing a psychological thriller I didn’t expect Black Ice to be that different. I mean, there are mystery and thrill in Hush, Hush but in Black Ice they are way better, more real and more dangerous. I think I like to see Bacca write more on this genre than the paranormal one.

The story is about Britt Pfeiffer who is set to backpacking the Teton Range with her best friend Korbie. Britt had been preparing for this trip for months, from organizing the things they need, researching the weather and the road maps, up to training herself to hike by hiking small distance. They are supposed to spend their few days getaway in Korbie’s family’s lodge in the mountain. Calvin, Korbie’s brother and Britt’s ex-boyfriend will be meeting them there too. On their way to the mountain, the girls encounter unexpected snow storms which leave them no choice but to find a nearest shelter to stay for a while. After more or less an hour of walking they stumbled across a cabin and inside are two men, Mason and Shawn. These two guys seem harmless but then they took Britt and Korbie hostage.

The opening prologue is my favorite part of this book. It tells the story of one of the three murders that happened before Britt’s own story. It is intense and engaging which perfectly set the tone of the book.

Becca Fitzpatrick writing definitely matured compare to her previous books. I love how she plotted this whole messy story of murder and mystery which makes the pacing easily engaging and flowing. It’s not the massive kind of whodunit as I easily figure out the suspect but it is still engaging nonetheless.

As for the characters, well the narrator isn’t perfect, she has flaws and did some things that irritate me but I like how determined and brave she is. I like that in-spite of the heavy situation she still manage to think things through. Her character development from a dependent girl to being a survivor is very well written.

Then we have Mason, another dangerous bad boy created by Becca Fitzpatrick. I think Becca has a real knock with this kind of characters. Just like Patch of Hush, Hush, Mason is mysterious and intriguing which will surely make readers drawn to him in every way possible.

Black Ice is not perfect though. It is good and entertaining read that keep me on the edge of my seat because I want to know if my theories are correct but in the end I didn’t like the all wrap up ending. I’m not against with the happily ever after kind of ending but Black Ice is too neatly wrap up for my taste – complete with a bow and all. I wish the story end differently. That at least Mason was held accountable for some of the bad things he had done, or that the killer doesn’t end up like it did. It so easy and less unrealistic in my opinion.

With suspense, mystery, drama, and romance Black Ice is a thrilling read. It is tense and well written. A successful transition from paranormal to psychological genre for Becca Fitzpatrick.

The Mission (The Unknown Assassin #2) by Allen Zadoff

The Misson

“The difference between a hero and a villain is a very thin line.”

He was the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody: No name. No past. No remorse. At least until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders — until he fell in love with his target. Now The Program is worried that its valuable soldier has become a liability.

Boy Nobody, haunted by the outcome of his last assignment, is given a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to show his loyalty.

Book Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads | National Book Store | Publisher

Personal Thoughts:

Also known as I Am The Mission in US or The Lost Mission in UK, this second installment of Allen Zadoff’s The Unknown Assassin series is not only an entertaining read like the first book but also more action packed, more thrilling, and full of twist and turns that will surely keep readers on the edge of their seats.

If you have read my review for the first book, The Hit (first published as Boy Nobody) you know that I’m all praises for that book. I love everything about it that I’ve written a longer and more detail review than usual. I also developed high expectations from Allen Zadoff, I don’t know how he will do it but I’m certain he can top the first installment, and top he did. He not only deliver a thrilling story but also surpass the first installment with this book, The Mission.

In here, Nobody’s mission is much bigger, the risk is definitely much higher, tension is shooting up, and the danger is more real.

New mission, new name and new background for Nobody. For this mission he is going under the name of Daniel, a regular kid who was sent by his father to join a recruiting event for a teenagers’ camp. The camp called Camp Liberty is owned and managed by a former US military officer, Eugene Moore – Daniel’s new target. Daniel isn’t the first assassin sent by The Program to do the task. He is deployed to complete a lost mission with one specific condition set by The Program – he must not enter Camp Liberty.

But things doesn’t always go as plan and Daniel was left with no other choice than to continue the mission even without the help of The Program. Without communication and assurance from his superiors Daniel must rely on his own to complete the task while deciphering who is really the good guy and the bad guy.

Going back to Nobody’s (now Daniel) head is always a welcome experience. His isolated and succinct voice is perfect to his personal background as an assassin trained by The Program. His process of thought and his ideas are interesting and even thought-provoking.

“Everyone in the world is a follower. They follow an agenda, whether it’s set by school, parents, a job, society. The only question is who or what they choose to follow. Most people don’t even realize there’s a choice to make, so they end up stumbling blindly through their lives, wondering why they’re so unhappy when they’re doing everything right.”

Daniel approached every situation with his assassin’s skills and trained mind, mostly for The Program’s benefits, until he uncover some of the secrets and the lies. From there emerge a more raw and more human like version of Daniel as he starts to questions the authority, his mission, and his role in all that is happening. He finally shows some real feelings and emotions, and all those happen gradually with believable reasons to back it all up which simply prove a well handled character development by Allen Zadoff.

In the first book, Boy Nobody, Daniel (Ben/Nobody) is a solo soldier, no real friends, no real family. No one to trust or care of. But in this installment he is finally learning to trust other people. He is willing to hand his life and security to a friend, someone we already met in the previous book of this series.

“If you don’t feel fear, you don’t feel joy or love. Not in any real way. Without the fear, the risk is gone. And without risk, rewards don’t matter. You’re left with nothing much at all. You’re numb.”

The first person narrative is perfect. It so easy to understand and feel every emotions of Daniel even with his machine like personality. Every little emotion he shows is bursting into million pieces, every cut and every scraps he get feels like my own wounds, every questions and doubts are same questions running in my own head. Everything is raw, powerful, and real.

How Daniel battle between his loyalty and his personal responsibility is well written. It keeps the story more engaging, more interesting, and more thrilling. As Daniel uncover some of the secrets and started to question The Program and his missions, I find myself rooting for him while dreading some of the revelations that is coming.

The story line about the military camp is very believable. It can happen or maybe it is happening somewhere, and that alone makes the story more compelling and even frightening. It also provides a perfect opponent for Daniel. The place is like a mine field waiting to explode and the people inside the camp are like assassins like him. One wrong move or miscalculated step my favorite assassin is gone. It really gives a risky and frigthening feel, add the action-packed scenes, the killings, secrets, and lies I am literally holding my breath in most of the scenes.

Overall, The Mission is a solid riveting sequel to The Unknown Assassin series. With its believable and interesting premise, complex characters, and action packed story line, Allen Zadoff successfully delivered a thought-provoking, pulse-pounding, and smart novel once again. Will surely be reading the next/final installment of this series.

*This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Books UK in exchange of honest opinion.

Love Story

LOVE STORY

Too late to pretend
Too late to ignore
Your blind eyes doesn’t work
‘Coz everyone already knows

I’m giving you time
I’m giving you space
But those doesn’t mean
That I’m giving you up

No matter how hard you push or
How many times you sent me away
I will keep coming back
Like the ocean waves

I’m your shadow
Forever will be
I’m stick to you, tied
And stuck like a glue

So stop fighting, stop pretending
We all know you’re hurting too
Just give this a chance
A love story of me and you

* this poem is inspired by the novel, Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks