Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Book Description via Goodreads:
e-ARC, 319 pages
May 8, 2012, Harcourt Children’s Books


It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.


When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.


The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?

Source: Alethea Kontis & Netgalley (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:
Sunday was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. She was doomed to a happy life but all she wanted was to be interesting. Right from the start, I was able to relate to Sunday. She was a regular girl: she gets mad, gets annoyed, complains, endures, suffers and loves. She had the same desire like everybody else – she wanted to be interesting.

Monday’s child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go,
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is blithe and bonny and good and gay.

-from Enchanted


Sunday’s family was far from normal. Jack Junior, Sunday’s eldest brother was a hero. Her sisters were special and they stood out. Monday was the beautiful sister. Tuesday was the fabulous dancer. Wednesday was the dramatic poet. Thursday was the Pirate Queen. Friday was the talented and loving seamstress. Saturday was the strong one, the warrior-like and boyish sister. Sunday was a writer. She wrote stories about things that have already happened in the past because if she wrote something that hasn’t happened yet, they have a tendency to come true. She didn’t want to alter the future in some way.

Rumbold’s life was divided into three parts: pre-enchanted, enchanted and post-enchanted. Living as a small, frog in the middle of the Woods changed him. He had become humble, learned to live a difficult life out of the palace and of course, he met Sunday. When Sunday’s kiss transformed him back to his true self, the process wasn’t fast and easy. Unlike in fairytales, transforming from an enchanted frog to a prince didn’t just happen with magical swirls of colors. In Enchanted, Kontis elaborated the process of going back. It was difficult, nauseous and weakening and you only get your body first, the memories will follow bit by bit afterwards. So for a little while, Rumbold didn’t really know what he was like before.

Fall in love with Rumbold and Sunday as they struggle to discover who they really were in a world filled with drama, curses, grudges and dark secrets that bound not only their family against each other but also their fate.

Imagine all your favorite fairytales blending together in a novel. That was what Kontis did in Enchanted. She stitched together the key elements of each fairytale and made a brilliant, magic-filled story. If you’re thinking that all the fairytales stitched up as one would be a mess, I have to tell you this: No, not at all. It was fun and interesting and the each fairytale, each piece of the story clicked together.

Enchanted is an intriguing, bizarre and addicting tale of magic, love and secrets. Familiar and unpredictable at the same time, Enchanted is sprinkled with dark secrets and twists and turns that will surprise readers. I highly recommended this to fairytale and fantasy readers!

Rating:



Thursday, March 29, 2012

ARC Tours: Oppression by Jessica Therrien + The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Hi everyone! So today, I'm posting something new. Something I've never tried on my own, really. I'm one of the administrators of Pinoy Book Tours, a blog tour site dedicated to Filipino YA book bloggers. However, my partner and I decided to close Pinoy Book Tours due to problems. But this doesn't mean that we'll stop organizing tours.

I have two ARCs to tour:

Oppression by Jessica Therrien
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Published by: ZOVA Books

Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
Published by: Harper Collins

WHAT IS OLDEST WILL BE NEW, WHAT IS LOST SHALL BE FOUND.

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy. But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry…and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

Thank you to Molly & ZOVA Books and Kevin for the copies! :)

Oppression Blog Tour:

1. Kai
2. Blackplume
3. Jenna Christy
4. Bookchilla
5. The Unseelie Nerd (Book Whales)

The Lost Code Blog Tour:

1. Precious
2. Kai
3. Jenna Christy
4. The Unseelie Nerd (Book Whales)
5.

Rules:

If you're a Filipino YA blogger...
If you've been blogging for 1 year or more...
If you have a steady number of followers...
If you have a clean record when it comes to PBT tours...

Then what are you waiting for? Sign-up! 








For questions, comments, suggestions and violent reactions, don't hesitate to email me at precious_shusky@yahoo.com


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Stormdancer, Rage Within + The Curiosities

Hi everyone! It’s time for Waiting on Wednesday. And THIS time, I have  a triple treat for you!

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Publication Date: September 2012
Published by: Tor UK and St. Martins Press

A DYING LAND
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, land choked with toxic pollution, wildlife ravaged by mass extinctions.

AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST
The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary beast, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows thunder tigers have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.

A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a hidden gift that would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.

But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Why I Chose this:

Japanese mythology + dystopian + a kickass girl? I need to read this. It’s calling my name – I..I can’t wait to read this! If the synopsis isn't enough for you, read this guest post by Jay Kristoff. :)

Rage Within by Jeyn Roberts
Publication Date: September 24, 2012 (US) & August 30, 2012 (UK)
Published by: Simon & Schuster & Pan Macmillan

Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael have survived the first wave of the apocalypse that wiped out most of the world's population, and turned many of the rest into murderous Baggers. Now, they're hiding out in an abandoned house in Vancouver with a ragtag group of surviving teens, and trying to figure out their next move.

Aries is trying to lead, but it's hard to be a leader when there are no easy answers, and every move feels wrong. Clementine is desperate to find her brother Heath, but it's impossible to know where he'd be, even if he is still alive. Michael is still haunted by the memories of his actions during his harrowing struggle to survive. And Mason is struggling with something far worse: the fear that he may be a danger to his friends.

As the Baggers begin to create a new world order, Aries, Clementine, Mason and Michael will have to trust and rely on each other in order to survive.

Why I Chose this:

Last year, I read, reviewed and loved Dark Inside. It was creepy and so terrifyingly good! I love Jeyn’s writing and I can’t wait to find out what happens next – especially about ‘Nothing.’ ;)

The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff
Publication Date: October 2012
Published by: Carolrhoda Books

(no description yet)

Why I Chose this:

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. I love Maggie, Tessa & Brenna! After I first read Shiver by Maggie, I googled her and found out that she, together with ger two writer friends are posting short stories on a weekly basis at Merry Sisters of Fate (Livejournal). I go there all the time (until a few months ago because school got too hectic.) Now they’ve moved to Wordpress. Try it. Go there and read any of their stories. You’ll know why I got addicted. And why I just have to have The Curiosities!



Monday, March 26, 2012

Lauren Deliria Nervosa: Private Lunch + Book Signing + Revelations

I’ll keep this post direct to the point. *breathes* Yesterday, I met the amazing, charming and very talented Lauren Oliver. My co-blogger and book sister, Kai from Amaterasu Reads, won two invites to a Private Lunch with Lauren and she invited me to come along with her! <3



Along with 18 fans, Kai and I had a private lunch with Lauren at Recipes by Café Metro in Greenbelt 3. We also got to talk with the Event Organizers from National Bookstore and subtly (or maybe not so subtly) requested that they bring Cassandra Clare, Julie Kagawa and more authors to Manila. ;)

Lauren chatting with fans
Nope not sleepy!
Lauren moved to three different seats – the last one was by my side. She signed my copy of Delirium. I told Lauren about her sending me a copy of her debut, Before I Fall, in 2010 for a blog event called Christmas Countdown. And yay – she remembers!
 
 With Kai (left) and the amazing Lauren Oliver (middle)!
 After the lunch, we headed to Powerbooks to have our other books signed. Before the signing, they projected the book trailers of Delirium, Before I Fall and Liesl and Po and some of Lauren's interviews. After watching the trailer of Liesl and Po and hearing this song - A Train with Wings - over and over, I'm absolutely addicted to it!




I'm # 81 and Kai is # 82! Texting my boyfriend before the signing (Kai must have noticed because she took this picture)
Lauren was interviewed before the signing. It was in that moment that I realized how beautiful, inspired and amazing Lauren really is. Before I Fall is one of my favorite books ever but now that I heard her talk about her books and her writing, I’ll be sure to pick up all of her future works. 


I brought three books - Before I Fall, Delirium and Pandemonium and I bought Liesl and Po at the venue. Went home with all of them signed!






In the spirit of being inspired, I’ll list down what I learned from Lauren’s interview:

Liesl and Po is semi-autobiographical because the passing of a loved one inspired Lauren to write this book. I was touched when she said that Liesl’s journey became her journey while she was writing the book. She was trying to write color back into the world.

Lauren doesn’t focus on genres. She writes them all – MG, YA and Adult. She focuses on writing the story instead.

She used to write on her Blackberry while being jostled by homeless people in New York Subway. (her words) – which means, aspiring writers can’t use the ‘I don’t have time excuse’ because Lauren literally didn’t have time. She just wrote in between.

Amor deliria nervosa was inspired by the time when people were panicking over Swine Flu. Then she researched about it and found out that in some societies (old and new,) when you’re passionate about something, you’re considered as sick. You need to be calm and things need to be regular and smooth. (Still shocked about this – need to research on that, too.)

Her work in progress is a realistic fiction entitled Panic. I think it’s an Adult book. But heck, I’m buying it as soon as it’s out!

It was also fun meeting fellow bloggers and tweeters there like Dea, Louisse, Blackplume aka Cai, Jayjay, Maria and Kwesi.

Big thanks to Kai, Lauren and National!

Oh and Lauren's next stop is Australia! So if you're in that area, make sure to meet her! :)




Sunday, March 25, 2012

Revenants Week Blog Tour: Character Profile - Charlotte Violaine Lorieux


Today I’m going to introduce you to a very interesting and charming character from Die For Me (remember this pretty novel set in France? With the swirly, inky curves?). Amy Plum handpicked this beautiful girl (below), who is similar to Charlotte, while she was writing her debut, Die For Me.


Name: Charlotte Violaine Lorieux

Born: November 1, 1927 - Paris

Died: February, 1942 - Paris (Resistance) at age 15.

Hair: Short cropped blond.

Eyes: Green.

Other vitals: 5'7”, long thin figure, high cheekbones.

Defining characteristics: Shy laugh. Dresses in boyish clothes although she has very feminine features.

Preferred weapon: Bow and arrows, crossbow.

Back story: p. 187-188

Quote:
 “So you've been in love before?”
She blushed and looked down at her hands. “Yes. But he doesn't...he didn't feel the same way.” (DIE FOR ME)
 
Want more? Until I Die will be out in May. That’s just…almost a month away! Pre-order it now!

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.



 
Wanna know more about the author, Amy Plum, and her books? Follow her on Twitter and check out her site!