Dancing Words

The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1) by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau

Rainy days are best spent with a book. With the wind and rain providing a comfortable lull in the air, I searched for something to read. Tired of reading thru eReaders, I looked for a physical one. Sifting through our book haul from the 36th MIBF, I found nothing suited for a day like this. Just as I was about to give up, I noticed a book almost glowing. It was the City of Ember.

First read by my sister, borrowed from a friend. I thought this was the same copy, but looking at the back, the price tag was new. I can't seem to believe it that she would also purchase a copy of her own. This must be something.

And it is. An hour has passed and I am halfway through the book. It was not that compelling but it sure made me forget of the world I was in. I loved it that nothing was convenient for the 2 MCs. (God knows, most YA books make everything convenient for their protagonists.) I could sense the darkness closing upon me.

The story was believable and enjoyable. The characters were likable and I could feel the doubt and fear over venturing into an unknown world, uncertain if the hope they have been clinging to will be realized.

It was a little frustrating that there some things that the characters know nothing about. I felt myself screaming the answers at them but I tried to be patient as some knowledge were intentionally hidden from them.

I lost all hope in YA, since I found myself discouraged from a lot of them. Although I think this also classifies as a middle-grade, I still consider it as YA. The City of Ember made me remember why I started reading YA in the first place.

Next installment, please.

4 stars

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant

Rolling in the Deep - Mira Grant

I don't know what to make of this short read. It is captivating, for sure. All I need to do is to read the first line and I am thrust back into the Atargatis. I am one of its passengers. But somehow, I was indifferent with whole thing. I think its because of the premise that some of the 'documentary' filming will be staged especially those involving the mermaids. Now that a documentary about a documentary is revealing the events that transpired before the disappearance of its passengers, I still think that everything is rigged.

The Blue Seas mermaids really got my attention. I've always wanted to be one but never realized the difficulty of becoming one.

3.5 stars

Suee and the Shadow, Part 1 by Ginger Ly

— feeling big smile
Suee and the Shadow, Part 1 - Kay Lee, Ginger Ly,  Molly Park

I got this APP for free. I usually don't download books that are apps since I like reading in an eReader app. Also, they mostly feature books catering to small children.

Not this one though. The app icon was what got me to download this. It was dark, it was goth and it looks like a strange story. I was right.

I opened the app during lunch and was a bit surprised that I have it. I forgot that I downloaded it. What welcomed me as I started were the stunning graphics. I wouldn’t have cared if the story sucked since I was getting good visuals but, guess what? I liked the story! It wasn’t too middle grade. Suee is 12 years old but she can counter you like a veteran teenager. Your good ol’ MC is smart, savvy and independent. I liked getting into her mind. I like her mind, basically.

This is your typical creepy middle-grade book with apparent bad guys and good guys, your typical badass goth MC with her typical ‘army’ of unlikely friends. But Ginger Ly made it work, whether it was the drawings or because of the MC, I was hooked (never mind the headache from reading a comic book from my phone’s microscopic screen).

Can’t wait for the next one (to go free).

3.5 stars

The Sweetest Tattoo (Cabin Fever, #1) by Cameron Dane

The Sweetest Tattoo - Cameron Dane

Name: John McBride

Hot Body? Check.
Rich? Check.
Piercing blue eyes? Check.
Business savvy? Check.
Sweetness level: 99999999999

John carried this whole book. I did not care for the sex scenes so much. Hell, it took me a long time to get that over with (must've been desensitized since I liked A Younger Man so much that I thought I needed a M/F romance at once). But John, John, John... you had just the right amount of sweetness to make me care about your feelings for Kelsie and root for you. Right at the end, when you confessed your love and the lengths you went for it, I just melted. What girl doesn't want that?

One line from you and I am putty in your hands, John McBride. You are one of my fictional boyfriends now.

3.5 stars

A Younger Man (Cabin Fever #3) by Cameron Dane

A Younger Man by Dane. Cameron ( 2013 ) Paperback - Dane. Cameron
This has been appearing on my feed for a quite a while with high ratings. So, naturally, I wanted to see - I mean, read - this for myself.


And, boy, did it live up to its hype.

 
Noah and Zane were hot hot hot


The sex was great


 
The plot was solid and very very touching
 

I held back just a little bit since the incident with the carrot. Somehow, I wasn't comfortable with that. And that I was constantly reminded that Zane is so much younger than Noah.


I never thought that a story revolving around gay couples would elicit this much feels (besides the hot, hot sex) and connection with the characters from me. I don't usually read gay novels but, maybe this will change that.


I enjoyed this one very much.
 
 
 
4.5 stars

A Death by Stephen King

A Death - Stephen King, Jon Gray

Saw this freebie and swallowed it up immediately.

This is just a short read so I went in. At the time, I was so sleepy I can barely think straight but it did not stop me from finishing this. I wanted to know who dunnit so I can sleep easy.

This did not disappoint. Played with my emotions to the very end.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

I was VERY excited to start this. Been putting off Gillian Flynn's novel because I still wasn't ready to read something like this. I loved Gone Girl with Amy's sharp and unforgiving mind and the twist in the middle of the plot. It was engraved into my mind as I started this; that somehow, Gillian Flynn would manage to fuck my mind with shocking revelations within Dark Places.

Somwhere along the way, it fell short. I am a 90s kid, I don't know much about 80s America. And this didn't help one bit. I could only differentiate the alternating time frames by the chapter titles. I did not feel the 80s vibe when I am in it. No references to pop culture, no 80s jargon. All it had was the 'Satanic panic' which is, I guess, still alive to this day, and therefore not really exclusive to the 80s; and (after reading the acknowledgments) the 80s farm crisis with nothing more than a repetitive variation of

“They say ‘plant fencepost to fencepost!’ and we goddam well did. Buy more land—they say— cause they ain’t making more of it! Then whoops, sorry, we gave you some bad advice. We’ll just take your farm, this place been in your family for generations, we’ll just take this, no hard feelings. You’re the jackass believed us, not really our fault.”

Sure, it was a big factor in the undoing of the Days and I was supposed to feel the family's distress in its deterioration and their loss of livelihood but Runner's an asshole too.

Libby Day's character was one I did not like. I don't know if I just read too many YAs but to me, her voice sounded like a whiny teenager. It did not feel natural that she spent a large part of her life feeling sorry for herself and then suddenly she was investigating the case 24/7. Actively searching out persons of interest and having revealing conversations with them about the case when just the other she could not be bothered to talk with anyone. Even with her banker about her dwindling money supply. The catalyst behind her pro-activity is very weak, not convincing. How did she even become friends with Lyle is a mystery.

Ben Day hit the nail on the head with

“By now he thought of Ben, fifteen-year-old Ben, almost as his son, an entirely different being, and sometimes he wanted to throttle the kid, the kid who just didn’t have it in him— he’d picture shaking Ben until his face blurred.”

He who put himself behind bars just so he could protect his crazy girlfriend from her crime, for 25 years. (What about the rest of us, huh, Ben?)

(show spoiler)



The writing was the biggest factor I did not enjoy this. It was tediously detailed. I skimmed a lot of scenes and still understood it. It was meant to keep the reader guessing but I was just annoyed. And the end was a huge letdown. I was expecting a bit more..supernatural, I guess?

This is supposed to be Gillian Flynn's best novel (or was it Sharp Objects?) but it did not work for me.

2 stars

The Deal (Off-Campus, #1) by Elle Kennedy

The Deal - Elle Kennedy
I am Hannah. I'm your typical MC in a NA novel: smokin' hot body, noble, has a horrid past to add some depth and perfect. So perfect I'm even better than the prodigy. And to make me unlike the rest, I have a good head on my shoulders, respect myself and a smart-ass.

And I am Garrett. I have everything. Smokin' hot body, trust fund baby, captain of the hockey team, has a horrid past to add some depth and a ladies' man, of course. And to make me unlike the rest, I ace almost all my subjects, I may be a ladies' man but I don't lead them on, and I'm sensitive and sweet without being broody.

In this smutty Love Story, we get all the crass banter between our two MCs and their troubles, coupled with
little
(show spoiler)
sexy time, but without the death.

Bleghhh. God knows how frustrated and irritable I am when I finished that.

Sigh. I have always complained about the lack of sensible MCs in my NAs. And now I got it and I'm still not happy. I liked Hannah's personality. She has a smart-ass mouth that puts a man in her place. In another story I would have loved her. And Garret, hmmm..well, he has his moments.

I don't know what went wrong. The characters were likable, they did not have my eyes rolling. The story was okay, it was rational. But I did not connect to it. I mean, I can see the scenes play out in my head but I just did not feel it. Maybe it tried too hard to make its characters unique that the writing was not focused on enough. Although since from the beginning I wasn't going gaga over it but I expected for it to get better- what with all the raging reviews I'm getting at my feed. It didn't. It got duller. It started out with distinctive characters in a not-so-typical storyline and went down from there. It sidled up to the typical NA story with all the honorable acts and cheesy. And that's what's not making it work! (I think) If you want to have stand-out characters, don't put them in cliché situations with cliché responses! I put this down for while and it took me some effort to continue with it. I could go on not having to know how it ended but I just have to finish it.

I have read quite a few NAs and so far I already associated it with smut. But here, I just don't get it. There's barely any sexiness going on and what's little of it that's there is not even hot. (Boooo!) There is no element of NA in it either! No 'developing sexuality', it's already developed. No 'negotiating education and career choices', it's already been decided. No 'leaving home', they're already juniors. No 'empowerment', they have done it all on their own before the story starts. Now what? Just the (bland) romance??

I never thought I'd say this but give me the blonde bombshell MCs with the eye-rolling stories that, at least, makes me feel something (other than the expected facepalms, of course) than this. Reasonable characters who are trying to be everything all at once. Not eager to pick up the sequel.

3 stars for trying.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell has done it again!

 

Oh. My. God.

 

I've never been this excited with YA for such a looong time. The dialogue was sharp, the characters were well-rounded and funny, the story was solid and I love EVERY. BIT. Even Eleanor and Park hadn't done that to me. This is, by far, her best work. (I don't care if I've just read two of her books, I love this.)

 

Cath, a change-averse 18-year-old fanfiction author, start freshman this year and, naturally, she's rooming up with her 'hotter and prettier' twin sister. In which, she doesn't. Her sister wants them to meet new people since they've inseparable since high school. So she meets Reagan, her roommate, who occasionally brings 5 different men and Levi (my sweet, sweet Levi).

 

I'm gonna cut short now because if I don't, I'll be writing the whole story.

 

I have to be honest with you, the first 50% of the book I thought that neither Nick Nor Levi deserve Cath. I don't know, I guess I could right through them and knew that they would do something douche-y. I was right, ha! 

I still can't get over Levi kissing another girl. I am now used to him and Cath being together.

(show spoiler)

I was leaning towards Nick since they clicked together with their writing and I thought Levi was in an open relationship with Reagan. But, boy did I melt every time Levi picks up Cath from one of their writing meetings, especially the one when she hasn't even dialed yet for Levi.

 

This also made me reminisce the time when I was reading fanfiction. From animés to books (mainly Harry Potter), I would read them all. This was from the time when the internet was only through dial-up. I would go to the internet café to save fanfiction so I could read them offline at home OR I would copy saved fanfiction from my classmates and would plug them into OUR computer. That was with a floppy disk, mind you. Good times.

 

I loved the dynamics of Cath's family. It was believable and relatable. Their family wasn't perfect and so is Cath.

It did not aim to preach by letting Cath forgive their mother just because it was the right thing to do. I was surprised Wren was the one who let their mother into their lives again.

(show spoiler)

 

Simon Snow very much reminded me of Harry Potter and then Levi goes on to mention Harry Potter gay fanfic. My brain just exploded. It reminded me of the time when I was also devouring fanfic after fanfic of the seventh Harry Potter book before it was released, and the feeling when it already came out.I was also in tears. This is so on point. I must say that they are good bits in Cath's fanfic. Cath wrote very well about them that I wish I could read her fanfics. I laughed at Baz' lines. No doubt I would read during those years.

 

This book also lets you peek into the life of an author. Cath is taking up a junior-level Fiction-Writing class and she may be a natural at it but there are also times that authors have a hard time or make a mistake or lose their 'mojo'. Realizing this, it makes me want to write even more. I was jealous of Cath because it seems that she did not struggle in the beginning of her writing. Oh well, I need to practice more.

 

Now we talk about Levi and Cath.

 

 

 

I can't keep my hands off them!! They were so cute and sweet and cuddly and cute and.. ok. I'm stopping.

 

I love the development of their relationship. The flirting from the time they met until to the time they were together. They were being cute and cheesy and all lovey-dovey and I did not feel like shoving them off a cliff. And, they were so smart that having the most mundane of details of their daily life is not boring. He really is a match for Cath. He always gets through to her. He is the sweetest but he is not without his flaws. I forgive him now.

 

And, Reagan. Now, this is the girl to aspire to

 

"Even without her makeup and hair, the girl was terrifying. There was just no fear in her. No hesitation. Talking to Reagan was like standing in front of an oncoming train."

 

Strong but soft, too.

 

I admit I held off in the last fifty pages. I read Eleanor and Park, they broke my heart. They left me wondering if they ever did got back together. The family issues were resolved. The love scenes were described. But not Fangirl. It's a whole new world with this. Same eccentric, lovable, relatable character and same squeal-worthy scenes but different.

 

This one hits too close to home. I laughed, I cried, I squealed. I am fangirling all throughout this. Read it.

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times by Emma Trevayne

Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times - Emma Trevayne

I was very excited to start this one. The beginning held my fascination so much. Londinium was all sorts of wonder but to tell you the truth, it struck me as a world wherein pollution took over. Everyone had mechanical pieces for the body parts that toxins claimed. It took me a while (near the end of the story) to realize that it was the way it was meant to be. A mechanical London, a world vastly different from ours. One which needs machines and clockwork to fully function.

 

Jack, the son of a wealthy businessman, finds himself on the wrong side of a door. A place very much alike to his home except in the prominence of cyborgs(!) and the soot. Soon after, he finds out that he is to be the new son of the Lady, she who rules over Londinium. As typical as any other heir to a business, Jack is groomed to take over the business as he gets older but for now, he is a brat. And this is where my issues come in ─ I could never stand 'em. If I were a younger maybe I could ignore it and enjoy the story but as it is, I am not. Jack had a painfully slow development. He is curious and he resents his parents for not spending enough with him when evidently they care for him enough to give him the best the world has to offer. He also thinks of only himself, always wants his way and is blind to the state of society as long as everything is good for him. All the qualities of a child I'm sure but if you were not so privileged you would be sensitive enough to be aware that people around you are oppressed. It's not always rainbows and butterflies you know. I adored Beth so much, maybe because there is no trace of malice in her.

 

I was 70% into the story when the juicy part began. Jack's losses and triumphs molded him to a character we can root for. I loved everything after that though it felt like everything happened too fast. And I would really like know how his parents accepted his return.

 

3.5 stars

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate This is heartbreaking. I loved Ivan's voice and the way the emotions are presented.

Mga Kirot ng Kapalaran

Mga Kirot ng Kapalaran - Manix Abrera Wala pa ding palya si Manix. Nakakatawa at napapaisip ka pa din. Ilan sa mga tinalakay dito ay ang

Mga pampublikong paksa
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Edukasyon
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Mga katanungan sa buhay
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Kosmos
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Estado sa lipunan
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Sikolohiya
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Pananaw sa buhay
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Mapapansin inulit ko lamang ang mga larawan mula sa aking mga status updates. Baka kasi sabihan na ako ni Manix na bakit di ko nalang ilagay ang buong komiks nya dito.

Ok? Bawal ang tanga. ;p

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Blue Is the Warmest Color

Blue Is the Warmest Color - Julie Maroh I love love love LOVED this book. Every scene resonates with you even if you are not homosexual, it paints the struggle of being one in the most sincere way.

I only did not like that Clem died. Sure, it was pretty up front about it but as you read, you forget that Clem dies. You start to hope that maybe it was someone else who did. Then the reality of it hits you and there is nothing you can do about. I did not need Clem dying, it was heartfelt the way it is.

I need my tissues. Now, the movie!

Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls - Abigail Haas, Abby McDonald I have never liked thriller movies that start with a vacation and ends with murder. I have always thought that that kind of premise is too staged, too Hollywood. The thing I dislike most is that everyone is bound to be stupid. Like, you want to hold everyone's eyes open or coach them because they can't see what should have been obvious.

Lo, and behold, Dangerous Girls is all about that. We start off with Elisa and Anna's group having their Spring Break in Aruba until the brutal murder of Elise. This group is your typical rich teenagers: sheltered, cocky, and bitchy. Then, this tragedy happened and everything unravels. It's the usual: incompetent authorities, shallow reasons, friendships break down, one-dimensional characters. Ugh, it is too predictable. Like I said earlier, this rings a lot like Gone Girl except it's for teens.

Anna alternates between her memories of her friendship with Elise and with the trial. Honestly, I couldn't care any less. I feel that her memories don't play a part into the present except to paint a picture of her as innocent and a great friend. The trials are no better, we are fed with a lot of antics that doesn't really amount to anything. Not one evidence to support their case against Anna. How could you do that at court? You accuse someone and all you have is their social media photos from months ago? Nothing from the crime scene? No effort into digging deeper?

Now the ending. I admit I didn't see that one coming. Not a clue about her crime. There may be some, but they way Dekker lays it sounds like a joke. It didn't ruin anything for me, but it felt forced.

This looks to me like a very bad teen horror movie. What a joke.

1.5 stars

Update: 12 hours later I'm still thinking about this book, which should count for something. I've been picking apart its pieces, which ones are true and which ones are not. Seems like the body-language expert was right after all. I tried to reread this to see if I just missed something, hence the low rating, but I just couldn't. I so wanted to like this but, sadly, it wasn't for me.

Another update: Amanda Knox has been declared innocent. Does this mean Juan is the real REAL culprit here?

More Than This

More Than This - Jay McLean This was recommended to me by my friend and seeing that it has 4 stars I decided to give it a try.

It was a surprise to find out that the author was partly Filipina and that Mikayla is one, too. My excitement just grew.

I liked the romance between Kayla and Jake, especially because Ms. McLean really made the situation of them living together as the only option, with her family being murdered on the day that she found out that her boyfriend of 4 years was cheating on her with her bestfriend. It made the circumstances much more acceptable.

The story was good enough that I was able to set aside the holes and concerns I had and just enjoy it. Except for Jake's fits of rage. I could just not deal with that ferocity when he's angry. I mean, we all get angry but you cannot talk to me like that, especially when you have no idea what's going on, then you claim that you more than a lot like me. For me, that would be red flag. I really could not get past that that I paused my reading for a while.

I'm glad I finished this as I loved the part towards the ending. The whole truth on the murder of her family. It was a potential mystery and could be turned into a more satisfying story (for me, as I love mysteries. but I like it as well, just as it is). And much more satisfying is that they finally got together with no more moments of rage and it was just awww.

One more thing, I always mix up their names!. Jake, James, Andrew, Matthew. One's name in another's surname. Phew!

It is a relatable story, in some aspects, and I had fun reading it. And with the epilogue, I just cannot let this go without finding out what's next!

3.5 stars

Another Little Piece

Another Little Piece - Kate Karyus Quinn I had high expectations for this book because of all its hype. It was a very good story but I had a hard time keeping track of all the changes in the scenes and perspectives. I found myself reading lines over and over and over just to understand who's speaking.

3 stars